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2013 Ag Awareness Festival

Students get a closer look at the stomach of a cow during a past Ag Awareness Festival at the Agricultural Research and Development Center in Mead.

The University of Nebraska Research and Extension Center will host an informal and informative open house on June 12.

The open house will be held from 3-5 p.m. at ENREC which is located near Mead at 1071 County Road G, Ithaca.

According to information released by Nebraska Extension, the event is for both rural and urban audiences and provides an opportunity to see how ENREC is making a difference through learning about the latest research, technology, and education involved in bringing safe, nutritious food to the table while protecting the environment.

The open house will include tours if ENREC’s new August N. Christenson Building, demonstrations and displays focused on the variety of research and extension projects going on at the facility, and bus tours of ENREC.

ENREC is a major research and education facility of the Agricultural Research Division of the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). The site consists of approximately 9,663 acres with about half the land base in row crops. There are also over 6,000 domestic farm animals used for research and teaching on site as well.

Attendees will be some of the first to get a look at the new August N. Christenson Building.

The 23,000 square foot building serves as a hub for interaction with crop and livestock producers, as well as urban and rural audiences interested in turf, gardens, trees and natural environments.

The facility is a partial earth-contact building positioned with a slight southeast orientation to take advantage of the insulative properties of the earth and the warmth and light from the sun. Heat pumps use the earth as a heating source in the winter and cooling source in the summer.

The event will also feature a variety of demonstrations and displays including drone demonstrations, a hail simulator machine and beef and science mobile labs.

Visitors can also see the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies’ “Hercules” (A mobile platform for proximal remote sensing) and equipment that the Nebraska Forestry Service Fire Shop reconditions to loan to volunteer fire districts.

There will also be information about Saunders County Extension, Husker Genetics, Greater Nebraska Business Center, precision ag, integrating crops and cattle, weed science, and agroforestry.

Fans of Backyard Farmer will also be able to get their lawn and garden questions answered by experts from the television program at 3:30 p.m.

The event will also feature free refreshments including “Nifty N150” ice cream and two option 45-minute guided bus tours of the facility.

More information about the open house and ENREC is available by calling 402-624-8000 and directions are available online at https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/enre/questions-contact-us/.

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