• 66°

FARM DAY FUN: Local students get hands-on look at farm life

Sometimes 450 third-graders seem like 4,500 but not on Pike County Farm Day. The third-grade students were as attentive as mice in church from beginning to end of their day on the farm.

Each year, all third grade students in Pike County are invited to participate in Pike County Farm Day at Cattleman Park. On Tuesday, students from Goshen, Pike County, Troy, Pike Liberal Arts and Covenant Christian elementary schools attended the annual Farm Day event and participated in hands-on activities that simulated farm life.

Pike County Farm Day is an event of the Pike County Young Farmers with support from the Alabama Young Farmers of Alabama, Alabama Extension Service, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, SunSouth, Alfa Farmers, and the Alabama Farm City Committee.

Ali Grace Eiland, Pike County Young Farmers president, said Pike County Farm Day is designed to give young students an opportunity to experience what a day on the farm is like.

“Although Pike County is considered a rural area, many children never actually spend time on a farm,” Eiland said. “Pike County Farm Day exposes the students to the different aspect of farm life and to agriculture. They have opportunities to see farm animals up close and to learn more about the animals and the role they play on a farm.”

The third-graders learned about cows, horses, goats and chickens from students in the Ag Academy at Goshen High School and from members of Future Farmers of America.

“As the students become more aware of what farm life is like, hopefully their interest in agriculture will be peaked and they will begin to realize the huge role that agriculture plays in our everyday lives,” Eiland said.

Linda Newman agreed that Pike County Farm Day opens the gates to the farm for many third graders who participate.

“I’ve been driving third-graders to Farm Day for several years and they are always excited to be coming to ‘the farm,’” she said. “Just because children live in the country doesn’t mean that they know a lot about farm life. Because we have a lot of commercial chicken houses in the county, more children are familiar with that aspect of farming but they don’t know about yard chickens and gathering eggs. They don’t know a lot about the crops that farmers grow and what has to be done to make a crop successful.

“They might live in the country but they don’t live on farms. Now days, children have to leave home to see what they saw today.”

And what they saw will make a lasting impression on some of the children. And Eiland said hopefully their interest will be peaked and they will continue to want to know more about life of the farm and those who live it.
Eiland express appreciation to the presenters at Pike County Farm Day 2017: Deborah Huggins-Davis/Soil and Water Conservation, Soil Tunnel Trailer; Lucy Edwards/Extension, Chemical Look-a-Likes; Emily Rolling/Extension, Skins & Skulls; Katie Thomas/Extension, Farm Technology; Jessica Morris/USDA, Tractor Safety; Pike Agriscience Academy Students, Cattle, Horses & More; Brandon Dillard/Extension, Cotton; Gavin Mauldin/Extension, Corn; Jimmy Jones/Extension, Peanuts; Brandy Mount/Wayne Farms, Chickens/Poultry Farming; and Alabama Forestry Commission, Smokey the Bear/Forestry.