Students learn farm life hands-on
Published 4:00 am Friday, October 9, 2015
More than 400 third-grade students from around the county participated in the 2nd Annual Farm Day at Thursday at Cattleman Park.
Students from Troy, Pike County, Goshen and Bank elementary schools, Pike Liberal Arts School and New Life Christian visited11 different stations where they were introduced or re-introduced to farm life and farm production.
Farm City Day was sponsored by the Pike County Extension Office, Pike County Young Farmers’ Committee, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association and the Pike County Farm- City Committee.
Jessica Morris, Pike County Young Farmers president, said Farm Day is designed to bring greater awareness of farm life and to the important role farm families play in the daily lives of all people.
“We want the students to know how important our farmers are to our daily lives,” Morris said. “We want them to know where our food and fiber come from and what life would be like without our agricultural community.”
Morris said the students learned about tractor safety, soil and water conservation, forestry, row crops, farmyard animals and poultry.
“Farm Day is a great learning experience for children who have no connection to the farm and, for the others, there is always something new to learn,” she said.
Randy Hale, Farm-City Committee chair, said all children need to be better educated about the production of the country’s food and fiber.
“So few people now live on the farm and, for many, there is little knowledge about farm production,” he said. “There are some children, even around here, that don’t know where their food comes from and we need to change that. Farm Day is about changing that.”
Most of the third-graders were drawn to the animals and that’s to be expected said Heath Wesley, Pike County Extension coordinator.
“Kids love animals but some of them don’t have the opportunity to get close to a horse or a cow or feed a goat or hold a rabbit so Farm Day is a real treat for them,” Wesley said. “But, they also learned about the crops that are grown in Pike County – cotton, corn and peanuts. They learned how the crops are grown and about the many uses for them. They learned about soil and water conservation, chemical safety and germs. Farm Day was a fun and educational day. It was very worthwhile for all of us.”
Cody Eiland and Jamie Rich, instructors at the Pike Ag Science Academy in Goshen said it also was a learning experience for the academy students who assisted at the stations.
“Farm Day was a hands-on learning experience in leadership,” Eiland said. “The students had opportunities to instruct the younger kids and they experienced one-on-one interaction with them. It was a good experience all around for the ag-academy students.”
Jeannetta Scott, TES, said she is very familiar farm life and its value.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t sit inside watching TV or playing video games,” she said. “I was outside playing like children need to be doing. Today was a good opportunity for them to be outside and learn about farm life in a hands-on way.”
Scott, laughingly, said she even learned a thing or two.
“I didn’t know that paper money is made with cotton,” she said. “You never get too old to learn.”