Watching our kids become more involved in the farm sparked our excitement to share this passion and love for agriculture with the next generation. We want to share our knowledge with kids and teach them where their food comes from. Social media can sometimes give some untrue views of agriculture. We feel that giving kids the correct information early can provide them with a solid foundation.
We partner with Ag in the Classroom and host 4 schools from the area. The focus is to teach the kids about planting and seeding, the equipment farmers use, what the seed needs to grow and how to protect it. This includes explaining soil health and fertility, seed identification, as well as crop management and pests. The kids get to plant their own plants and feel the soil. We also bring in different animals to explain the parts of an animal and how they work, how to treat them and what kind of food we get from that animal.
It is an amazing feeling to see kids so excited to learn about agriculture and shocking how little a lot of the kids knew about their food and farming when they live in a rural community. Over 25% of the kids had never been to a farm. I have kids come up to me excited and can't wait to learn more about farming.
Another large focus of our food farm is Farm Safety. In the spring we talked about PTO’s, we had a straw man that we put into the pto to demonstrate what would happen if they got caught in one. This was eye opening for the kids as they did not know how powerful the machine was. We also talked about lawn mower safety and did a chemical look alike activity.
It was a no brainer that we would do a fall food farm and continue the process of teaching them how the food gets to their plate. We did a half day in the September and although It was a cold rainy it did not slow down the kids or our volunteers. The kids were now able to learn about harvesting the grain as they got to put the wheat into a mini combine. They were able to roll out canola seeds and see the oil that comes from the seed. Putting together now that when they put margarine on their toast, that those products are grown in their backyard. The tomatoes, potatoes, and onions they planted in the spring could now be harvested by them. We talked about GMO’s what they are and demonstrated with lego how genes are exchanged to make the plant stronger.
In the fall we try to focus the safety on the season. We had gloves filled with pasta sauce and demonstrated what would happen if their limbs got caught in a belt or auger. When they got to the station there were more than a few kids that were not afraid of what the auger could do. Their reaction to the demonstration was enough to know they will now think twice. Grain drowning was the other safety topic. It was scary how many kids thought it would be fun to sink down in a pile of grain. We then showed the kids what happens to their lungs when their body is surrounded with grain. This year we are adding power line safety.
We both find these days so rewarding. To share our farm and love for agriculture with these kids.