By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — ELNORA — Students at North Daviess Elementary got an up close look at the agriculture industry Friday during the annual third grade Ag Day event held at the high school.
Third graders were able to spend about 10 minutes at each of the 10 different stations placed throughout the agriculture department. Members of the North Daviess High School Future Farmers of America managed each of the stations where students learned about different types of soil, fish and other livestock, safety around horses, as well as horticulture, ATV and tractor safety as well as other aspects of the industry.
“We’ve been doing this for about 30 years,” said teacher and FFA advisor Gary Stuckey. “It’s really evolved over the years.”
In the early years, Stuckey said the students and exhibitors would pack up their materials and travel to each of the elementary schools. “We’ve also done a video, and held the event in a barn-- all the kids were bused in from each of the schools. It’s a lot easier now that we just have to bring the kids up the hill,” Stuckey said with a laugh.
The agriculture area was bustling as the students maneuvered from station to station, dodging a bearded hen turkey, owned by FFA member and chapter reporter Jessa Newby.
Newby, carefully picking up a baby chick from a box located under a heat lamp, brought in several types of poultry she raises to show the third graders. Orginally from Kansas, Newby said her family has raised several different kinds of birds over the years including peacocks and guineafowl.
“I worked Ag Day last year and I loved it,” she said. “I’m really hoping the kids get interested in agriculture and FFA after seeing this today. There’s a lot of really fun things we do and having animals teaches responsibility.”
In edition to explaining the different types of poultry in the exhibit, Newby told the students that all of her birds lay large eggs that she sells. “We sell turkey eggs as well,” Newby added.
Due to limited space, some stations were positioned outside. Angel McDowell and her father Lloyd, were outside with their two horses, explaining horse safety.
“I went to Ag Day when I was in third grade. I remember the horses more than anything else,” said Angel, smiling as she rubbed the nose of one her horses. “I was really excited to be able to bring mine today to share with the kids.”
Kara Hart may have had one of the nosiest stations of the day. Hart was positioned atop a John Deere tractor, complete with horn. “They (the kids) love to honk the horn,” said Hart. “My dad, Allen, got up early this morning to bring the tractor down from Wright Implement in Newberry.”
Hart said she vividly remembers her experience at Ag Day too. “I was so excited. I think my dad was able to come that year. I just loved it and I hope these kids enjoy coming as much as I did. They can learn so much. I hope it’s a memorable experience for them.”
Elementary students also had a chance to meet with cowboy Marvin Wild and learn about FFA and all it offers its members.