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Published: 5/9/2012

Students learn their ducks and geese

Day at fairgrounds boosts agricultural awareness

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Agricultural Awareness Day is an opportunity for Summerfield Elementary students -- from left, Ella Bolster, Alex Anderson, and Reid Iott -- to pet a calf. The annual event at the Monroe County Fairgrounds is put on by 4-H. It tries to make the children  familiar with the country's important agricultural industry, which produces their food. Agricultural Awareness Day is an opportunity for Summerfield Elementary students -- from left, Ella Bolster, Alex Anderson, and Reid Iott -- to pet a calf. The annual event at the Monroe County Fairgrounds is put on by 4-H. It tries to make the children familiar with the country's important agricultural industry, which produces their food.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

MONROE -- Teacher Sandy Wuwert's second graders at Jackman Road Elementary School in Temperance learned a lot at Agricultural Awareness Day 2012.

Just ask them what they now know after seeing and hearing a presentation about geese and ducks.

Brady Bodine said he learned that geese "honk really loud."

For Olivia Ortega, it was a revelation that ducks have webbed feet. She also learned why they are built this way -- "this helps them swim."

Holding a duck feather, Julia Malloy said such feathers once were used for writing, before the advent of pens.

The annual event, put on at the Monroe County Fairgrounds by 4-H, aims to familiarize children with the country's vital agricultural industry that produces our food, said Judy See, the 4-H educator.

It also is an opportunity for older children who are involved in agriculture "to share their knowledge" with the youngsters through presentations.

"It teaches the kids where their food comes from," she explained.

Second and third-grade students from across Monroe County attended last week. They heard about and saw examples of crops, dairy cows, goats, greenhouse plants, horses, llamas, apples, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine.

4-H member Samantha Augusta, 18, shows off a llama to second-grade students from Summerfield Elementary School during Agricultural Awareness Day on Friday. 4-H member Samantha Augusta, 18, shows off a llama to second-grade students from Summerfield Elementary School during Agricultural Awareness Day on Friday.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Ms. Wuwert, watching her students cluster around a cage of geese, said the awareness day dovetailed nicely with her classroom instruction. "When we come to a place like this, we can transfer what they learn in the classroom and make it real," she explained. "This is very hands on. When they experience something they've been learning about in class, they learn a lot faster."

Diane Linkfield, a second-grade teacher at Sodt Elementary in the Jefferson Schools, said this was her 15th year at the event.

"I love it," she said. "The kids can learn so much."

One of her students, Joeleen Jennings, said she learned that "you don't give a rabbit a bath because it licks itself clean."

Another, Evan Blessing, cupped his hands and said, "You hold a baby chick like this. You have to be gentle."



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