MIAMI COUNTY — Miami East FFA members brought their love of agriculture to town for their annual Ag Day at the Miami County Fairgrounds.
Thirty-eight fellow FFA members educated more than 500 kindergarten students from Troy City Schools and Miami East Elementary about the source of their food from farm animals. Students also showcased how the corn and soybeans grown in Ohio fields produce more than just food on their plates.
“I got to pet the cow! I never pet a cow before,” said Ashton Jones, 6, a kindergarten student from Concord.
Silas Raines, 6, a kindergarten student from Concord, shared how he learned corn products can be found in more than just the food aisles at the grocery store.
“Corn goes in diapers. That was cool,” Raines shared as he waited his turn to milk a dairy cow. FFA members educated students about the unique ways corn is used in a variety of products, including diapers, to aid in absorbency.
Bair Trax Farm brought dairy cows for a cow milking experience and dairy education. FFA members brought their animals from their homes to teach children or gave presentations about farm safety about life on the farm, which included the most popular station — the petting zoo.
Michael Bair, a junior member of the Miami East FFA, and Seth Wells, a sophomore member of the Miami East FFA, helped children get a “hands-on” experience milking one of three dairy cattle provided by the Bair Trax Farm for the event.
“We’ve been teaching the kids about what we do as farmers. Most kids anymore don’t know much about what we do as farmers and what it takes to get food to their table,” Bair said. “We like to teach them how it gets to their table and what they are eating.”
Ellasyn Gelhar, 5, a kindergarten student at Miami East Elementary, got her try at milking a cow.
“The hayride was my favorite,” she said. “I liked all the stations. The cow was squishy.”
Miami East FFA students fielded a variety of questions throughout the day.
Many children wanted to know why the cows at the Ag Day weren’t black and white Holstein cows, according to Bair. Bair said he shared with children the difference different dairy cattle breeds, noting his family’s farm have a Jersey pure bred cows, crossbred Holstein Jersey cows and Swedish red Holstein-Jersey crossbred cows.
“They always think milk comes from the Holsteins,” Bair shared.
Sophomore Rylee Puthoff and Sarah Blocher shared how they explained the difference between a turkey and a chicken as children visited the petting zoo area.
“It’s funny the questions we get — is that a turkey? No, it’s a chicken,” Puthoff said.
Blocher said most children wanted to know what kind of chickens they were petting.
“They wanted to know what breed they are and how old they are and what they’ll grow up to be like,” Blocher said. Blocher sat in the petting zoo area with a black Australorp chicken which is an egg layer.
Children visited nine stations throughout the Miami County Fairgrounds to learn more about the food they eat and people who grow and raise their groceries at home. The annual Ag Day also featured stations led by Miami County Soil and Water District, Ohio State University Extension Office and Miami County Farm Bureau. Students were also treated to Dannon yogurt as part of their field trip. The use of the fairgrounds was donated by the Miami County Agricultural Society.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org
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