Clad in plaid shirts and cowboy hats, the students at Fremont Elementary School spent the day learning about the importance of agriculture.
Local agriculture organizations from across Northern Nevada gathered at the elementary school to introduce and educate students on the importance of agriculture in America.
“We are here to educate kids Pre-K to 5th grade about agriculture, farms and ranching locally,” said Woody Worthington, president of the Douglas County and Carson City Farm Bureau Inc.
The students got the opportunity to visit different stations throughout the day learning about agriculture items from rabbits and cows to food group identification and native plant identification from the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Students were able to pet the different animals and play games at the different stations to learn about the different divisions of agriculture.
“It is fun, so they are learning and having fun so it is like they aren’t missing a day of class,” Worthington said. “...It is exciting for us for the students to learn things like where milk comes from because all industries depend on agriculture.”
The Ag Day organizers met with teachers so they all made sure the agriculture education lined up with the teacher’s curriculum.
“We realized that agriculture plays a big part in the economy and lifestyle of Northern Nevada,” said Fremont principal Casey Gilles. “The Farm Bureau was wonderful to give advice and resources to match the science standards.”
Gilles said though the Ag Day cost the students a day of formal instruction, it was worth it to give them a different kind of hands on learning and received nothing but positive responses by teachers and students.
“It’s an experience and we felt that it was important enough to give up a day of normal instruction to participate in,” Gilles said. “The students have been very excited and they are learning a lot and have been telling me all the information they learned that they didn’t know before.”
Gilles said it’s also important to expose students to different types of environments. A lot of students don’t get the opportunity to be exposed to ranches or farms and many have never seen a live chicken, Gilles said.
“It gives that type of life experience,” Gilles said.
Linda Huntsburger, member of the Western Nevada CattleWomen said they like getting to come and share with the students things about agriculture they didn’t know before. Huntsburger and Jessica Anderson worked with the kids to explain how beef by-product is incorporated in everyday life, such as makeup, baseball gloves and crayons.
“This reminds them that they aren’t as far removed from agriculture as they think they are,” Anderson said.
Anderson said it’s important for students to learn about agriculture because it helps them make educated decisions about agriculture when they’re older, such as voting for regulations with agriculture and getting the right information.
“Social media can give so much information whether it is correct or not, so it is good for them to learn early,” Anderson said. “Sometimes we think agriculture is all separate divisions, but everyone is reliant on everyone else and everything depends on agriculture.”
“We are all woven together,” Huntsburger added. “Agriculture is a threat that all binds us together.”
Huntsburger said the students love learning about agriculture.
“It just teaches the kids so much they didn’t even know about,” Huntsburger said. “Their little brains are just enlightened.”