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Students get down on the farm for Field Day
by Kelsey Keener Iron County Today
Apr 08, 2017 | 1665 views | 0 0 comments | 97 97 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Third graders from 10 schools in Iron County had the chance to get a hands-on learning experience from community members involved in agriculture.

Farm Field Day was held March 27 and 28 at the Diamond Z Arena and organized through a collaborative effort between the Iron County Extension Office, Southern Utah University, local Future Farmers of America chapters, the Iron County Bee Inspector, the Iron County Farm Bureau, the Utah Pork Producers Association and the Iron County Cattlemen’s Association.

A total of 32 classes were able to attend the event and the students rotated between 8 booths, the topics of which included pork production, sheep production, soils, beekeeping, beef production and crops.

Chad Gasser, an associate professor of agriculture at SUU, said the event gives students a chance to make a personal connection with the people who are producing their food.

“We feel like it’s an important thing to do because even in a place like Cedar City, that seems pretty rural, you’d think a lot of people would have some experience and understanding of agriculture, but there’s a lot of people that don’t,” Gasser said. “It doesn’t take very many people to produce the food that we need so it’s easy for people to be detached from that part of life.”

Gasser also said the event is a good opportunity for everyone involved.

“It’s a chance to get away from a regular school setting,” he said. “It’s a good chance for our students to get involved and interact with young kids. It’s a good way to get exposure for us as far the university goes and our agriculture program. It also provides our students a chance to meet some of the other people from the community that are involved in agriculture.”

Alexus Galassi, an SUU student who helped with the sheep station, said it provides students experience in advocating for farmers and ranchers.

“I think it’s a good way to advocate for agriculture and what we do as farmers and ranchers,” she said. “I’m an agriculture student and advocating for agriculture is specifically what I want to do (and) it’s beneficial to me to teach someone something that I’m extremely passionate about.”

Chad Reid, an extension professor at the Iron County Extension Office, said Farm Field Day is a chance for kids in Iron County to get some perspective on where their food comes from.

“The vast majority of these kids never experience the farm or realize where their food and fiber comes from so we think it’s really important that they come out and learn that at least once in their life,” Reid said.

He also said it’s important for the community to understand agriculture.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions when you talk to the public about agriculture and food production so I think it’s really important that people know,” he said. “We’re highly efficient, and we have the world’s cheapest and safest food supply and people need to understand how that works, the benefit of it and be involved. If you eat, you’re involved in agriculture.”

Reid also expressed his appreciation for all the effort that went into making Farm Field Day happen.

“It’s just great that everybody’s willing to donate their time to something that I think is very worthwhile and hopefully the kids are getting a lot out of it,” Reid said.

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