NPARL Celebrates 50th Year of Science in Service to Agriculture

The USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with two special talks and related activities to be held at the lab on successive Thursday evenings, Nov. 14 and 21st. These family-friendly talks, presented in plain language and designed for upper elementary students through adults, will not only touch on science’s contribution to agriculture in the past 50 years, but also look ahead to new frontiers in the future. The presentations will also explain broad scientific concepts and tools, such as evolutionary and molecular (DNA) biology, and demonstrate how they are being used to advance agricultural research today and in the next 50 years.

Presenters include NPARL scientists Erin Espeland (Nov. 14) and Stefan Jaronski (Nov. 21), who will discuss “Evolution in Wheat: from ancient times into the future” and “What Does the Future Hold for Insect Pest Management?” respectively.

Each evening’s activities begin with the scientist’s talks at 7 pm, followed by related hands-on activities, demonstrations and displays at 8 pm, along with refreshments and tours of the facility for those interested. Among the unique activities on Nov. 14 will be an opportunity for those attending to do their own DNA extraction from a strawberry using simple household supplies.

In keeping with the family friendly focus, NPARL employees will also be providing free childcare onsite for the youngest members of the family (toddlers through lower elementary grades) so their parents can take in the talks with their older children without having to find a babysitter. Childcare activities will include special age-appropriate treats, games and other activities.

The lab is located at 1500 N. Central in Sidney. Additional details will be forthcoming. You can also contact Beth Redlin at the lab (406-433-9427) for more information.


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