Makenzie Wheeler, age 9, and Macy Wheeler, 6, from Blackfoot took on the challenge of identifying grains grown in Idaho Wednesday evening at the Twilight Tour at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center.
ABERDEEN â€” The Twilight Tour in Aberdeen Wednesday evening was filled with good food, activities for kids and adults and a sampling of what is done at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center.
Sponsored by the University of Idaho (UI) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the evening was well-attended as people took advantage of an evening on the grounds of the research center.
The annual event was a chance for the for the UI extension and its personnel to say, "This is who we are; this is what we are trying to accomplish and what value we offer to agriculture.
Don Burnett, UI Interim President, said, Higher education and the extension service share three overriding purposes. These are:
Â° teaching, giving knowledge
Â° researching, discovering, exploring new things
Â° applying these to benefit the community, nation and world.
"Last year, UI celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act that was signed by Pres. Lincoln when the nation was fighting against itself," said Burnett. "This act revolutionized higher education as it provided each state with public lands to create universities. This opened up higher education to all people where before higher education was for the private elite.
"Last year was also the 125th anniversary of the Hatch Act that established state agricultural experiment stations," he said.
UI is the state's land grant university, said Burnett. It predates Idaho in that it is mentioned when Idaho was established as a territory.
"UI is the flagship of the university system in Idaho," he said.
Not only did all visitors enjoy a great meal, sampling French fries made from different types of potatoes, but people could also sample pickled purslane potato salad and lambsquarter salsa. (Purslane and lambsquarter are both weeds.)
Family Consumer Science educators Marnie Spencer from Blackfoot and Audrey Liddil from Pocatello were promoting food safety.
4-H extension education Scott Nash from Blackfoot was helping kids try out their shooting skills.
Educator Harold Bockelman was explaining small grainsâ€”wheat, barley, oats, rye, triticale (a wheat/rye hybrid) and rice.
"There area 120 different small grains from all over the world in my collection," he said.
There were games for the kidsâ€”age was no barrier.
A strong man and strong woman contest took place. This was a timed event. Men lifted 70 pounds of grain over their head and held it for as long as possible. Women lifted and held 40 pounds.
People could also take a horse and buggy ride around the grounds as well as take advantage of tours of the laboratory.
The musical group, The Barking Owls, also performed throughout the evening.