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4-H Fun Camp in Otero County focuses on how food goes from farm to plate

ALAMOGORDO – Children in Otero County will learn about food and kitchen safety, meal planning, gardening, nutrition, branding, beef cuts and bi-products and more during the Farm, Food & 4-H Fun Camp July 30-Aug. 3.

A pistachio tree
Participants in the Farm, Food & 4-H Fun Camp, hosted by the Otero County Cooperative Extension Service, will tour the McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch, Lowe’s Signature Market in Alamogordo and a cattle ranch in Mayhill during the camp, which runs July 30-Aug. 3. Participants also will learn about food and kitchen safety, beekeeping, cattle branding and other topics. (NMSU photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

The camp is hosted by the Otero County Cooperative Extension Service in New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

This is the first time the camp has been offered in Otero County.

“The idea behind the camp is to provide an opportunity for youth to experience what is involved in getting food from field to plate,” said Kelly Knight, county program director and Family & Consumer Sciences agent in Otero County. “And, to empower youth to prepare healthy meals for their families using fresh, minimally processed foods.”

Knight, along with Otero County Extension Ag Agent Sid Gordon and Extension 4-H/Ag Agent Marlee Runyan, will provide camp activities with the assistance of Otero County 4-H Council officers. Attending the camp will be children 9-12 years old who are enrolled in the summer program at the Alamogordo Family Recreation Center.

Camp events begin Monday, July 30, with a tour of McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch and lessons on food and kitchen safety and meal planning. On Tuesday, July 31, the group will tour the Lowe’s Signature Market in Alamogordo. A lesson on bees is planned that afternoon that will cover beekeeping, pollination and honey bee products.

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, camp participants will tour a local farm and greenhouse and learn from Otero County Master Gardeners. On Thursday, Aug. 2, an Ag in the Classroom program will focus on beef bi-products and the ruminant system, followed by a nutrition lesson.

The camp will wrap up Friday, Aug. 3, with a tour of the Mershon Cattle Ranch in Mayhill that will include an opportunity for camp participants to build their own brand. A discussion of beef cuts and 4-H Council officers’ leadership games will follow.