The annual Agriculture Adventures Day, sponsored by Scioto County Farm Bureau and The Ohio State University Extension of Scioto County, allows students to learn the value of agriculture in everyday life.
Loretta McClure, president of the local Farm Bureau, said Ag Adventures Day focuses on educating children about farm animals and products grown in Scioto County, plus providing a hands-on approach to teach them about agriculture.
While students had an opportunity to learn about topics ranging from bees to goats, another of the day's highlights was an announcement of the winner of the T-shirt design for Ag Adventures Day, selected by Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree, Skip Riffe and Tom Reiser.
Leanne Fuhrmann, program coordinator, announced the winners, which included the top three, plus honorable mention.
The winner was Aleigha Cruitt, a fourth-grader at Valley Elementary. Other winners were Lydia Williams, second, and Brooklyn White, third, also students from Valley. Honorable mention certificates were given to Madisyn Dillow, Valley; Aimee Blankenship, Oak Hill; Eli Harr, Valley; Abbie Harris, Rubyville; Holly Tomlison, Valley; and Jonathan Major, Notre Dame.
Kim Harless, organizational director for the Farm Bureau, said the idea for the T-shirt design contest, which is in its fourth year, was to see what the students' perception of agriculture means and get them involved with an art contest.
Among the many stations for the students to learn was Chaos Hollow Bee Farm on Tick Ridge Road in Wheelersburg, owned and operated by husband and wife, Wyatt Bates and Pat Pekar.
"The main point we want to make to the kids is that bees are very important to pollination and that one out of every three bites of food we take is because a bee pollinated something that made it," Pekar said.
She also told the students honey is an important food source and is the only food that does not spoil.
"It's the only food we eat that is made by insect," she said.
The demonstration also included using a smoker to show how to handle bees.
Jenny Richards, naturalist at Shawnee State Forest, talked with students about the importance of snakes to farmers, telling them snakes eat rats, mice and other rodents, which helps farmers save their crops.
She was impressed with the group as students answered correctly a question about what snakes eat and why they stick out their tongues - "To smell," the group said.
"They already know the benefits of snakes in an agriculture situation," Richards said.
Paul Fuhrmann, of Fuhrmann Orchards in Wheelersburg, displayed hydrophonic lettuce, which he explained, is growing lettuce in water.
"It's cleaner, healthier lettuce, because it's not grown in the soil," Fuhrmann said.
The process is called "controlled environmental agriculture," he said. "There's no grit, like when you buy leaf lettuce in the store and get that grit from California."
Other community leaders also shared their knowledge on a variety of topics, including nutrition, bio-fuels, water quality, sheep, poultry and eggs, and llamas and horses.
To top off the day, students enjoyed a hayride conducted by Bill Lewis, a member of the Farm Bureau.
DEBORAH DANIELS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 234.