“Cinco Días con Nuestra Tierra”: a Mission of Agricultural Sciences Faculty

By: Laura C. Mena Albors

March 21, 2012

With the goals of stimulating people to promote agriculture and develop cultural and recreational activities for young people, the Agricultural Sciences faculty organized an agricultural and educational fair “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra” (Five Days with our Land). The fair included all kind of music, educational workshops, exotic animals’ exhibits, sales of delicious food and creative handcraft jewelry. This year, the fair was celebrated from March 13 to March 17 on UPR Mayaguez Campus.

The first “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra” was organized in 1977 by groups of students and professors of the Agricultural Department, with the purpose of promoting and disseminating agricultural education and the technological advances that they had achieved. This purpose passed from generation of students that inherited the vision of making the Agricultural Department known. They created a tradition of the fair; each year, the organizers design and contrive the fair to be better and bigger.

In 2012, the organizing committee of “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra” had the challenge of making the fair a total success once again. They organized the field to make sure all things were visible, divided the task and worked hard to complete the mission. “We prepare the fair with the purpose of promoting leadership in agricultural sciences’ students and to present strategies for the conservation of environment promoting agriculture and recycling” said  Jose Irrizari, member of the organizing committee of “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra”.

The fair was divided in to two parts; the fair and the open house. The fair had a diversity of food sales: big hot dogs, BBQ “pinchos”, fruits or chocolates frappes, natural and fresh orange juice and the famous “arañitas”, fried plantains filled with chicken, beef or seafood. Also, they had animals’ exhibits that include cows, big oxen, little pigs, colorful chickens, rabbits and other exotic animals like porcupines, snakes and lizards. On the other hand, they had an exhibition of the milking process with a cow.

The fair had exhibitions to promote agriculture and different agriculture techniques. Among them were hydroponic systems, with two excellent sample systems with lettuces as sample of what a person can cultivate in different material: one on PBC tubes and the other on bamboo, and orchards in box systems, with sample of lettuces, fitweed and pepper. Prof. Melvin Irizarry, responsible for hydroponic system, and Prof. Carlos Otero, responsible for orchards in box system, showed that both processes are simple and easy to make in the backyard of any home. There were also Bonsai exhibition for sale and landscape design exhibition offering service.

Furthermore and as part of the fair, there was a section of workshops about grafting system, parliamentary process, renewable energy, compost and nutrition.

The second part of the fair was the open house where all departments prepared a booth with department’s information: the different bachelors, associations and career opportunities offered in UPR, Mayaguez Campus. As part of the open house the students offered different tours around campus. “It is a great opportunity to come and see the university, I had no idea how the campus was and the information helped me to have a better preview of the careers,” said Carla Ortiz, student of Colegio Marista in Manati.

At night, the environment changed each night a different theme was feature. Tuesday was opening night with the presentation of Bosa Trova, Wednesday was student night with Viva Nativa’s presentation, Thursday was College night with El guitarreno show, Friday was tropical night and Saturday was mayaguezana night. “It a different event that encourages us, university student, to conserve nature. It has fun activities that take us out of the daily routine and allow us to share with our friends,” Rayza Maldonado said, a third year student of UPR Mayaguez campus.

After all, the hard work done by the Agricultural Sciences students helped all the people that arrived to the fair leave with a better idea of the importance of agriculture and conserving the environment.

 

To promote recycling, the committee separates an area to recycle plastic bottles. All the bottles that were sold at the fair ended in this area.

The watusi, also known as ankole was part of the animals’ exhibition. This animal is originally native from Africa and is distinguishes by their big horns.

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