Tuesday offered a batch of Comanche County fifth-graders an inside view in the agricultural world.
It was a real-world example of how food goes from farm to table with a little bit of fun and a whole lot of questions answered at the Lawton Public Schools farm on West Lee Boulevard.
Life Ready Center Agricultural Education Teacher Kenzie McGill said there was a goal in mind while planning the two-day event. By the end of today, she said around 1,100 kids will have attended.
“It’s really an educational recruitment deal,” she said. “We’re trying to stoke some interest in agricultural learning.”
McGill credited the Comanche County Farm Bureau, National Resources Conservation Service and the local education and agricultural community with making it happen.
One of those McGill credited returned the favor. While working to ready hamburgers and buns from the grill, Josh Sullivan was joined by his brother, Wes, wife Courtney and J.T. Beacham.
“Kenzie McGill is the one who put all this together,” he said.
Ten different stations offered the students a rotation of aspects of the agricultural world. McGill said there was even a veterinarian on site to share how agricultural veterinarians worked. Other stations included the greenhouse, farm equipment, commodities, erosion and animal husbandry.
At a tent with a beef cow and a dairy cow offered Chris Conway, Ag Teacher/FFA Adviser for Lawton Public Schools, opportunity to explain the differences in the two breeds of bovine. At the Noble Foundation station, the students would learn how Oklahoma is the fourth largest beef producing state in the nation.
While introducing two pigs in a pen, Lawton FFA Swine Instructor Cody Pearce shared insights into what constitutes a healthy swine. The most popular question, of course, was asking the pigs’ names.
“Pork Chop and Bacon,” he replied. “I just named them about 30 minutes ago.”
There were activities in one open field. Students lined up and got into their potato sacks for a bouncing battle down their racing lanes. Lincoln Elementary student Emma Dennis nearly hopped out of her sack with her efforts to reach the finish line before the game changed to freeze tag.
“The thing about living here in Lawton, and it’s considered an urban area, is that a lot of these kids don’t get the opportunity to experience the agricultural world,” Conway said. “For many of them, it’s a first glimpse that there’s more to our program than just animals, but people are just drawn to animals.”
This gives them an exposure to the range of ways agriculture affects the world,” he said.
More students will be participating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today to conclude this year’s Ag Days.