The importance of agriculture won't be forgotten by Polk youth anytime soon thanks to Farm Day.
Elementary schools across the county were invited to the local fairgrounds where animals, technology, and produce were used to highlight the impact farming and producing has on nearly aspect of life. That's the goal of the Polk County Farm Bureau-sponsored Farm day, which celebrated its 33rd year with the help of many organizations.
While the kids certainly enjoyed interacting with the chickens, goats, and other animals present, the knowledge they gained about the creatures peaked their interest just as much.
From how many pounds of chicken the average person eats to what sheep like to eat, students left with a much stronger understanding of their favorite animals.
“I liked touching sheep wool for the first time,” student Alex Green said. “It was a whole lot softer than I thought.”
Animals didn't hog the spotlight, however, and tables were set up to showcase the importance of produce. Event volunteer and senior 4-Her Dalton Ely showcased how corn and wheat are used in popular cereals before explaining that cotton is an essential part of the clothes we wear.
“We show agriculture to kids to give them a little insight into the most important parts of growing and the agricultural process,” Ely said. “Without agriculture, you wouldn't have food, you wouldn't have shirts, you wouldn't have any common necessities if it weren't for agriculture. So, I think teaching kids about agriculture is a great way to show the importance of it.”
One station taught the importance of tractors and how modern technology affects the farming process. The giant vehicle served to capture the interest of those that weren't particularly interested in animals, and the prospect of being able to drive one in the future is sure to keep youth interested in becoming a farmer.
A combination of FFA members (Future Farmers of America,) 4-H members, and school staff helped make the event possible. After rotating between stations and learning the ins and outs of the subjects, the May 1 field trip ended with the students being treated to ice cream- another product made possible only through agriculture.