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Field Day

By Natalie Hood, 06/17/17 10:16 AM

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HOPE- The Southwest Research and Extension Center hosted their annual field day on June 15. They started the program off with biscuits, coffee, and orange juice provided by the Ouachita District FCS agents being served in the foyer.  Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick, the SWREC Interim Center Director, welcomed everyone and introduced each of the guest speakers.

Dr. Margaret Worthington, the Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture gave a presentation covering the U of A  fruit breeding program and update. She was followed by Dr. Amanda McWhirt, the Extension Horticulture Crops Specialist. Dr. McWhirt’s presentation was  over plasticulture and raised beds. Dr. Jackie Lee the Extension Horticulture IPM Specialist was unable to attend the field day but video chatted live with all the guest to present her presentation. Pumpkin Production in the South was presented by Mike McClintock, the Agriculture agent from Boone County.

The guest then had a choice of which event they wanted to attend during their break. They had the choice to stay indoors for a kitchen presentation by Terrie James, University of Arkansas Hempstead County Extension Agent, where she did cooking demonstration and tastings featuring watermelon, pumpkin, tomato, and bell pepper. Guests also had the choice to go outside and take a trailer ride to see the fields. While in the fields, guests had the chance to see “Prime Ark Freedom” blackberries that were inside of the greenhouse, they later got to see the same plant out in the field that has not had inside growth. Guests also got to see the tomato and pepper weed management trial that Dr. Jackie Lee, and Dr. Amanda McWhirt are currently experimenting on. With pumpkin and watermelon being the main topic for todays events, guests were shown where the trials for both were planted and that they hoped to see them bloom and grow this fall.

Sheba’s Family Restaurant of Hope provided a lunch of fish, chicken, beans, french fries, and hushpuppies for all those who attended along with the Extension Center employees. During lunch door prizes were given away.

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