Farm Progress

MU helps kids connect with farms

The University of Missouri's Southwest Research Center hosts elementary school students.

July 3, 2017

2 Min Read
INTO THE FIELDS: Students were able to discover how agriculture affects their daily lives during their visit to the Southwest Research Center. They interacted with researchers at the farm.

With a focus on connecting youth with agriculture, the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources' Southwest Research Center hosted more than 150 elementary students for fun day on the farm.

There were numerous stations set up, where the students stopped and talked with agricultural experts about a variety of topics.

"Jendel Wolfe [an office support assistant] worked extremely hard to see that we had a broad swath of agriculture covered, from dairy, beef and bees to hay, vegetables, caterpillars and soil," says David Cope, Southwest Research Center superintendent.

The attendees were third- through fifth-grade students from the Mount Vernon Intermediate School. They visited the farm in early June.

HANDS-ON EDUCATION: Students learned about a variety of agriculture-related topics during the center's agriculture fun day. 

The goal of the day was to showcase the role agriculture plays in everyday life. From food to clothing, the Southwest Research Center touched on the importance of agriculture.

"As the generation gap relating to farmers widens, and fewer people understand where their food and fiber comes from, it becomes increasingly important to teach our young people," Cope says. "They are our future. It is important that we help do our part to educate them about where their most basic needs come from."

Students were able to learn about flowers, birds and insects at the prairie station. There were also presentations on bees and beehives, as well as a caterpillar petting zoo. Students engaged with experts about soils, crops and blackberries; how germs spread; and the difference between dairy and beef cattle.

Speakers at the Southwest Research Center also explained how cheese is made from the milk of dairy cows, and how cotton is used in an assortment of items, including T-shirts and money.

"The kids were engaged and asked a great many questions," Cope says. "At the end of the day, all the presenters were happy with how involved the students were in the agriculture discussion."

Source: University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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