July 8, 2005 | By: Laura Skillman

The latest in agricultural and horticultural research efforts will be in the spotlight July 28 at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s 2005 Field Day at the Research and Education Center in Princeton.

The event, last held in 2002, also offers an array of educational and fun activities for youth and families. Approximately 2,000 people are expected to attend.

“One of the main purposes of the event is for our clientele – farmers, consumers and even youth – to be able to come and see the things we are working on at the Research and Education Center and throughout the College of Agriculture to help them in their operations and homes,” said Richard Coffey, field day chairman and Extension swine specialist. Coffey chairs a committee of 22 of his co-workers who have planned the event, which is generally held every other year.

Coffey said organizers appreciate the community support as well as monetary and product support received from many businesses and organizations around the state.

This year’s event will feature 17 production-related tours focusing on protecting water quality, farm security, beef cattle, tobacco, forages, weed management in grain crops, corn and soybean production, soil fertility and tillage and soybean rust. Other tours include orchards and vineyards, small fruits and ornamentals, vegetable crops, nursery-gown maples and fruit tree weed control, biosystems and agricultural engineering, precision agriculture, handling atrazine and proper disposal, and an overview of the UK soils lab.

One tour will provide visitors with an overview of activities under way at the research center. All tours last approximately 1¼ hours and run continuously throughout the day.

“One area where we’ve grown in the past couple of field days is in horticulture,” Coffey said. “With the large investment from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board in alternative enterprises to tobacco, we have seen increased research efforts at the station in vegetables and nursery crops along with our continued work in fruits.”

Some other highlights include automated steering systems, which will be demonstrated in the precision agriculture tour; a virtual ethanol plant tour by biosystems and agriculture engineering; environmental quality and financial assistance; and dealing with problems associated with illegal uses of land, such as methamphetamine production. 

Forty-two exhibitors from the College of Agriculture, agricultural associations and organizations will be inside an exhibits tent located near the large main tent area. All tours will begin from the main tent area.

In addition, there will be eight events and 25 Family and Consumer Sciences exhibits and displays. These activities will be in the air-conditioned main building with buses providing transportation from the main tent to the facility. Activities will include cooking demonstrations and taste-testing, home energy conservation, using computers to research genealogy, information on the new food pyramid, preserving quilts, disaster and emergency preparedness and more.

“What I like about it is there’s something for everyone,” said Nancy Hunt, Crittenden County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences and FSC field day coordinator. “Even if you are not going to a program, there are lots of exhibits with useful information.”

Youth activities will include everything from a lesson in ATV safety to a vegetable derby to a mini-petting zoo. Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom will all have its Mobile Science Activity Center set up. In all, 23 booths and activities will be available specifically for young people attending this year’s event.

“I think everything is coming together very well,” said Wanda Paris, Lyon County Extension 4-H youth development agent and youth activities coordinator. “We are going to have a wide variety for the youngsters up to teens. There will be hands-on activities and some educational things to do and some things just for fun.” 

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Tours, demonstrations and exhibits will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be available from various commodity groups, and Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) credits have been approved for a number of the tours.

The UK Research and Education Center is on Kentucky 91 South, 1.5 miles southeast of the Caldwell County Courthouse in Princeton.

Writer: Laura Skillman 270-365-7541 ext. 278


Contact: Richard Coffey, 270-365-7541 ext. 244
Nancy Hunt, 270-965-5236
Wanda Paris, 270-388-2341