“The purpose of our program is to teach how agriculture affects everyone’s lives,” Program Coordinator Leanne Fuhrmann said. “Many students are so far removed from the farm now these days that they don’t even know where the simplest things come from, like milk.“
Students sat fascinated as a goat was milked. Megan Goodman, a 9-year-old from Wheelersburg took a direct drink, much to the delight of her classmates.
“We don’t have a lot of people in our country that drink goats milk, but in the world, it is the largest milk that is consumed,” Fuhrmann said.
Fuhrmann said the children were shown that even things most people wouldn’t consider, such as cosmetics and other household items have agricultural products in them, during a label-reading session.
“They become familiar with the grains that are produced in our region through the grains sessions and other types of alternative agriculture that people are not familiar with,” Fuhrman said.
Jenny Richards, a naturalist at Shawnee State Park was, again this year, a big hit with several snakes she brought out. The children took the opportunity to pet the snakes and get a lesson on their importance to agriculture.
“The snakes eat the rats and the mice and other things that might be there,” Fuhrmann said.
Alternative segments of the day included an ag career session tracing the roots of ice cream from the producer to the consumer, which highlighted careers, such as that of a graphic designer, the person who designs the new flavors of ice cream, the food scientist who makes sure it’s a safe, healthy product, and those involved in consumer packaging, even the taste testers.
“Agriculture is the largest producing economic division in our state,” Fuhrmann said. “And without it people wouldn’t eat, and a lot of small businesses support their local communities with a lot of jobs and such.”
Fuhrmann said 578 students participated in this year’s event.
The event was co-sponsored by Scioto County Farm Bureau and OSU Extension, with the help of area farmers and other agriculture-related businesses.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.