By Patricia Beech
Kindergarten students from the four Adams County schools were treated to a “life on the farm” experience last week when Agricultural students from the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center (OVCTC) hosted their annual Kindergarten Ag Day at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
Ohio Valley FFA president, Morgan Grooms, a senior from West Union told The Defender, “Kindergarten Ag Day is something we do for the kids, and also for members of the community. All day the kids walk around and learn about agriculture and the different things we do, and we like to do that because these kids are the future generation, and they’re the future of agriculture.”
David Scott, Ag Mechanics teacher at the CTC has participated in Kindergarten Ag Day for 15 years. “We’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” he explains. “It began on local farms, then in the mid 90’s it was moved to the fairgrounds in case of bad weather, a lot of people have been involved in it from the start, and we really appreciate their work, and the students’ involvement. They really enjoy being with the little children.”
Sixty-two CTC students manned booths and stalls to answer the children’s’ questions about animals and farming as they moved from one display to the next. The CTC students also provided most of the animals including a cow, goats, horses, a turkey, a pig, a Shetland pony, and a dog. Local farmers Kenny McCann and Donnie McCarty also brought farm animals, and Rick and R.J. Davis supplied the large farm equipment. Jenny Richards from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources brought a black snake which some of the children enjoyed, and Bill Wickerham from Adams County Soil and Water brought a display of animal pelts.
“We were there to provide environmental education and introduce the kids to nature,” said Wickerham. “It was a wonderful opportunity to reach a large number of children and introduce them to the wonderful world of nature. I love that it’s the high school kids that put it on, so it’s a great opportunity for everyone.”
CTC students also played games with the children. Donna Brodt, another West Union senior, said, “I worked a game called egg and spoon, it was really fun to watch the little kids play the game, I love working with them, they’re so much fun to be around.”
Brodt said she thought the day had been a very positive experience: “You can learn from the children as they’re learning from you,” she said. “They’re so excited and enthusiastic about seeing the animals.”
John Newman, Ag Business teacher at the CTC said, “It’s a very good experience for the students, to be able to talk to the kids and teachers, developing their communication and leadership skills helps them to grow and think about what they’re going to say to explain things to the children on their level.”
All of the students who worked throughout the day are either in the Ag Business or Ag Mechanics program. They’re also involved in FFA. “Our school district has a lot invested in Kindergarten Ag Day,” Scott said. “We really appreciate their support, because we believe it’s really worth while.”
Approximately 900 people attended the event including students, teachers, and parents. “I don’t know how many kids and teachers both said that this is their favorite day of the school year, and my students say the same thing,” said Newman. “It especially makes me proud when the teachers say they look forward to it all year long.”
“We were there to provide environmental education and introduce the kids to nature, it was a wonderful opportunity to reach a large number of children and introduce them to the wonderful world of nature. Seeing the kids and how mesmerized they are by the program. I love that it’s the high school kids that put it on, so its a great opportunity for everyone.”