Ag field day foils farm fables

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By Mallory Bilger

In this age, children are more separated from the farm than ever. Last Friday, Spencer County and Taylorsville Elementary school students had the opportunity to learn that corn, in fact, does not come from a can and milk does not originate from a plastic jug.

The annual Spencer County chapter of the Kentucky Farm Bureau sponsored its annual Agricultural Field Day in conjunction with the community’s elementary schools.

Children had the opportunity to learn how crops are grown, meet farm animals face-to-face and discover that vegetables such as corn can be used for everything from creating packing materials, feeding the world’s hungry and fueling automobiles with ethanol.

The Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District was also on-hand with equipment and offered fire safety tips for kids. Spencer County Emergency Medical Services had an ambulance at the field day for children to view and Spencer County Cooperative Extension agents were on hand also educating children on topics affecting agriculture.

Spencer County Farm Bureau director Scott Travis—who had an arrowhead collection on display for children to view —said the field day is an important educational opportunity.

“We just like to kind of bring the farm to the children . . . to tell them where their food comes from,” he said.

Travis said as a boy on his farm he found arrowheads that were most likely used by Native Americans who previously inhabited the farm.

“As a child as these guys’ ages I would pick them up and keep them in a tackle box,” Travis said, pointing at the children.

Jennifer Elwell with the Kentucky Corn Growers Association talked to children about the many uses of corn.

Many children thought raising corn for human consumption was its only use.

“Scientists are finding new ways to use plants,” Elwell told the children as she discussed corn-based plastic products.

SCES first grade teacher Laurie Blumeier’s class enjoyed the Kentucky Soybean Board’s presentation, which helped children understand how soybeans can be transformed into biodiesel for automobiles.

“They’re learning a lot of new information,” Blumeier said.

David Travis raises Boer goats for meat.

He said he enjoys taking the day off to allow the children to spend some time with his animals.

“I just take the day off and load up the goats,” he said.

Laurie Abell’s SCES first grade class enjoyed themselves on the sunny day. Student Emily Fladung said she especially loved petting the Boer goats.

“When you saw the goats you got to pet them. The goats were really cute,” she said, smiling.

First grader Luke Jeffiers said he enjoyed seeing the fire trucks.

“If there was a fire they would have to go put it out,” Jeffiers said, noting what he learned from the fire department presentation.

Travis said the elementary schools have hosted the ag field day for at least 12 years. He hopes the event will grow and continue to offer students a special look into the world of agriculture and how it directly affects everyone’s lives.