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 400 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, its importance to our local economy and daily living.
“We look forward to Kids Ag Day every year,” David Leroy, the Great Bend Chamber Agriculture Committee chairman said. “It is a great opportunity for children to get a first hand look on how a farm operates and how it plays a part of their life.”
At the farm there were 12 stations set up for the students to visit in small groups to get a behind the scenes look at the farm. Some of these stations included: beekeeping, horseshoeing, conservation, ag trivia, how to be a cowboy, drone demonstration, machinery on the farm and how it has changed over the years, fertilizer and herbicides and tractor rides out to the crop fields and to each station on the farm.
This event has taken place now for over 24 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 and this year there were students from Otis Bison and Central Plains and a group of home schooled students.
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, National Ag Day was created 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. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States.