Wednesday was the 25th Kids Ag Day in Barton County. For 23 of those years, the event was held on an area farm. This year, and apparently one previous year, Kids Ag Day was held at the Great Bend Expo Complex because it was too wet to go to a farm and more rain was likely. The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Kids Ag Day Committee has always had the foresight to have the Expo ready as a contingency site, and so the event went off without a hitch.
Some 370 fourth graders from area schools spent the day “on the farm.” They went on hay rides and saw tractors and farm animals. They learned about beekeeping, veterinary care, conservation and all things agricultural.
They watched a horse being shoed, and even though they were told this does not hurt the horse, we’re told a few of the children were skeptical. (For the record, metal horseshoes are there to protect the horse’s hooves. The nails go into the hard part of the hoof and, if done right, it does not hurt the horse.)
Some elements of Kids Ag Day haven’t changed much since this event was created a quarter-century ago. Sponsors know that even in this county that depends on agriculture, many children and adults don’t know a lot about the subject. There’s a lot to learn about how food is produced, how nature must be protected and how there are many opportunities for future careers in this field. It doesn’t hurt to remind people, as presenters did Wednesday, that there are reasons to “Thank a Farmer.”
Kids Ag Day is always fun for the participants and worth the time away from the classroom.