The Range Cattle Research and Education Center (RCREC) is a unit of the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) founded in 1941, and a field day is a great way to showcase this establishment. With 2840 acres of native and developed pastures, and approximately 1200 head of cattle, it is a hub of subtropical research in Hardee County. Research conducted in the southern half of the state mingles with research in the northern half of the state to create a dynamic pool of information that all Florida cattlemen have used over the years.
What is a “Field Day”?
According to the website The Phrase Finder, field day means “a day of excitement or a circumstance of opportunity.” Originally used as a military term in the 1700’s, the literal sense of the term was “a day spent in field maneuvers” is now little used. Keep these definitions in mind.
Although many of us today get our information electronically, the internet can be a stale place. Using searches to find information from land-grant universities that provide scientific-based research is good. It is even better when ideas are shared “in person”, not in front of a screen. There is a dynamic present that cannot fully be replaced by the internet.
What will be at the Ona RCREC field day?
There will be many things to see and experience at the field day which will be held April 5. Here is a snapshot of a few of the topics covered: Chris Prevatt — Beef Cattle Market Outlook; Philipe Moriel — Nutrition of Beef Females – FCA studies; Raoul Boughton — Florida Calf Loss – Summary of Herd Results; Brent Sellers — Updates on Smutgrass Management; Joao Vendramini — Warm-season Perennial Grass Establishment; Maria Silveira — Land Application of Biosolids to Bahiagrass Pastures.
Why should you go to the field day?
Even if you aren’t specifically looking for a “day off”, maybe you should take the day off to attend the field day. The obvious benefits include learning about some of the latest research and spending time with fellow cattlemen. Putting it all together to make some improvements to your own cattle business is the bonus benefit. We often stop here when we think about the purpose of a field day.
But I challenge you to think of what YOU might provide to the field day. The research scientists and staff that work at the Ona station can use our encouragement. Maybe our show of support by attending the field day gives them a boost to carry on the tedious work that is required for conducting scientific research. Maybe your interest gives researchers new ideas. It truly can be a “day of excitement or a circumstance of opportunity” as we ”spend the day in field maneuvers.”