Sowing Seeds of Knowledge
Last week included one of the highlights of my year. The Pottawatomie County Farm Bureau hosted its Day on the Farm for most of the fourth graders in the county. It was even more special because it was the first time we had hosted the event in three years. I look forward to this every year, and it was so good to get back in the swing of it this year.
It is the only Day on the Farm I have participated in, but I know many other counties host similar events or try to reach students in some form. Education has always been one of the cornerstones of Kansas Farm Bureau, and it is one of the most important things we do. We all know that those of us in agriculture are an ever-decreasing number and consumers are increasingly more separated from a close knowledge of what we do.
I consider Pottawatomie County to be close to agriculture, but I am always surprised at how little the students really know about what we do. This year I hosted a station where we talked about sheep. The students were excited and eager to learn about how sheep are raised. I led them through a typical year starting with when the sheep are born and going through when they are harvested.
I explained how we care for their every need. We talked about meat and wool. The students were enthralled, and I even had parents who a few questions, proving that you are never too old to learn. Of course, having three lambs to pet and look at did not hurt anything and, if I am honest, were the highlight of the station. I had also asked my friend Laney, a 4-Her and FFA member, to talk about her sheep (the three lambs were hers). It was good for the kids to see that someone closer to their age was also connected to agriculture.
I hope the fourth graders got a sense of what we do in agriculture from the day. All facets of farming and ranching were covered by people who make it their livelihoods by growing food. From livestock to grains, conservation to agri-business with a little farm safety thrown in for good measure. No pun intended, but the seed of knowledge about agriculture was planted and maybe someday something they learned yesterday will be remembered.
I must also come clean; I also get as much out of the day as the kids do. It reminds me of why I chose to go out every morning and do what I do. I love talking about the animals and crops that I raise, and it is truly a joy to share that with an eager audience. If you ever have a chance to help with an ag education event, I strongly encourage you to participate. I promise it will be worth every second.