Agriculture is a constantly changing, complex industry, striving to meet the needs and concerns of its consumers and customers. Food and fiber are essential to everyday living and we would like to salute the men and women who provide it not only to America, but the world.
In celebration of National Agriculture Day, 4th grade students from Hamilton Elementary School and Corinth Christian Academy participated in “Youth Ag Day” on March 8th at the Hamilton County Arena. This event was coordinated by Greg Hicks (UF/IFAS Extension Hamilton County Extension Director) in cooperation with Philip Pinello (Hamilton County School District).
Approximately 130 youth were bused from their respective school to the arena where they were divided into groups and rotated through 10 stations by group leaders, to learn about Hamilton County Agriculture. At each station was a knowledgeable volunteer who talked about the commodity located at their station. The stations included Small Animal Production (HCHS Agriculture Students), Dairy/Beef Production (Rick Young, Cattle Producer), Nutrition/Healthy Snacks (Deborah Tannenbaum, Executive Director, Florida Peanut Federation), Peanut Production (Keith Wynn/UF/IFAS Extension Agriculture Agent), Swine Production (Clevie Selph, Selph Farms and Greg Harden, Florida Farm Bureau), Old Farm Tools (Dean Franklin), Corn Production (Seth Adams, Adams Farms), Apairy (Thomas Honey), Forestey (Greg Staten, County Forester) and Hydroponics (Doug Clayton, HCHS Agriculture Teacher). The group leaders were FFA members from the local FFA Chapter at Hamilton County High School.
The students were given a packet of goodies/educational materials donated by the Florida “Ag In The Classroom” Program, Florida Beef Council, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Florida Dairymen’s Association, Florida Peanut Federation, Florida Peanut Producers Association and the UF/IFAS Extension Hamilton County Office.
Lastly, the youth, teachers and volunteers were served a delicious meal of grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and a drink sponsored by Nutrien (formerly PotashCorp White Springs). The meal was prepared by Hamilton County Farm Bureau Members: David Goolsby, Jr. (Property Appraiser), Westley Deas, Karen Goolsby, Ellen Deas, Tracy Deas, and Mary Bembry. Also, Ms. Nancy Spearman helped with preparing the meal. This program was designed to be a fun day, as well as, an educational day for the children. However, our main purpose was to have each child leave with the understanding of how important agriculture is to Hamilton County.
The UF/IFAS Extension Hamilton County Office would sincerely like to thank the Hamilton County Farm Bureau, Nutrien, Hamilton County FFA Members, Principals, Teachers, Volunteers and all others that helped make this day a success.