Now is the time of year Central Valley growers are planting field crops like garbanzo beans. Professor at Reedley college Tim Smith wanted to teach this first-hand to his plant science students at the community college.
Students filed out of the classroom and into the on-campus farm to really learn how it is done, and participate in the process. Students learned the value of mechanized agriculture and learned how to operate planting equipment, and troubleshoot when something is wrong, like when seeds or fertilizer gets clogged up in the tubes.
Smith teaches many of the agricultural courses at Reedley College. He has taught over 200 students this fall, and about a third of them are progressing towards getting a PCA license and plan on working in California’s agricultural industry. “In this particular lab exercise, we really wanted to bring home the value of legumes in the industry and their relationship with rhizobium nitrogen-fixing bacteria,” Smith shared.
This legume crop with either be harvested with a combine later or be used as a green manure crop. The important part is that it was a great hands-on learning experience for the Ag students at Reedley college.