First-Ever Ag Fest Held in York County
Agriculture is the heart of Nebraska. As the stateâ€™s leading industry, the impact goes far beyond our food supply, providing jobs, significantly contributing to our stateâ€™s economy and touching the lives of citizens every day.Â
For the first time ever, Nebraska Extension in York and Polk Counties hosted two Ag Literacy Festivals, called Ag Fest, at the York County fairgrounds for more than 250 fourth grade students.
The goal of the field day experience was to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the basic concepts of ag production and the significance of agriculture in Nebraska. Students were immersed in ag through 25-minute, interactive sessions based on the following topics:
Beef Production â€“ Brock Ekhoff & Dan Crawford
Dairy Production â€“ Melissa Konecky, Nebraska Extension & Jason Nuttleman
Corn & Soybean Production â€“ Jenny Rees, Nebraska Extension
Ag Safety â€“ Brandy VanDeWalle & Rachel Olsen, Nebraska Extension
Food Science â€“ Amy Peterson, Nebraska Extension
Ag By-products â€“ Megan Burda & Colleen Pallas, Nebraska Extension
Ag Technology â€“ Chris Peterson, Plains Equipment & Reggie Raffert, Cross County FFA
Swine Production â€“ Kara Perdue
On Tuesday, October 4th, York County schools attended Ag Fest including York Public, Emmanuel-Faith Lutheran, St. Joseph Catholic School, Heartland, Trinity Lutheran. York FFA members also served as group leaders throughout the day.
Polk County schools attended on Thursday, October 6th, including Cross County, Osceola, High Plains and Polk County Christian School.
â€œIt was great to see all of the students excited and engaged in learning about various aspects of agriculture. These kids were learning that many careers can be connected to the ag industry; for example careers in technology are constantly changing ag production. The best part is knowing that these youth could potentially be the future of ag.â€ says program coordinator, Tanya Crawford (Extension Assistant in York County).
The Ag Fest program was made possible through grant funding provided by the Nebraska Pork Producers and the Nebraska Corn Board. Local sponsors also included York-Hamilton Cattlemen, Grand Central Foods and Polk-Merrick Cattlemen.
Programs like this are important because of the significance of agriculture in Nebraska. According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, annually, production agriculture contributes more than $25 billion to Nebraskaâ€™s economy, thanks to Nebraska farmers and ranchers working on 49,100 farms and ranches spread across more than 45 million acres. It is encouraging to see young people learning about where their food comes from. Hopefully this will help them appreciate the impact of the ag industry in our everyday lives.
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