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Serving: West

Wyoming partnership links Extension, student-run farm

TAGS: Business
Ted Levine/Getty Images Zucchinis and tomatoes
MAXIMIZING WORK: A new video series produced by University of Wyoming Extension provides insight to students working on a university farm, and the same videos are available to the public.
A new opportunity to teach food safety grows in midst of lockdown.

University of Wyoming students get hands-on learning by volunteering on a 1.8-acre student farm run by Agricultural Community Resources for Everyday Sustainability. And the university’s program offers opportunities to learn more about many aspects of farming.

But learning can be challenging in a pandemic. David Burton, ACRES manager, couldn’t host in-person workshops. Then he stumbled upon the University of Wyoming nutrition and food safety team’s Facebook Live videos. From that came the idea of creating a webinar series to fill the education outreach void.

Burton turned to Denise Smith, nutrition and food safety (NFS) educator, Niobrara County. He asked if a food preservation video series could be done for the ACRES group.

Smith says: “I did five food preservation videos and throughout the summer [Burton] made those available to the student group to watch so they would know how to preserve some of the foods they were growing in the gardens.”

The next step was to explore food preparation, and Burton turned to Smith again in the fall to see if the NFS team could create a video series on basic food preparation skills for college students.

Smith created seven videos and Vicki Hayman, Weston County NFS educator, created two. The videos focused on topics including how to use a microwave, cooking in a skillet, making ramen healthier, basic knife skills and others.

Sharing the videos

Those videos were shared on Facebook pages for ACRES Student Farms and Associated Students of the University of Wyoming and the NFS. Burton says the students seemed to like the videos.

Smith says more videos will be produced in January and released throughout the spring semester. Some are based on how to make winter comfort foods, like chili, and easy homemade bread, Instapot recipes, and quick breads.

The partnership isn’t one-sided. Burton created two bulletins for NFS about seasonal produce and how to use some of the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden.

“ACRES typically runs a community-supported agricultural program, and one of the issues that occurs with CSAs is people may not know how to cook with the produce they receive,” Burton says. “So, creating fliers on how to cook with or preserve the food becomes important in the effectiveness of the CSA, because we don’t want people to throw away the food we’ve spent so much time and effort to grow.”

Smith adds that her group has reached a new audience they never would have thought to reach out to before, and Burton has helped them add valuable information to their website. “It’s been a win-win partnership,” Smith says.

Source: University of Wyoming. The source is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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