Aug 09, 2020

National Ag Week aims to teach students value of farms

As part of National Ag Week, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will be informing and entertaining students about agriculture with talks, snacks and the JCAST Olympics this week.

“National Ag Week is a time to take a step back from our busy lives and educate ourselves about agriculture and what it is that farmers do, and appreciate them and educate the public,” said Sarena Silva, chairman of the JCAST Junior Leadership Council.

Silva emphasized the importance of National Ag Week, saying the general public has little to no knowledge as to where much of the country’s clothes and food come from. She said it is important for people to understand how farming works and how it is part of everyday life.

“I think that, for a long time, agriculture has not had to tell our story because the general public knew about where their food and fiber came from, and a lot of people were involved directly with agriculture in the 20th century,” Silva said. “Now, people are disconnected from the industry.

“National Agriculture Week is important because agriculture is a part of every single person’s daily life,” Silva said. “Whether it be the clothes on your back or the food on your table, a farmer was involved in the process.”

JCAST members handed out almonds and raisins to students in the Free Speech Area Tuesday. Each bag of almonds and raisins featured a fact about agriculture. There was also a table explaining the amount of water it takes for crops to produce goods, among other ag-related facts.

“We hope that the students will get a good nutritious snack, but then take the time to read the ag fact and learn something they didn’t know,” Silva said.

Future Farmers of America was on hand to inform students about their organization. The radio station 93.7 Kiss Country was on site with personality Gnarley Charley to help spread the word about the week’s events.

National Agriculture Week began Monday with an open house at the Gibson Farm Market. Silva said the event had a good turnout, and students had the chance to eat free samples and to get $1 off ice cream by spinning a wheel.

“Ice Cream with Deans” and the JCAST Olympic Games will take place today on the Ag Science Lawn.

Brittany Hitchcock, the department’s liaison for child consumer sciences for the JCAST Leadership Council, organized JCAST’s Olympic Games and said that she would like to see students come out to watch.

Eight student and faculty teams will participate in the events, which include lifting four hay bales and stacking them up. Following that will be an egg-on-a-spoon race.

Mario Santoyo, the executive director and technical advisor for the California Latino Water Coalition will speak at 2 p.m. Friday about water conservation.

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