Students have a field day with agriculture

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By Laura Clark

From milking demonstrations to beekeeping and horse care, the annual Agriculture Field Day provided hours of interactive learning for students on Wednesday.


The event was sponsored by the Kentucky Farm Bureau and brought several regional farmers and industry professionals to Spencer County Elementary School.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Linda Street, a grower representing the Taylorsville Farmers Market.

At her booth, students learned the difference between winter and summer squash by rapping their knuckles on a butternut. Street showed them “plants that taste good, plants that look good and plants that smell good.”

“It’s neat to share with the kids,” she said. “You’d think in an agricultural setting they would know all about it, but they don’t.”

Next to Street was the popular turkey booth. High school students Brian Hall and Lee Jared Miles discussed the care of their two bronze turkeys, who were part of a 4-H project.

“Where’d you catch them at?” one student asked.

“We didn’t catch them, we bought them,” Miles said, chuckling.

Then students eagerly petted the hen, who only ducked and dodged a little.

Students were also able to pet Dwight Greenwell’s horse Xanadu. He discussed care for the Tennesse Walker and reminded students how valuable the horse industry is in Kentucky.

“She does good around kids,” Greenwell said. “Getting to graze all day, so she’s pretty  happy.”

Patrick Maynard’s second-grade class crowded around the observation hive brought down by the Shelby County Beekeepers Association.

“We love field day,” Maynard said. “Plus a lot of kids can relate to the content they have, because a lot of kids have bees and cows and horses.

“And some kids have no idea where their food comes from except the grocery store, so this bridges that gap.”

One of Maynard’s students, Erika Montgomery, was fascinated by the animals and insects.

“I kind of like the turkey over there,” the seven-year old said, adding that she learned “that there’s a queen bee, a work bee and a dome [drone] bee.”

Adam Butler of Sunrise Acres stood before a huge combine and gave students a brief history of how the workload changed as corn production and harvesting became more mechanized.

“Do you do that every day of your life?” a fifth-grader asked Butler.

“Yup, I was doing it last night,” he replied.

There were also off-road safety booths, an aquaculture station, and basket weaving  and cattle-care demonstrations. Classes from Taylorsville Elementary made the short trip to participate.