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Ag Day at the Main Street Learning ParkAg Day at the Main Street Learning Park

Arkansas learning park provides an educational space for all ages.

Whitney Haigwood

November 16, 2023

3 Min Read
Aerial view of educational park with school busses parked on the left and groups of students gathered at stations throughout the park.
On Oct. 10, a total of 255 students from 14 second and third grade classes gathered for Ag Day at the newly established Main Street Learning Park in Harrisburg, Ark.University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Agricultural communities have a way of paying tribute to the land around them. Whether through festivals or educational experiences, a strong sense of camaraderie and appreciation is built with these kinds of gatherings. 

One such tradition has been established in Poinsett County, Ark., since 2017. In the fall, an annual Ag Day brings professionals together from across the industries of agriculture and natural resources to provide hands-on learning opportunities for school-aged children. 

This year, Ag Day was held on Oct. 10, at the newly established Main Street Learning Park in Harrisburg. The 320 attendees included 255 students from 14 second and third grade classes from schools across the county. Each class rotated around the park through 10 stations for demonstrations and lessons about regional farming, nature, and wildlife. 

Students experienced locally grown row crops like corn, cotton, rice, and soybean with plant samples to see and touch. They also learned about life on the farm, the importance of the Arkansas rice industry, and all the grains it takes to make a yummy granola bar snack.

Farmer holding a plant while teaching a group of students about types of crops.

A barnyard petting zoo brought the farm to life, and a full-size dairy cow model gave the children a chance to “milk a cow.” A lesson on migratory birds taught how agriculture contributes to their wintering habitat, and a nature stop provided a real-life display of area snakes.  

Related:College cultivates leadership skills through Ag Academy

Students also learned about water runoff, erosion, and pollution through a three-dimensional EnrivoScape watershed model, and they witnessed technology in action with an agricultural drone demonstration. The drone even took a keepsake photo of each visiting class! 

This action-packed day was coordinated by the Poinsett County Cooperative Extension staff at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Other volunteers came from Farm Bureau, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Lake Poinsett State Park, Morning Glory Farms, Eagle Seed Company, Poinsett Soil Conservation Service, and the county 4-H program. 

Group of students gathered in a park while instructor teaches them about drones.

A monumental ribbon cutting ceremony followed the Ag Day event to commemorate the completion of the Main Street Learning Park, the first park owned by Poinsett County. The project has been a community-wide effort, years in the making. Public and private funding have provided a space to host educational activities for all ages while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. 

Through a county quorum court decision, the Poinsett County Extension Office was charged with park completion and oversight. County Agent Chair Craig Allen has been part of the entire process. 

Related:Agriculture prepared student for leadership role

Allen said, “The whole community has pitched in to make this project happen. Our farmers, business leaders, county, and city employees have all chipped in. The vision of the park was and remains to have a safe outdoor space to hold educational workshops for youth and adults and to highlight programs and demonstrations Extension has to offer year-round.” 

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