MARICOPA — Farm Science Day at the Arid-Land Research Center, operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is canceled this year following USDA’s recent advisory to avoid all non-essential gatherings. The event was scheduled for March 21.
“Cancelling our event is in the best interest of protecting the health of our staff and volunteers, and citizens in Maricopa and surrounding communities,” wrote Steve Naranjo, director of the research center, in an email. “We could reschedule for a later date but, given the uncertainty of the current COVID-19 situation, that is not tenable.”
Fears surrounding the virus have caused cancellations of major festivals around the country, including Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. Meanwhile, Maricopans have depleted the stores of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and facial masks in a bid to keep themselves healthy.
It's the latest in a string of bad luck, as the original date for the event in February was postponed due to rain.
Naranjo hopes that next year’s event will be free of some of the issues they’ve faced the last three years putting on the event. Last year’s event was canceled due to a government shutdown, and the year previously was rained out.
“We will re-group and put on a stellar event in 2021,” he concluded in his email.