‘Ag in Motion’ brings agriculture to elementary students

Meeker FFA students introduced Meeker Elementary School students to the agriculture industry March 29 with the Colorado Farm Bureau’s ‘Ag in Motion’ trailer. Ag in Motion displays include lessons with graphics and examples of agriculture production methods and technology. Courtesy Photo

RBC | There are many youth and adults, particularly in urban areas, who have little knowledge or understanding of how the agricultural industry provides a wide variety of essential consumables sold internationally in stores and other outlets.

The Colorado Farm Bureau “Ag in Motion” educational outreach trailer was brought to the Meeker Elementary School on March 29 by the Rio Blanco County Farm Bureau, where Meeker High School Vocational Agriculture students and Future Farmers of America [FFA] members presented the Story of Agriculture to preschool and first through fifth grade students.  Denee Chintala, MHS vocational agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor coordinated the efforts of the high school students.  Meeker Farm Bureau adult volunteers assisted with coordinating and setting up displays.

“Ag in Motion” displays—known as “Barns”—include lessons with graphics and examples of various agricultural production methods and technology essential to successful provision of many products widely used by domestic and international consumers worldwide. Students interactively demonstrated topics including beef and dairy cattle production and illustrated the many products used in our daily lives that are vital to the international economy. Every part of the animals raised in agricultural operations is ultimately utilized by consumers as food, clothing, sports equipment, adhesives, medical products, gelatin and much more.

The agricultural industry also includes wool used for clothing, carpeting and much more, as well as sheep production for  food. Swine and poultry production offer frequently consumed food products as well as those products noted above. The renewable natural resources essential to animal production include growing grasses such as hay and alfalfa for forage. Grains such as wheat, barley, corn, as well as fruits and vegetables, and many renewable resource derivative products such as corn syrup is used for clean-burning fuel additives such as ethanol as well as for food, cereals, bread and much more.

Soil conservation is key to the support of all agricultural endeavors which requires good management techniques, irrigation and fertilization to optimize productivity. Wildlife conservation and management are also key to successful agricultural production to limit predation, lessen conflicts and maintain a natural balance. With the explosion of the world population, higher efficiencies and greater quantities are necessary to meet ever-increasing demands for agricultural products internationally. Exports and imports of foodstuffs are a major element of international trade between nations.

This year’s exhibit included a display of livestock from local ranches and farms, and owned by FFA students that were made available to the elementary students to pet and watch while being explained by FFA students. Included were miniature horses, burros, saddle horse, ducks, rabbits, goats and sheep. Some of the animals are used in 4-H projects as well.

Elementary School Principal Kathy Collins commended the Farm Bureau volunteers and the MHS vocational agriculture and FFA students who presented the interactive lessons to the elementary school students. Volunteers included Rio Blanco County Farm Bureau Vice President Mary Ann Wilber who coordinated the presentation as well as J.D. Amick, President of Rio Blanco Farm Bureau, Nancy Amick, Mary Bailey, Lanita Parker, Dianna Watson, Harold Anderson and Bob Amick.