Youth Field Day Focuses on Sustainable Agriculture

The Peninsular Agricultural Research Station is hosting its first Youth Field Day on June 11. Dawn VandeVoort, the 4-H youth development educator in Door County for the UW-Madison Division of Extension, said the goal is to help young people understand the importance of this resource in the community.

“Youth are the future of our planet, and helping them see the benefits and understand the value of sustainable agriculture is critical,” VandeVoort said. “Using practices that reduce the impact on our world is really important.”

The station has previously hosted field days geared toward adults, she said, but a UW-Madison colleague suggested the youth-focused idea. 

“It sounded really exciting,” VandeVoort said. “It’s really important to understand where our food comes from and doing so in a responsible way.”

The event will feature discussions about what an agricultural research station does, why sustainable agriculture is important and the basics of composting. VandeVoort said the organizers want participants to take this information with them, such as how to compost at home.

Expect a short walking tour of the station, hands-on activities such as planting squash, demonstrations and discussions of sustainable practices, what plants need to grow, the role of science in agriculture and which crop-growing practices the station uses.

VandeVoort, Rebecca Wiepz from the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station and Jamie Patton from UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will lead the activities. 

“We’re excited to get a good crew of people out there with us, exploring and learning,” VandeVoort said. “This is a great way to help expose children to this kind of research and experience.” 

Future Youth Field Days will focus on pollinators July 30, and on harvesting Sept. 17, when attendees will be able to check on and harvest their squash, among other activities.

The event will take place at the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station, 4312 Hwy 42 N. in Sturgeon Bay, on June 11, 9-11 am. It’s free and open to all ages. Youth should be accompanied by an adult. Find out more by calling the Extension office at 920.746.2260 or the research station at 920.743.5406.