Visitors check out the tractors at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa. Photo by Adam Wolfe

Hundreds of Maricopa residents came out to an agricultural research center in Maricopa to take tractor rides, see cutting edge technology in action and compete in a cricket spitting contest. The event was part of the Arizona SciTech Festival showcased various aspects of the research center.

The University of Arizona and the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted “Farm Science Day” at the USDA Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center Saturday afternoon.

“This is a collaborative event between the University of Arizona and the U.S. Department of Agriculture here in Maricopa,” USDA Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center Director Steve Naranjo said. “We have a number of really fun events going on and we have all sorts of things related to insects, plants and irrigation as well.”

The event featured tractor rides, face painting, balloon animals and a live band. Participants learned about the science behind the items they eat on a daily basis as well as plant and take home their own cotton plant.

“This is to learn about what we do in agriculture,” Naranjo said. “Agriculture is very important. This is where all your food comes from. It doesn’t come from the grocery store, it comes from farmers working the ground and planting crops.”

 

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