University of Maryland Extension

Annual AGNR Open House Draws Record Crowd to Clarksville

A record number of visitors attended the 2013 AGNR Open House held in Clarksville.
Image Credit: 
Edwin Remsberg

Blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures helped drive a steady stream of visitors to the 2013 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Open House on Saturday, October 5. Nearly 4,000 are estimated to have attended the event – the largest crowd ever since the College first began hosting the Open House at the Central Maryland Research and Education Center’s Clarksville Facility in 2006.

Visitors took delight in hay rides, pumpkin-decorating, apple-tasting, bird-watching, rock-climbing, petting cows, chickens and horses, as well as more than 60 exhibits on topics ranging from battling obesity to treating rainwater runoff to heating your home with wood. The College of AGNR hosts the free Open House each year to invite the public to learn more about the College’s work to fulfill its mission of serving the state through academics, research and Extension.

Graduate students from the College of AGNR took part in a spirited competition during the Open House. The students displayed posters on some of their recent research projects and were judged by faculty members on how well they presented the research. The winners of the competition will be recognized by AGNR administrators later this semester.

Meanwhile, the Sparks 4-H Robotics Club from Carroll County was a big hit with the younger crowds who enjoyed test-driving robots designed by club members and trying to catch a t-shirt from a cannon also created by the club. “People really enjoy driving robots because they get to control something. It’s like a 3-D video game,” says 16-year-old Hannah Kiesel of Owings Mills who has been involved with the Sparks 4-H Robotics club since she was 11 years old. Kiesel and other Sparks club members compete in local, regional and national competitions and help teach younger children about robotics at events like the AGNR Open House.

Cool drinks being sold by FFA members, ice cream provided by Kilby’s Creamery, and tasty treats from the grill served up by Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity brothers helped keep the crowds cool and comfortable when temperatures neared the 90-degree mark.

“We were fortunate to have a beautiful day – although hot for October – and such a good turnout for our Open House,” says Cheng-i Wei, Dean of the College of AGNR. “I’m sure that anyone who attended learned something new about the College of AGNR.”

Check out more photos from the 2013 AGNR Open House in our photo gallery!

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