‘Farm Field Day’ captivates hundreds of Iron County third graders – St George News

CEDAR TOWN — Hundreds of third-graders participated in an “Agricultural Field Day” this week in Cedar City.

Third-graders participate in farming presentations at various learning stations during ‘Farm Field Day’ at Diamond Z Arena, Cedar City, Utah on March 21, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/Cedar City News

The event, organized and sponsored by the Iron County Office of the Utah State University Extension, took place Monday through Tuesday at the Diamond Z Arena at the Cross Hollow Event Center.

Groups of 25 to 30 children, accompanied by their teachers, spent time at each of the learning stations, rotating between them every 15 minutes or so.

At one station, Iron County Bee Inspector Blaine Nay discussed honey production and the importance of bees in pollinating crops and other plants. Nearby, Daniel Aiken and members of his family, representing the Iron County Cattlemen’s Association, demonstrated beef cattle.

Two stations focused on soil and water conservation were staffed by the Washington County Extension and 4-H programs. Southern Utah University agriculture students and professors taught sheep and hay stations. The pork presentation was given by representatives from Smithfield Foods and the Utah Pork Producers Association.

Finally, instructors from the Iron County 4-H and Better Living programs talked to children about corn and other crops, while choosing a balanced diet that includes the five food groups defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in MyPlate.gov.

Judging by the number of helpful hands that went up to almost every question posed by the presenters, it was evident that the students already had a solid understanding of where food comes from and how it passes from farm to table.

Third-graders participate in farming presentations at various learning stations during ‘Farm Field Day’ at Diamond Z Arena, Cedar City, Utah on March 21, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News/Cedar City News

Three Peaks Elementary School third-grade teacher Torrie Rice said her students “absolutely loved” the field trip.

“They loved being able to interact with the animals and pet them,” Rice told Cedar City News. “It was their favorite part for sure. Also, all of the booths were really convenient and the presenters were really engaging. They learned so much at each station. It was a big hit!”

The event drew more than 800 third-grade students from elementary schools in the Iron County School District, as well as the Gateway Academy charter school, said Randall Violett, professor of agriculture and natural resources at the local office of extension of USU to Cedar City.

The event was divided into four half-day sessions, with approximately 200 children in each group. Half of the students attended either the morning or the afternoon on Monday, with the other half attending one of the sessions on Tuesday.

The event coincided with the National Agriculture Day celebration on Tuesday.

Violett expressed his thanks to all of the presenters and for their time and support, adding that the Enterprise and Iron Conservation District and the Utah Farm Bureau helped by paying for the facility and providing lunch for the volunteers.

Additionally, high school students from Cedar High and Canyon View High FFA chapters helped out as volunteer group leaders.

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