Another successful year of Ag in the Classroom wrapped up Wednesday, with approximately 1,000 fourth graders bused to Hopkins County Civic Center to learn more about agriculture and its importance in our daily lives.
Approximately 300 students attend the first session on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and about 700 more packed the Arena Wednesday morning, Oct. 12, 2022. Not only did students from all seven Hopkins County school districts attend, fourth graders from four surrounding counties were invited as well. Among the schools attending were Como-Pickton, Cumby, Miller Grove, North Hopkins, Saltillo, Sulphur Bluff, Sulphur Springs, Cooper, Mount Vernon, Rains and Yantis.
Students rotated between 10 stations for a brief overview and close up look at various aspects of agriculture. Although this is still considered a rural and agricultural rather than urban areas, with many local youth participating in 4-H or who have farms, Ag in the Classroom the first time others are exposed directly to the various aspects of agriculture.
The stations are manned by individuals representing families, businesses and other organizations involved in agriculture in the local area. Several bring livestock to illustrate their topics, including beef cattle, three different types of poultry, goats and therapy horses. Exhibits also included 4-H projects, fresh honey and mobile exhibits. Students even got to sample a dairy treat.
Students learned about the different cuts of beef and talked about raising beef cattle; the importance of clean water and the process of water filtering; horses and horse therapy; wheat and corn, dairy, beef and swine production and uses; fresh honey and the important role bees have in pollination; goat farming and uses; dairy and the importance of milk for healthy growth and bones; 4-H project; and poultry production.
Among the groups involved in putting on the annual agriculture day for area students were Hopkins-Rains County Farm Bureau, Hopkins County and Rains County AgriLife Extension offices, Southwest Dairy Museum and director Aaron Sanders, NETBIO, Hopkins County Master Gardeners, Marion Cox with Shadow Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center, and the Kelly Ebel Ranch, along with volunteers.
Extension staff offered special thanks to all of the volunteers who helped, the Farm Bureau and Southwest Dairy Center for their sponsorships and donations. At the conclusion of the second day two lucky students won bicycles donated by presenting sponsor Hopkins-Rains County Farm Bureau.