Miami County, IN - Rainy weather didn’t stop a day of agricultural education Friday.
Fourth grade students from across Miami County gathered at the 4-H Fairgrounds for Ag Day, an annual event hosted by the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District. There were 13 stations which students rotated between, including topics such as dairy and beef cattle, soybeans, farm machinery, apples and bees, and Maconaquah and North Miami high schools’ FFA programs.
Dawn Baker, Maconaquah High School FFA Faculty Advisor supervised some of her FFA students as they showed a mixture of personal animals, Baker’s animals, and the FFA program’s animals.
She said in today’s society, it’s easy to lose sight of the food chain.
“(The students) have become disconnected to the point that they don’t know where their food comes from at all,” Baker said. “We’re trying to provide that basic information firsthand. By showing the animals and teaching about where it all starts.”
She said it’s good for the FFA students to volunteer and educate younger students, too.
“Anytime they can get out in the community and help educate other children of Miami County, it gives them experience that they can take with them,” she said. “It gives them life skills that they can use later on.”
MHS sophomores Skylar Corn and Abby Spence showed Mini Rex rabbits and taught the younger students about the breed. For example, male rabbits are called bucks and female rabbits are called does. Spence and Corn also allowed the fourth graders to pet the rabbits, and they demonstrated the proper way to hold a rabbit to keep them calm.
Spence said, “I enjoy them getting to learn about the rabbits and everything we do in FFA.”
Corn agreed. She attended Ag Day as a fourth grader several years ago.
“It rained like crazy, just like today,” Corn said with a laugh. “I’d seen animals before, but I didn’t have much hands-on experience with them before.”
She credits Ag Day as a fourth grader for being a big part of her involvement in FFA as a high school student and her desire to be a veterinarian who works with livestock in the future.
Maconaquah Elementary School fourth grade students Colton Beebe and Noelle Farthing enjoyed the day and found it educational.
Beebe said his favorite station was the soil and water station, where he learned about watersheds.
“There was a lot of geography involved in it,” he said.
Farthing said at the ice cream station, she was surprised to learn that the most popular flavor of ice cream is vanilla.
“I would have guessed chocolate, but my personal favorite is vanilla with nothing on it,” she said.
Although the two were put off by learning that gelatin is made from pigs, Farthing said it is important to be educated when it comes to agriculture because “It provides all of our food.”