Down on the farm
Published 10:02 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2015
About 1,200 second-grade students from Suffolk Public Schools got some hands-on experience at a farm on Wednesday. The event continues today.
Farm Day was a two-and-a-half-hour, hands-on farm experience that took place at the Virginia Tech Research Extension Farm on Hare Road.
“It’s a very good experience for the kids,” said Julie Moyer, science instructional specialist for the school system. “It’s their only field trip. The students look forward to it every year, especially for the animals.”
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Reinforcing her point, a large group of excited students circulated around the facility for a chance to pet some of the small farm animals that were a popular addition to Farm Day this year.
Students got up close and personal to baby goats, a miniature pony, a piglet, a cat and some llamas.
The event has been held annually for 12 years and features several learning stations for children to rotate through.
Some of the topics covered by the stations were the water cycle, pollution and animal care.
Interactive stations included a plant growing station where students could germinate soybeans with a moist cotton ball and a plastic bag, and a soil tunnel students could crawl through to observe the formation of soil layers.
“I think it’s a great event,” said Shelley Barlow, a volunteer from the Nansemond County Farm Bureau. “We read about agriculture to these schools every year, and they always remember Farm Day. It makes a great impression on the kids.”
But the learning doesn’t stop after the event has ended.
“They even pass on what’ve they’ve learned,” said Tara Williams, district manager for the Peanut Soil and Water Conservation District. “They teach their parents what they learned, here.”
Besides more than 60 volunteers and funding from the Suffolk Education Foundation, Williams’ organization is one of many that make Farm Day a success each year.