03/10/14 — Farming fun day planned for 2nd graders

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Farming fun day planned for 2nd graders

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 10, 2014 1:46 PM

Wayne County Public Schools second-graders will have the opportunity later this month to learn firsthand what farming is all about.

It is a lesson the event's sponsors hope the children will share with their families. Members of the county's state legislative delegation and the Wayne County Board of Education have been invited as well.

Wayne County commissioners also are expected to attend.

The free "We Dig It: Ag Days" program sponsored by the Wayne County Farm Bureau's Young Farmers and Ranchers will be March 21 at Odom Farming Co., 1426 Claridge Nursery Road, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This event is designed to provide students with an understanding of the importance of agriculture in their daily lives from the food they eat to the clothes they wear, said Milo Lewis, Farm Bureau field representative.

Students will move through stations including: ornamental horticulture, sweet potatoes, cotton, wheat, corn, beans, honey bees, forestry, dairy cattle, dairy goats, hogs, chickens and beef cattle.

FFA students from across the county will receive training to teach the students at each of the stations, Miss Lewis said.

The Farm Bureau is a nonprofit organization created to provide a voice for farmers to elected officials and puts money back into the community to achieve the mission it was founded on, she said.

Other communities have had Young Farmers and Ranchers organizations for some time, Miss Lewis said.

Wayne County's chapter formed last September.

It is a way for its members to fellowship, have programs and speakers, she said.

"They are also asked to become involved in their community," Miss Lewis said. "They were asked to think of ideas for community programs."

One member recalled a program from years ago when he and other school children visited the state-operated Cherry Farms. The "We Dig It: Ag Days" grew from that conversation, she said.

It will complement the Farm Bureau's agriculture in the classroom program, which teachers can use to incorporate agriculture in their lesson plans, Miss Lewis said.

That program meets the standard course of study requirements, she said.

There will be 11 different stations the second-graders will visit including ones for corn and beans

The children pass by bean and corn fields all of the time, but don't understand what they are, Miss Lewis said.

In fact, many people today are so far removed from the farm that even the parents don't understand, she said.

"Food just doesn't come from the grocery store. We want to make them more familiar with (agriculture)."

Miss Lewis said the hope is the conversation will continue after the program and that the children will talk to their siblings and parents.

"(The children) are the future elected officials so it is important that they know where food comes from," she said. "But we don't need to just educate the kids, we need to educate parents who are the voters now. We need for them to think about how food gets to the market."