The Juneteenth FINCA Fest had something for all ages to learn about agriculture and nature.

The Families Integrating Nature, Conservation and Agriculture (FINCA) Fest showcased Lincoln University’s greenhouses, along with area vendors and educators who work with plant life.

Theresa Prenger had a few things to share at her tent.

She asked attendees to vote for her in a national competition that will be featured in Taste of Home magazine with a prize of $25,000. She also shared her many pickles and flower-based jellies with guests.

She added she wanted to start a school out of her home in Wardsville in which she would teach often-lost skills like sewing, canning, gardening and home remedies.

She said she thought she might begin in the fall and said she’d like to connect with the Blair Oaks FFA about gardening.

A short distance away, attendees could visit farm animals like chickens and goats.

Gabriel Apple works with Lincoln Cooperative Extension and Research to share information about small ruminants, including goats and sheep. Apple said he looks at research from all across the country to determine best practices and share the key information with farmers. The goal is to take complicated information and make it more accessible.

He said a pasture management advisor program is also in the works. Advisors would come to a farm and offer advice on how to take care of their pasture better. It would also offer a “pasture yardstick” which, when placed on the ground, can calculate how many pounds of hay can be expected based on how much grass is visible and how much dirt is between the grass.

The Boys and Girls Club offered homemade jam and fruit leather, a type of fruit jerky. Jade Williams and Donna Stallings worked together to make the fruit leather by adding lemon juice and making a puree, then laying it out flat on wet paper and dehydrating it in an air fryer or oven. Williams said it took about six hours.

Some of the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp students went to visit other areas at FINCA Fest. Several crowded around and participated in a demonstration on how to build a raised garden bed.

There were also tours of the greenhouses, food, a tent by the Missouri Department of Conservation featuring ginger, and other native plants demonstrations.




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Cory W. MacNeil/News Tribune
Jim Wetzel, left, shows members of the Jefferson City Boys & Girls Club how to shell virile crayfish and white river crayfish on Thursday at the Juneteenth FINCA Fest at Lincoln University. After shelling and placing on ice, the crayfish were rolled in corn meal, fried and spiced to taste.





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Cory W. MacNeil/News Tribune
Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Lincoln University state extension specialist, shows plains coreopsis growing in the teaching greenhouse during Thursday’s Juneteenth FINCA Fest at Lincoln University.





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Cory W. MacNeil/News Tribune
Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Lincoln University state extension specialist, shows ground nut growing in the teaching greenhouse during Thursday’s Juneteenth FINCA Fest at Lincoln University.





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Cory W. MacNeil/News Tribune
Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, Lincoln University state extension specialist, shows perry mountain mint growing in the teaching greenhouse during Thursday’s Juneteenth FINCA Fest at Lincoln University. The leaves of the plant were used to make a tea shared with guests.