Children to Learn About Agriculture at UF/IFAS Citrus Youth Day

Dan Ag "Outdoors", Citrus, Education, Florida, Research


Dr. Megan Dewdney in a greenhouse examining citrus trees at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
Photo taken 03/08/16.

Children from across Florida will get a chance to learn about one of the major Florida agriculture industries at the second annual Citrus Youth Day. They might even get so inspired that they attend the University of Florida and pursue a career in agriculture, organizers say.

Some 66 youth are scheduled to attend the event June 28 at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“Youth are the future of the agriculture industry,” said Jamie Burrow, program manager for UF/IFAS Extension at CREC. “This program is designed for them to learn about the science and research portions of agriculture.”

“Everyone learns differently, whether it be audio or visual, or a combination,” Burrow said. “The interaction in youth day will allow children to learn something new, whether it is by listening to a speaker or conducting an experiment themselves.”

Participants include members of Florida 4-H, Future Farmers of America and the general public, Burrow said.

As UF/IFAS Extension faculty teach participants, they hope to convey the potential of careers in agriculture, Burrow said. Such careers include working for food or seed companies, science careers and farm management.

The day will begin with a session that will include a general citrus presentation and a presentation from the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences about enrolling at UF.

Participants will then be divided into four groups and will rotate through each of the stations: plant pathology, entomology, horticulture and food science. Each station will include an interactive activity. Within those stations, students will learn many scientific concepts, such as how water moves through plants, Burrow said.

Those teaching at each station are as excited as the youth about the day’s activities, she said.

“For the faculty, it gives them an opportunity to show what they do and get participants excited about science,” Burrow said.

By Brad BuckUniversity of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences