Area AgriLife Extension Agents, assisted by numerous volunteers as well as Farm Bureau and Southwest Dairy Center, hosted hundreds of school children over the course of two days this week at Ag In The Classroom.
While the annual agricultural experience typically is offered to fourth graders, this year schools in counties with participating Extension agencies were also invited to bring their fifth graders. Extension wasn’t able to offer Ag In The Classroom in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Thus, this year’s fifth graders were also invited to the agricultural education day.
Among the Extension officers participating were agents and staff from Hopkins, Rains, Delta and Franklin counties. The various agents were assisted by volunteers such as Master Gardeners who helped man eight stations in Hopkins County Regional Civic Center designed to teach the youth about various agricultural and environmental topics, with live chickens, goats, beef cattle, and a horse for students to see up close the livestock. Topics covered also included honey, 4-H, water conservation, and the importance of milk and calcium to individual health.
Southwest Dairy Farmers, and the Southwest Dairy Center and Museum donated individual-sized cartons of milk and ice cream for the students to enjoy. Southwest Dairy Museum and Center also donated blue book bags for teachers to take back to school with them, filled with informational packets as well as other items to distribute to their students.
Farm Bureau donated two bikes, one boys bike and one girls bike. Teachers were invited to write the names students who were especially good during the day on “good tickets” which went into a drawing for the bike at the end of Ag In The Classroom. Names of participating teachers too were entered, with five tickets drawn for gift cards also donated by Farm Bureau. A number of shirts too were donated by Farm Bureau and awarded at the end of the day.
Extension staff offered special thanks to all of the volunteers who helped, the Farm Bureau and SW Dairy Center for their sponsorships and donations, and to the Civic Center management and staff not only for preparing the Arena and facility so that Extension can host the event, but also their continued community support.