SUMMER SIZZLE Barbecue to celebrate agriculture education

There new learning facility has 17 acres of grounds and natural habitat.
CORTLAND -- Trumbull County is planning a barbecue to show off its new place for educating families about agriculture and nature.
A "summer sizzle" is planned for Aug. 20 at the Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center, 520 W. Main St.
This is a $1.26 million office building for five agriculture-related agencies, including the Ohio State University Extension Service, and the Soil and Water Conservation District. It was built on land donated in 2001 by Delphi Packard Electric Systems.
The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. There will be free admission and parking; participants will want to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
There will be fair-type food including barbecued chicken, refreshments, and musical entertainment by Cortland Community Band and the Garrettones.
The event was developed to educate residents about the county's newest facility, which includes 17 acres of grounds and natural habitat. Its programs highlight agriculture, gardening, water and family education.
Mike Wilson, Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District executive director, explained that many community organizations will be conducting various activities and games, as well as showcasing their programs with displays.
One such event will be the release of racing pigeons, whose owners train the birds at their home loft. These birds have a strong homing instinct and can be released to return to their loft from up to 600 miles or more.
For races, the birds are given a number and color-coded leg band. Time clocks are set and tracked when the racer returns to the home loft. The birds are motivated by water, food and their mate -- whom they stay with for life.
The parking will be at the Delphi lots off of either state Route 46 across from Baconsburg Restaurant, or off West Main Street.
A wagon ride or short walk will take visitors directly to the center overlooking Mosquito Lake.
Handicapped parking and van/bus drop-off also will be available at the center's entrance on West Main.
The land around the center would be permanently preserved under a plan proposed by the Soil and Water Conservation District to county commissioners, not yet acted on.
Fifteen of the 17 county-owned acres there could be sold to the district for $291,000 and a $78,570 county match, the commissioners were told last month. State Clean Ohio grants could be sought to make possible the sale.

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