Barry County Extension 4-H attracts and educates 577 youth in one day

The 6th Annual Ag Awareness Day took place May 12, 2011 at the Barry County Expo Center. Participating in the event were 577 third-grade students from area schools, 115 teachers and chaperones, and 100 presenters and helpers.

The 6th Annual Ag Awareness Day took place May 12, 2011 at the Barry County Expo Center. Participating in the event were 577 third-grade students from area schools (Thornapple Kellogg, Delton Kellogg, Maple Valley, St. Rose of Lima and Hastings Elementary), 115 teachers and chaperones, and 100 presenters and helpers.

Beekeeping

The program – which aligned with the Michigan Curriculum Framework standards and benchmarks – provided agricultural awareness and informed students about food and product origin. Topics for this year’s 23, 20-minute classes included:

  • Ag ecology
  • Animals (including beef and dairy cattle, goats, horses, poultry, rabbits, sheep and swine) and their nutrition
  • Corn fieldATV safety
  • Beekeeping and entomology
  • Crops and gardening
  • Dairy robotics
  • Felting and fiber
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Large and small veterinary science

The event also featured a petting zoo and rides in a draft horse-drawn wagon.

ChickensWhile the majority of the animal classes were taught by 4-H members, other presenters included professionals from Michigan State University,Kellogg Biological Station, feed and seed companies and local businesses. Future Farmers of America (FFA) members served as guides for each classroom. Teacher’s evaluations indicated they found this to be a high-quality youth program.

Karen and Larry Ferris, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, the Hastings Ponderosa Steak House and Walmart provided funding for the day. Barry County MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development (especially Kathy Walters-Surratt, Extension educator), Hastings FFA, area schools and Barry County Farm Bureau organized the event.

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