With the celebration of National Agriculture week, local farmers along with volunteers, the Great Bend Chamber Agriculture Committee and Diamond K Farm hosted Kids Ag day on Wednesday.
Over 350 area 4th graders had the opportunity to spend a day on a working farm for exploration and education, with the primary goal of helping students gain a better understanding of the agriculture industry and its importance to our local economy.
“This event is very important to the students; they get an understanding where their food comes from. They also get to learn how a farm works and how it produces different products,” David Leroy, the Great Bend Chamber Agriculture Committee chairman said.
At the farm there were different stations set up for the students to visit in small groups to get a behind-the-scenes look at the farm. These stations included: beekeeping, petting zoo, horseshoeing, conservation, ag trivia, how to be a cowboy and drone demonstration. The students got around to these stations by a tractor hay ride.
“This is one of the kids favorite events during the school year,” Leroy said. “The teachers are always telling me this is their favorite day and they don’t want to be sick or absent from school on this day.”
This event has taken place now for over 23 years and works to improve the agricultural literacy of children in Barton County. According to Leroy there are four farms that they use for this event and they are looking to expand this to include more local farms.
Everyone from the Chamber of Commerce and area businesses to the Barton County Farm Bureau and area farmers helps plan and lend a hand. FFA students from Great Bend High school and Ellinwood bring their animals on their own dime and provide a petting zoo while discussing their livestock.
National Ag Day
According to agday.org, It’s a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
The Agriculture Council of America hosts the campaign on a national level. However, the awareness efforts in communities across America are as influential if not more than the broad-scale effort.
Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training.
By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America is encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.
Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people. A dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s. Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States.