Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield Thursday morning will participate in the "Great California ShakeOut an earthquake simulation exercise to raise awareness on earthquake preparedness.

Students and staff on campus drop and cover at 10:20 a.m., joining millions of others in California in one of the largest earthquake drills in the United States.

BC will activate its Incident Command Center, activate all fire alarms, and practice its emergency preparedness and evacuation plans.

At CSUB, staff, faculty and students should enroll or update their contact information in the CSUB alert portal at www.csub.edu/csubalert/.

The BC drill will result in minimal disruption to the neighborhoods surrounding the campus, officials said, and neighbors around the campus have been alerted.

Great California ShakeOut is produced by the Earthquake Country Alliance, a public-private partnership that includes the Southern California Earthquake Center, California Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, U.S. Geological Survey, American Red Cross, State Farm Insurance, and the California Earthquake Authority.

More information: www.ShakeOut.org.

Local farming and ranching company representatives will join Cal State Bakersfield administrators, faculty and students on Friday morning to celebrate the start of the new agriculture business program in the School of Business and Public Administration.

A press conference will be held at 9 a.m., followed by giveaways and informational booths for the public until noon in Runner Park, the lawn area between Science II and the student recreation center. Grimmway Farms will give out free carrots, and Paramount Farms and Tejon Ranch will give nuts.

The ag industry for years has been asking CSUB to create such a program, according to past Californian reports. Local students have been enrolling in similar programs at other California universities.

Local ag industries have guided CSUB in building the new program, and will provide internships to students.

Frontier High School will be collecting new and gently worn shoes through Oct. 29 to donate to Soles4Souls , a charity that distributes pairs of shoes to the needy throughout the world.

Shoes can be dropped off at the campus, 6401 Allen Road.

More information: Lisa Bolton at Frontier High, 829-1107, or www.giveshoes.org.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy will hold a forum for students interested in attending one of the U.S. service academies from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday in the supervisors' chambers at the county administrative center, 1115 Truxtun Ave.

The forum will allow students and parents to get information on the application process, academy life and career opportunities in the military.

The application procedure to receive a congressional nomination to one of the five academies will be discussed. Academy officers, visiting cadets and midshipmen from the academies will share information on life at an academy.

KGOV will air the forum live on its supported channels, and on its website, www.co.kern.ca.us/gsd/kgov/.

RSVP: 327-3611 or RSVP.McCarthy@mail.house.gov.

Two hundred California State University students, including some from Cal State Bakersfield , will be able to get hands-on water management experience through internships funding by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture starting Jan. 1.

The award will fund 50 internships per year for the next four years for students at CSU's 14 Hispanic-serving institutions, which includes CSUB. The grant aims to tackle the state's water woes, and to improve retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students the campuses, according to CSU.

The student interns could join the next generation of employed water professionals, according to CSU.

Internships range from assisting CSU professors with watershed research to working at the USDA or another agency that manages community water supplies. The CSU's Water Resources and Policy Initiatives consortium spearheaded the grant proposal.

The city of Bakersfield has joined 18 cities and counties in California and more than 150 others in the nation in an initiative aimed at improving reading among children.

The cities and counties -- which also include Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore -- will apply for the 2012 All-America City awards, which will go to those that develop the most comprehensive, realistic and sustainable plans to deal with three challenges: school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.

The award is given annually to 10 communities recognized for outstanding civic accomplishment, with an emphasis on innovation, inclusiveness and collaboration among community leaders.

Finalists will be selected by April, and the winners will be announced in June.

-- Jorge Barrientos, Californian staff

For more education news, go to The Californian's education blog, The Grade, at www.bakersfield.com/ thegrade or follow The Grade's Twitter at twitter.com/TBCTheGrade.