Have A Field Day On The Ranch

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The University of Arizona invites the public to the V Bar V Ranch Agricultural Experiment Station and Environmental Education Center to learn more about northern Arizona ranching and natural resources.

The proposed schedule for the field day includes demonstrations and displays covering a range of topics including remote sensing, noxious weeds, meat grading, camping food safety, watershed activities, cattle ultra-sounds, plant identification and tree aging, as well as climatology, arid lands, 4-H, V Bar V history, cattle and current projects on the ranch.

The V Bar V Field Day will be held Aug. 26. The cost of the tour is $5 for students and $10 for adults. Ticket prices include a beef lunch and bus transportation from Camp Verde, Flagstaff or Phoenix to ranch headquarters at Happy Jack.

Call the Cooperative Extension-Experiment Station office in Cottonwood at (520) 646-9113, ext. 10, for more information and to register. Registration deadline is Aug. 18.

The V Bar V Ranch has deep roots in the history of northern Arizona. A 77,000-acre working ranch, it is one of several ranches that run from the Beaver Creek area near Camp Verde at about 3,200 feet elevation to Mormon Lake Road at about 7,000 feet elevation. The families who first established these ranches wintered at the lower elevations in the Verde Valley where their children attended school. In the summer they moved to the higher elevations.

While on the mountain, they grew gardens and crops such as oats. When the weather began to cool again, they moved back down the mountain.

The land that became the V Bar V Ranch was settled at the turn of the century by the Benjamin Taylor family. Later ranch owners included Marcus J. Lawrence, whose mother opened a clinic in his memory that eventually evolved into the Verde Valley Medical Center. In 1995, the University of Arizona College of Agriculture acquired the ranch on a gift/purchase basis, and it is now administered as an agricultural research center.

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