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MEEKER | The Colorado Farm Bureau “Ag in Motion” educational outreach trailer was brought to the Meeker Elementary School on May 10 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.
There are many youth and adults, particularly in urban areas, who have little knowledge and understanding of how the agricultural industry provides a wide variety of essential consumables sold internationally in stores and other outlets.
“Ag in Motion” displays known as “Barns” include lessons with graphics and examples of agricultural production methods and technology. Vocational ag students interactively explained topics which included beef and dairy cattle production and illustrated the many products used in our daily lives that are vital to the international economy. FFA members indicated that 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.
Moreover, FFA members explained that the agricultural industry also includes sheep production with the essential commodities of wool for fine fabrics and clothing, carpeting and more, as well as for food. Swine and poultry production provides food products and more. The renewable natural resources essential to animal production include grasses such as hay and alfalfa for forage, grains such as wheat, barley and corn, as well as fruits and vegetables. Many renewable resource derivative products such as corn syrup are 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.
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 Mary Grady, Toni Mangus, Mary Bailey, Lanita Parker, Tara Shults, Diana Watson, Kathy Halthorne, Harold Anderson, Chris Colflesh, DeAnn Goedert and Bob Amick.
Special appreciation goes to Jade VanCleave, director of the “Ag in Motion” educational outreach program of Colorado Farm Bureau for coordination and transporting the exhibit to Meeker.