Twilight tour to highlight agricultural research

KIMBERLY, Idaho — The University of Idaho is gearing up for its popular Twilight Tour at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center, bringing food, fun and research to farmers and the public.

The community event — including live music and a catered dinner — is set for July 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the university’s research farm 1 mile northeast of Kimberly along Highway 50.

“It’s an opportunity for the University of Idaho to showcase some of the research, extension and outreach taking place across the state,” Don Morishita, weed scientist and superintendent of the Kimberly center, said.

About 30 to 35 university personnel will be on hand to cover the gamut of food research, from field to table. There’ll be more than 30 booths with various displays on crop production, food science and nutrition, he said.

Exhibits and field tours will showcase new growing practices for sugar beets, dry beans, wheat, barley, potatoes and a host of other crops produced in Idaho.

Two big attractions returning to the event are the insect “petting zoo” and the 6-foot deep transparent soil pit. The soil pit shows the characteristics of area soil and will include growing crops this year, so visitors will be able to see what crops look like underground, he said.

In addition, Morishita will present “Silence of the Lambsquarters,” a savory presentation of a weed often cursed for its abundance and praised for its fine taste.

While the event is focused on research, it is family-oriented and will include 4-H activities, hay rides, edible science projects and agricultural lessons for fun and profit.

“So bring your kids,” Morishita said.

The tour is also an opportunity for student recruitment and a chance to connect with university alumni and the university’s alumni association, he said.

The annual Twilight Tour alternates between the Kimberly and Aberdeen research centers. The 2016 event at Kimberly drew more than 600 people.

More information is available by calling the Kimberly Research and Extension Center at (208) 423-4691.