The 10th Annual University of Minnesota Open House is scheduled 4-8 p.m. Thursday, September 15, at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca.
"Agriculture for the 21st Century – The Future is Here and Now" will feature fun activities, exhibits, and demonstrations intended for all ages, backgrounds and interests. The theme tent, "Agricultural Research for the 21st Century" will showcase what the SROC scientists are doing to address current agricultural issues and how they affect consumers.
A forest invasive species clinic and "Ask a Master Gardener" booth will have experts ready to identify weed, disease and insect problems and offer recommendations for control. Learn about the Minnesota grape industry and sample locally produced wines. Free well water testing for nitrate contamination will be conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with results available that evening. (Bring ½ cup of well water in a Ziploc bag--run water 5-10 minutes before filling bag. If you have a treatment system, bring in a "before" and "after" sample for comparison.) MDA also will offer "Germ City", a special project that illustrates the importance of proper hand-washing.
A sanctioned Kid-Power Pedal Pull will begin at 5 p.m., beginning with the youngest participants. U-M mascot, Goldy Gopher, will make a guest appearance. Children can engage in 4-H activities and games, navigate their way through the corn maze, maneuver the aqua robotics, or learn how to milk a dairy goat.
Visitors can ride on the horse-drawn trolley, buy maroon and gold M wear and gifts, or sample and purchase cheeses produced by the U-M. See piglets and calves, and new this year, watch a llama and dog maneuver an agility course. You might even hear a turkey gobbling. Sign up to win door prizes along with the grand prize drawings for two hog halves, fully processed, and packaged.
The open house will be held rain or shine. A picnic supper will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
The Center is located at Highway 14 West and Co. Rd. 57, on the west edge of Waseca.
For more Open House information, contact your local or regional Extension office or the Southern Research and Outreach Center at 507/835-3620.