Showing off agricultural life at cornucopia
Large range of activities at university festival entertain parents and students
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 00:09
Jonathan “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman was a remarkable businessman, many decorative plants can actually ruin the ecosystem, and UConn students train cows for a class; these are just a sampling of the presentation topics at Sunday’s 2012 Cornucopia Festival. Coinciding with Parents’ Weekend, this year’s festival saw a huge turnout of students and parents alike. Activities ranged from auctions, petting zoos, and animal demonstrations to presentations by clubs and organizations from the School of Agriculture.
Nestled in the Northeast corner of campus, the white tents of the Fest were overflowing with people and animals. Amy Pantaleo and Lindsay Parshall, both 7th-semester Animal Science majors and members of the Agriculture-based sorority, Sigma Alpha, said “Our country was founded on agriculture, this University was started on agriculture, and Cornucopia is a way to get the word out on one of the most vital schools here, the College of Agriculture.”
Many passers-by were intrigued by the Forestry and Wildlife Club’s cider press. For the past 10 years, the club has gathered fallen and bruised apples, pulped them, and pressed them into delicious cider. Though unfortunately club President Heather Deney was restricted in giving out the unpasteurized beverage, she was pleased with the turnout of the event –claiming that were were more booths than in previous years. Everyone was invited to crank the wheel to grind up the apples for pressing; approximately 75 apples were used to make each gallon of cider.
UConn’s oldest club, the Block and Bridle club, was also present at the event. The club, according to 7th-semester Animal Science major Emily Silva, was “started in 1881, and involves cows, horses, pigs, and sheep”. It will soon host the 2012 Little International Livestock Show, in which members of Intro to Animal Studies will show off their trained animals.
Perhaps second only to Puppetry as the most niche major, Turfgrass Management and Science, was out in full force at Cornucopia. Members of the Turfgrass Club manned a putting green while tending to the sale of various types of grass seed. Though University grounds are maintained by a private staff, 3rd-semester student Cody Seaman explained that those with his major often go on to maintain sports fields, golf courses, and even run sod farms.
Many attendees and participants were not actually in the School of Agriculture at all. Edward Novikov, 1st-semester Electrical Engineer, commented on the importance of agriculture in today’s society. “Most people think food comes from the store, and don’t think of the big picture. My ancestors lived in the former-USSR, often with 100 square meter plots of land, so it’s in my blood,” he said. Many high school students, including some robotics teams, were also among the crowds, petting snakes and tamed raptors.