As part of a yearlong celebration on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the land-grant university system, the University of Florida was a participant at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a major summer event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Over the past two weeks, visitors to the nation`s capitol had the opportunity to learn about how land-grant universities from around the country are partnering with communities to put research into action in the areas of agriculture and food, sustainable living, and rural revitalization.
Bobby Witt, a Cedar Key clam farmer, provided answers to questions of thousands of festival goers about the clam aquaculture industry during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC.
The University of Florida`s exhibit revolved around the wise use of perhaps the state`s most precious resource - water. One of the displays in the exhibit showcased Cedar Key`s clamming industry as an environmentally friendly industry that provides food, jobs, and ecosystem services.
In spite of the record-setting temperatures, Bobby Witt, Chris Reynolds, Ridley Reynolds, Chloe Reynolds, and Linda Seyfert of Cedar Key joined Leslie Sturmer, UF IFAS shellfish extension agent, in providing demonstrations and discussions to the thousands of festival-goers. In addition, the group met with Rose Myers, a staff member in Congressman Richard Nugent`s office, and toured the Capitol. Rose, whose parents are former Cedar Key residents Jay and Colleen Myers, was a 2007 graduate of Cedar Key High School.
The UF exhibit can be viewed this fall at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
From left to right, Bobby Witt, Rose Myers, Leslie Sturmer, Ridley Reynolds, Chloe Reynolds, Linda Seyfert, and Chris Reynolds posed at the UF exhibit on clam farming at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival over the 4th of July holiday week.