The Planted Row: Spreading the word about agriculture

Stan Wise
Farm Forum

by Stan Wise

Farm Forum Editor

One of my favorite things to do is promote the activities of the Aberdeen-area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee. This group of dedicated individuals works hard to promote agriculture in our area. The committee works to inform youths about ag, provide those young people with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and hard work, bring producers and consumers together in an annual breakfast, and recognize and thank the ag community with an annual banquet.

On April 24, the Ag Committee will host its annual Ag Fair. At this excellent event, fourth-grade students in Aberdeen and surrounding towns take a field trip to the farm where the FFA students and some local businesses have set up exhibit stations and demonstrations. The kids break up into groups and take turns visiting each demonstration.

The older FFA students get a chance to demonstrate and explain what they’ve learned to some younger students. The fourth graders learn about the important role agriculture plays in our lives, and they pick up some details about food production along the way. The demonstrations touch on farm safety, sheep, swine, dairy, beef, horses, and crops.

In my opinion the event is targeted to the right audience. The kids are young enough to become excited about agriculture and old enough to understand some complex concepts.

One of the most common complaints I hear from farmers and others in the ag industry is that consumers have no idea about the challenges faced by farmers or the amount of work required to produce our food. So, programs like the Ag Fair are essential to make sure the kids who grow up to become doctors, lawyers, politicians, government workers, bankers, business people, etc. know the challenges farmers are facing and can help create a society in which those challenges are eased — even if only a little bit.

The people on the Ag Committee, the FFA students, the local business volunteers, and the Ag Fair sponsors deserve a pat on the back for doing their part to spread knowledge about agriculture to all the students in the area, whether they live on a farm or not.

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