Farm Day draws students

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ngoc Vo /Messenger

More than 400 third-graders are attending the annual Pike County Farm Day to learn about agriculture and farming on Thursday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

According to Jessica Morris, chair of Pike County Young Farmers, the participating students are from Pike County Elementary School, Goshen Elementary School, Troy Elementary School, Covenant Christian School, Pike Liberal Arts School, Banks Junior High School, and New Life Christian Academy.

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Pike County Farm Day is hosted by Pike County Young Farmers, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association – Cattleman Park, Pike County Extension Office, and Pike County Soil & Water Conservation District.

This year Farm Day is the biggest one the organizers ever hosted, Morris said.

“It is the first time Pike County Young Farmers is partnering with the Pike County Cattlemen Association,” Morris said. “This year, through collaboration, we are bringing things that we have not been able to before.”

Morris said the event has been made larger with the Cattlemen park arena as the venue. The past farm days, the organizers had to travel to different schools to do their presentations. This year, they have a site for a large group of students to come together.

There will be 11 stations including ones for cotton, corn, peanuts, show calves, goats, horses, tractors and soil tunnel trailer. Pike County high school students from the 4-H Youth Council will lead the third-graders through the station rotation. School officials and parents will also be at the event as chaperones.

According to Morris, at each station, there will be people experienced in the field to offer students demonstration and explanation. The students will not only observe the presentations but also participate in hands-on activities.

The program allows the third-graders to handle the animals, gin cotton, use tractors and walk through a demonstration trailer.

“The student will also learn about chemical safety and food safety,” Morris said. “After (farm day), students should be able to identify most of the agriculture that is going on in Pike County. I think (the event) will connect the students to the land and let them see and appreciate a part of the agriculture community.”

Morris said because this event is on such a large scale, the roles of sponsors and volunteers are very important.

“We cannot have an event as great as this without the (sponsors) contributing their time, equipment and knowledge,” Morris said.

The sponsors for Farm Day are the Alabama Farmers Federation, The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Wayne Farms, Agriculture Academy, Pike County 4-H, Alabama Peanut Producers Association, Kubota and South Alabama Electric Co-op.