Although summer is a time for relaxation and unwinding between school years, it does not mean all events and activities have stopped on campus. For two more times this summer, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will host its East Campus Discovery Days and Farmer’s Market

The three-time event, which kicked off June 12, will continue July 10 and Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families, UNL affiliates and anyone who wishes to attend can make their way to East Campus for a day filled with science, learning, discovery and food. 

These events give the East Campus community the opportunity to grow and connect with the rest of the Lincoln community, Vice-Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Mike Boehm said.  

“East Campus Discovery Days and Farmer’s Market connect our campus to our producers, to our neighbors here in Lincoln,” Boehm said in an emailed statement. “It’s a natural extension of our outreach, and I’m thrilled to offer this series of events this year.”

Though the summer event series has already kicked off, organizers like Jessie Brophy, director of external engagement and government relations in IANR, said the first one went better than planned.  

“As far as the attendance, it absolutely exceeded my expectations,” Brophy said. “We just had an incredible turnout for the first event. I was actually a little bit delightfully surprised at the number of people who turned out.” 

All three days include a wide range of students running booths and activities, including Big Red Resilience & Well-Being, UNL Bee Lab, Biological Systems Engineering and much more. 

Katherine LaTourrette, a graduate student studying complex biosystems, was one of many students who volunteered on June 12. She said it was great to talk with community members while volunteering at the event. 

“It’s a really great experience to get to outreach with the community and build those types of communications skills,” she said. 

LaTourrette said she interacted with visitors, answered questions and provided information about plant pathology to attendees. The plant pathology booth, which will also be at the next two events, had different plant samples for people to look at through microscopes, allowed people to ask questions about their own plants and showed people what different plant pathogens look like, according to LaTourrette.

In addition, attendees can eat at a variety of food trucks, visit the International Quilt Museum, bowl for free at the new Husker Bowling Center, enjoy live music and shop along the East Campus Mall, which will be filled with local vendors selling their products, according to Brophy. Husker Pantry will also be on-site to collect donations, and a half-mile fun run for kids will take place at the July event. 

The days are free for anyone who wants to attend, Brophy said, with free parking available for both vendors and attendees. Those who would like to be a vendor at one of the future dates can apply online

The East Campus Discovery Days and Farmer’s Market events allow the “food campus” to show off what the university and the state of Nebraska have to offer, Boehm said. 

“We spend each day thinking about sustainably producing food, fuel feed and fiber for a growing world,” Boehm said. “We think about farmers and ranchers and consumers and how they are all interconnected.”