Pike County farming is ‘hands on’ experience

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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Pike County prides itself in its agricultural heritage and the continuing role agriculture plays in today’s world.

Even though the county is deep-rooted in its red clay soil, there are many youngsters who have not experienced everyday life on the farm.

But, through the efforts of the Pike County Extension Office, Young Farmers of Alabama and the Pike County Farm City Committee, each year third graders throughout Pike County have the opportunity to spend a day at the farm.

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On Tuesday, the local agriculture associations hosted the annual 3rd Grade Farm Day at the Pike County Cattlemen’s Park which is designed to teach young Pike County students the importance of agriculture and provide them with hands-on farm experiences.

Abby Peters, Pike County Extension coordinator, said more than 300 third-graders from Banks, Pike County Elementary, Troy Elementary, Pike Liberal Arts and Covenant Christian attended.

“We were not able to hold this event last year, so we were excited to be back this year,” Peters said. “We had 13 stations setup for the students to rotate throughout the day and learn about life on the farm.”

Goshen FFA provided cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and ducks for the students to see, pet, and learn how they are taken care of. Students visited the Soil Tunnel Trailer and were able to see where turtles, snakes, moles, and such make their homes.

“Smokey Bear was also in attendance to teach the students about forest fires and the three things it takes to start a forest fire – fuel, oxygen, and heat,” Peters said. “The third-graders enjoyed the chemical look-a-like game. They guessed which bottle contained a harmless liquid and which was a harmful chemical. The students learned that it’s difficult to tell one from the other. That’s why it’s so important to label bottles and containers.”

Peters said 3rd Grade Farm Day 2021 was a hands-on learning experience and the teachers, as well as the students, had an enjoyable, learning field trip to the “farm.”

The Pike County Farm Day stations were hosted by Capital Tractor/Kubota – Tractor Safety; National Resources Conservation Service, Soil Tunnel Trailer; Goshen FFA, cattle, horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, etc.; Forestry Commission, Smokey Bear; Brandy Mount/Wayne Farms, baby chicks; Jessica Kelton, ACES, – Cotton Gin; Goshen Co-Op – Spreader Truck, and Megan Jones and David Koon, ACES, Chemical look-a-likes.

Nathan McCall with Capital Tractor taught the students about tractor safety on the farm.

The sponsors of Farm Day include Alabama Extension, Young Farmers of Alabama, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, ALFA, Kubota and Alabama Farm-City Committee.

Thanks were given all around to the many who made 3rd Grade Farm Day 2021 a successful day of learning and fun and to the teachers and their schools for the role they played in providing a day on the farm for 300 kids.