After being closed to the public since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Virginia State University’s (VSU) Randolph Farm is finally reopening with its popular Agriculture Field Day.
“COVID highlighted the importance of agriculture to the world, and this field day is an opportunity to showcase how robust the industry is in Virginia,” said Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean of the College of Agriculture at VSU. “Nearly everything we eat and wear begins with agriculture, and while most people only think of farming, there are diverse sectors in the industry that positively impact our daily lives.”
The field day will be held July 30 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the 416-acre research farm at 4415 River Road, Petersburg. Admission is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required for every participant. To register, visit http://www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link.
This year’s field day is expanding with a new demonstration site that showcases cattle production. “It is the first time in nearly 30 years that cattle has been a part of a field day at the farm,” said William Crutchfield, director of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Small Farm Outreach Program (VCE –SFOP) at VSU. “As more small farmers and producers are diversifying their farm operations and adding cattle, there’s a need for them to understand best practices for grazing these animals.”
The field day will also feature a broad range of topics and presentations, including managing goats and sheep, cultivating the best vegetables and berries and discovering new ways to prevent plant diseases. Also included is a tour of the farm’s revamped hydroponics and aquaponics production facility. Hydroponics – growing plants in a nutrient solution without soil – and aquaponics – combining hydroponics with aquaculture (growing fish) – are a growing sector of the agriculture industry in Virginia.
If you have any questions about this event or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Tina Cabrera at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call (804) 524-5836 / TDD (800) 828-1120 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days before the event.