Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:12

Discover the Farm helped all youngsters learn

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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With more than double the kids attending the Discover The Farm event on April 19 as compared to last year's event, Swift Current Ag & Ex is already looking at expanding again for next year.

Organizer Tracey Stevenson is thrilled to see local schools taking advantage of the opportunity to teach kids about farm life, and farm safety.
“They do learn some components through the school curriculum, but this is more hands-on, seeing the equipment and the animals and having someone talk with them a bit more one-on-one,” Stevenson explained.
“It's a little more personal that way, and I think having that interactive aspect makes it more fun for the kids, too.”
Students were excited for the field trip, and enjoyed having a chance to learn a bit more about something that some of them were already a bit familiar with. Hunter Klein, a Grade 4 student at Central School, lives on a farm, and had a first-hand knowledge of some of the information.
“I really like being able to see the animals, so maybe I'll come back with my family,” he said. “It's fun to learn about the John Deere stuff.”
Grade 4 student Mya Keith was also glad to learn more about farm equipment, to help keep her safe.
“My cousins have a farm, and I've gone to visit them, but I think it's important to know that you can get hurt,” she explained. “You can get hurt really bad, and it was good to learn more about the tractors.”
More than 400 students attended the educational component to the show on Friday, and over 1500 people passed through the Stockade for the sale on Saturday. Schools came from Consul, Shaunavon, Maple Creek, and even from a Hutterite colony near Hodgeville. Stevenson is hoping to see more colony participation in the future.
“We have been approached by the Hutterite School Council to do a presentation on the program for them in October, so I'm thinking they are interested in coming out,” she said. “It would be great to see more Hutterite students learning more about this stuff.”
The information is not only useful for rural students, but important for urban kids as well. Central School Grade 4 teacher Angela Boorah explained that the students with a bit of knowledge already are using the opportunity to share stories, and ask thoughtful questions to presenters.
“Especially for the kids who don't have the chance to get out and be on a farm, it's such a great opportunity to learn about different animals and resources that we have in our province, and the importance of safety when you are working on or around farm equipment,” she noted. “The setup here is great, the stations are a perfect amount of time for kids to learn and move on, so they stay engaged throughout the day.”
Stevenson does plan to make a few adjustments to the event for next year, but is pleased with the evaluations and feedback she received from participants.
“Everything has been very positive, so we are looking to maybe do the educational component for two days next year, and offer more exhibitors throughout the day on Saturday,” she explained. “This is an important event for us, since part of our mandate is to provide education for the community. It's so great for us to have the opportunity to do that in such a fun way.”

Read 924 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 April 2013 11:13

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