Cornucopia festival promotes agricultural education at UConn
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 23:09
Tractors, fresh poultry and live animals were the main draws at this weekend’s annual Cornucopia Festival.
Hosted by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), the festival offered many events and opportunities that celebrated agriculture and nature around the state, as well as the university’s first college. On the green outside the Young Building, booths were set up for organizations relating to agriculture and wildlife to spread awareness and gather support from the local community. Topics such as BPA, genetically modified organisms and black bear sightings in Connecticut were represented. Other booths were more hands on, offering visitors the option to make homemade butter, get their faces painted or take a family photo.
The main events of the festival were the alumni auction, the chicken barbecue lunch and the polo match at Horsebarn Hill Arena. The larger events were supplemented by demonstrations by the UConn Timber Team, a petting zoo of UConn farm animals, a hike through the UConn Forest, mini golf and trivia games sponsored by different organizations. Visitors could also bring their sick plants to be diagnosed by the onsite plant doctor, as well get their soil pH tested.
The auction, which began at 1:00 p.m., offered a variety of beautiful plants and trees, such as hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and spruces. Bidders bargained for prices as called out by a volunteer who spoke in a classic auctioneering style. All the proceeds of the auction went to CANR and to provide scholarships for their students.
Visitors were impressed with the information and resources available to them through CANR.
“This is so awesome, nobody appreciates all UConn has to offer,” said Sumia Hussain, a 5th semester allied health and political science double major. “The college of agriculture is the least thought about school here and it’s so important to our community. It was the first school.”
The venue was family friendly, and many local families brought their kids to have some hands on educational fun.
Linda McGee of Willington said, “I brought my kids because where else are they going to be able to pet a horse or make their own butter? I love supporting the academic community around here, but I want to also showing my kids a side of life they’ve never seen before. They don’t get this kind of stuff at school and I want them to see what their own grandfather studied here.”
The spirit of fall fun and the celebration of UConn’s agricultural history and culture brought out hundreds of students, family and alumni to support the program.
“These things are important to go to,” said Frank Evans, an alumnus from Berlin, Conn., “I come with my wife every year. We love buying plants at the auction to support kids who want to work in this field. I was a student here once and it feels good to give back.”
Evans also added, “You learn something new here every year. The variety of information they give you access to during the festival is fun, but also important to understanding Connecticut history and natural life.”