Third graders see ag in action

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Farm Forum

As strange as it seems, not all South Dakotans have been to a farm.

That’s why about 80 third-graders from C.C. Lee Elementary School traveled to Kippley Farms to get the full experience on Aberdeen’s north side.

“I thought it would be much smaller,” said Erika Johnson, who had never been to a farm before.

Rachel Kippley offered to use her farm as a place to tour after her third-grade son, Noah, told her that many of the kids in his class didn’t know anything about farming.

“I was surprised by how many kids hadn’t been exposed to agriculture,” Kippley said. “Third grade is a perfect time to have them come, because they are so curious and ask so many questions. I really think that it’s important that kids get this exposure and know where their food is coming from, along with understand why this is such a big industry in our state.”

The children experienced different jobs, from feeding a calf to running cattle through a chute. They also learned about hay bales, how to load a semi and why farmers keep donkeys on a farm.

Along with cows, one kid, obviously a first-timer, wanted to see dragons as well.

The children were excited to talk about their experiences.

“My favorite thing was feeding the baby cows,” said farm first-timer Isabella Kraig.

Jaxon Ladner, one of the few students who had been to a farm before, said he liked petting the cattle.

Not everyone was excited about the trip though.

“I liked the beginning when we weren’t stepping in any poop,” said third-grader Avery Beyers, who’s also never experienced the farm life.

Even though the farm was a bit stinky, “I think kids would have fun,” Erika said. “They can run around and climb the hay bales and look at the clouds and stuff.”

Kippley said that, other than the smell, she got positive feedback from the kids. She said this trip is something that she will continue to do.

“We will absolutely keep the offer out there to any school that wants to use us,” Kippley said. “I just think it’s so important that kids are getting this exposure.”