WVU organic research farm organizes “Biological Field Day”


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The University of West Virginia Organic Research Farm hosted a ‘field day’ on Saturday, welcoming dozens of people to the sprawling green hillside where it sits.

Jim Kotcon, associate professor of plant and soil sciences at WVU, said he always looks forward to the public stopping by for the chance to visit and learn more about the farm.

People gathered by the registration desk for Field Day

“This is our chance to open our research farm to the public,” Kotcon said. “We want to demonstrate the types of research we’re doing here, some of the educational opportunities. We will have a variety of tours and workshops, and we hope that several 100 people will come to visit us.

People had the chance to review Heritage Beans, Organic Sheep Production and take a lesson on “Poultry 101”. The latter, Kotcon said, was designed for people “interested in the production of backyard poultry.”

In addition to the tours, research projects were exhibited for the public to see and learn from.

“We have a variety of student projects including posters and demonstrations,” Kotcon said. “And, there will be a number of walking tours of the vegetable garden and land plots for people who want to see the research up close.”

A field day participant reads posters presenting research projects

Kotcon said he was happy to host the event, again this year, after it was canceled for the first time in 2020.

“The Farm Field Biological Research Day has been around for over 20 years, but thanks to COVID we had to cancel last year,” Kotcon said. “And so it will be really good to get people back in touch. Nonetheless, for those who are concerned about the coronavirus, we have an online version and people should log on to www.fieldday.wvu.edu. And you’ll see a list of our videos and poster presentations and a summary of many of our different types of projects.

Kotcon said it was the best way for people who missed out on this year’s country day to get a taste of what the farm has to offer.

“If people have missed today, they are welcome to jump on it and revisit some of these projects,” he said.

The field day ended with dinner with food, which Kotcon said all came from the University of West Virginia organic research farm.

“There will be a dinner served at 6 pm with organic produce from the farm here,” Kotcon said.

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