“We’re holding an agriculture day for fourth-graders in the Graves County Schools,” said Graves County Conservation District administrative secretary Erica Marshall one recent October day. “This year we have about 120 students from Wingo, Fancy Farm, and Lowes in the morning. In the afternoon, we have about 110-115 from Sedalia and Central elementary schools.”
Even though Graves County ranks among the top five counties statewide in agriculture income, many elementary school-aged children in Graves County never have visited a farm, Marshall said. Organizers designed the special day to allow those students to see specific aspects of agriculture and its effect on their lives.
Teachers led their students from one of eleven different stations on to the next by periodically moving ahead when a horn sounded. Topics included animals, a cow milking machine, big tractors, crop field drainage, farm safety, growing soy beans, and more.
Presenting at each of the stations were volunteers from various businesses and organizations as well as Graves County High School students involved in FFA and earning community service hours.
Volunteers included representatives of CFSB and FNB banks and River Valley Ag Credit.
Among the most popular stations was the miniature animal farm Shawn Harper of the Adult Agriculture and Young Farmer Program in Graves County presented.
Wingo fourth-grader Zoie Gibson is nearly eye-level with Shawn Harper’s alpaca. Both Gibson and Lowes student Harley Traylor (foreground) seem to be entranced by the animal.
Sedalia student Jewelious Smith (left) grits his teeth as he tries his hand at milking a model cow, as classmate Jaysean Chambers clearly finds his friend’s efforts entertaining.
(photos by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)