FARM DAY: Local students learn about agriculture hands-on

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pike County Farm Day at Cattleman Park Tuesday presented opportunities for 370 third-grade students from all schools in Pike County to enjoy a day on the farm.

Katie Thomas, Pike County Extension coordinator, said Farm Day had 100 percent participation from the local schools-Troy Elementary, Banks Primary, Pike Liberal Arts, Pike County Elementary, Goshen Elementary, New Life Christian and Covenant Christian.

“We were excited to have all third-grade classes in Pike County participating,” Thomas said. “The purpose of Farm Day is to expose these young students to what agriculture looks like in Pike County. Even though we live in a rural area, many of our young students have never touched a tractor or held a baby chicken or heard a pig squeal. For them, Farm Day was a new and unique experience.”

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While life of the farm is a daily occurrence for some Pike County kids, for others, perhaps for most, the hands-on experiences offered on Farm Day were eye-opening.

“Bacon comes from this?” one of the students asked as she gave the pig a sideward glance. “It does? Really?”

Goshen High School FFA students were among the station “conductors” and did an outstanding job of informing the third-graders about farm animals and the roles they play on the farm, said Cody Eiland, GHS Ag Academy.

“FFA students brought their farm animals and the third-graders had opportunities to, not only learn about the animals and their roles of the farm, but to also touch them,” Eiland said. “Seeing a cow or horse out in a pasture is nothing like having an opportunity to hear the sounds they make or getting a chance to actually touch them.”

A baby chick is fluffy and soft while a hen has stiff feathers and “scratchers that will scratch you.”

William Birdsong gave the third-graders an up-close look at peanuts that are used make a popular kid-spread, peanut butter, a cotton bolls that are filled with the fiber that is used to make shirts and jeans. Some third-graders were surprised to learn that peanuts are grown underground while cotton is a top crop. Lucie Edwards demonstrated how some

Pike County Farm Day featured 11 stations: Kubota, tractor safety; Roxanne Adams and Josh Ellio, NRCS, Soil Tunnel trailer, Forestry Commission, Smokey the Bear; Goshen Co-Op, spreader truck; Brandy Mount/Wayne Farms, baby chicks; William Birdsong, Cotton Gin; Lucy Edwards, Chemical Look-a-Likes; and the Goshen FFA stock of farm animals including a rabbit, pig, horse, goat, cow, rabbit and chickens.

A big “thank you” is due for the strong support Pike County Farm Day received from the local community—the presenters, volunteers and sponsors,” Thomas said.

The Pike County Extension Office and the Pike County Young Farmers took the lead on Pike Country Farm Day 2018 with strong support from Extension, Alabama A&M & Auburn Universities, Young Farmers of Alabama, ALFA Farmers, Kubota, Alabama Farm City Committee, Pike County Farm City Committee and Walmart.