Success StoryCity Youth Experience a Day of Agriculture



City Youth Experience a Day of Agriculture

Author: Brittany Osborne

Planning Unit: McCracken County CES

Major Program: 4-H Agriculture Core Curriculum AND Natural Resources

Plan of Work: Increasing Ag Awareness in Youth

Outcome: Initial Outcome

There’s been a deficit amongst the Paducah City Schools due to a limited amount of exposure to the field of Agriculture, outside of the Cooperative Extension Service. The McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service (MCCE), came together and planned to fill this gap by holding an Ag Day for Paducah City Schools. This idea took several years to materialize, but I’m proud to say our dream came true. All program areas of MCCE collaborated to deliver a high quality, hands on agricultural experience to 300 youth plus 26 teachers and chaperones from 3 City elementary schools. 

Eleven hands-on and interactive booths were offered in a variety of agricultural related industries bringing 46 community volunteers to the event. Educational booths included Barnyard Buddies, where there was a mini horse, a zebu calf, a mini donkey, a llama, two goats and two sheep. This was a very unique experience for majority of the students as they were able to pet, feed and learn about what animals they were. Multiple youth were exclaiming they had never seen these animals in real life, especially not up close and personal. One participant thought the mini horse was a cow! 

Another educational booth was the milking goat! Youth were able to milk our milking goat simulator, learning how to milk an animal correctly and what products we consume from dairy. When asked, "Where does chocolate milk come from?" one youth thought it only came from "brown cows" as they stated! Other youth were floored at the fact that they were able to catch grasshoppers with sweep nets. To watch as the children’s eyes grew wide as they climbed upon a gigantic fertilizer spreader that cost $550,000!!! Another Agent asked one boy how much he thought the Fertilizer Spreader cost, and his response was “$1,000”. 

Among other educational stops were electricity in agriculture, where youth could see the effects and power of electricity and a fun stop climbing on a tractor. This provided an opportunity for me to be able to share the cost and value of farming equipment. This event also allowed 46 adult volunteers to be able to interact with youth they may not otherwise be able to interact with. One volunteer made mention of how well-behaved the children were. It was an opportunity to strengthen adult and youth partnerships in our community and expose youth to the field of agriculture in a fun and safe way. Other hands-on booths such as equine and nutrition by our Snap Ed Assistant were a huge hit. It was a fun day filled with education and we hope to continue the event each year! 






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