Agriculture Glance 1-20-13
Farm Smart tours
The popular Farm Smart tours will again be offered by the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center in Imperial County. The 2013 tour season kicks off this week and goes through Feb. 28 with nearly daily tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Arizona time.
Learn about natural and renewable resources, including agriculture in the desert Southwest, harvest fresh produce to take home and enjoy, and entertainment and lunch. The tours are held at the Research Center, 1004 E. Holton Road, El Centro. (From Interstate 8 take Exit 120, Bowker Road, turn north 2 miles to Even-Hewes Highway, turn right and go 1.5 miles to Meloland Road, turn left and make an immediate right and you're there.)
For more information and advance reservations (required), call 1-760-791-0261.
Agri-U features seminars, cooking, field trip
Yuma's Agri-University, a new agriculture education program launched this year by the Yuma Visitors Bureau, includes five weeks of seminars with a field trip and culinary class. The second session of Agri-U will be offered Feb. 11 to March 15.
Ten educational seminars, sponsored by Arizona Western College, will cover such topics as soils, seeds, and immigration issues and how they affect the area's produce industry. Featured speakers will be leaders in the local agriculture industry from AWC and the University of Arizona.
Local chefs Tina Clark and Alex Trujillo will provide cooking demos using locally grown ingredients and include one specialty crop provided by Foxy Produce. A behind-the-scenes Feed the Nation field trip will be hosted by Bobbi McDermott, a retired agriculture and water specialist.
To register for Agri-U, stop by the Yuma Visitor Information Center in the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, call 1-800-293-0071 or download the registration form from www.visityuma.com. Cost is $150 and includes a free ticket to Yuma Lettuce Days Culinary Festival.
Agriculture census forms due
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged farmers to complete forms for the Census of Agriculture if they haven't already done so. The completed forms are due by Feb. 4. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online at the secure website www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the census. All individual information is kept confidential.
For more information about the census, call 1-888-424-7828.
The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation, and helps policy makers as they make decisions about farm safety net programs and policies.