With a focus on farm life, and the many aspects of running a farm, the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee held its 37th annual Farm Day at Warren County Fairgrounds.
Children learned about a variety of animals, how things grow and much more as they visited various stations around the fairgrounds. The day is offered to all area third-graders, and it gives them the opportunity to learn more about agriculture. This year, 484 students and 27 teachers attended, along with over 50 parents and siblings.
Chairman Tammie Gribble said, “Our purpose is to educate children of the community and how important farming is, not just to us but for the entire country. Most children are five to six generations removed from the farm, and we allow them to experience production of food and fiber to give us quality, nutritious and affordable food.”
The students rotate from stations that are all agriculture related, viewing everything from a live bee hive to watching an antique grist mill work. They visited a working blacksmith, learned about electricity, learned how a cotton gin works, and heard tips on caring for the soil, just to name a few.
Several businesses, groups and organizations donated their time, including FFA students and their advisors, Master Gardeners, 4-H members and UT Extension representatives, as well as the Farm Bureau board of directors.
A popular exhibit was presented by DLG Livestock, with a large variety of animals for the children to view and touch. A few of the animals shared by Darrell and Gretchen Simmons were goats, a kunekune pig, a Zebu miniature cow, an African-crested porcupine, a Patagonia cavey and possibly the most popular, Olaf the camel.
“We brought the animals so the children could see them up close, pet some of them, and have the opportunity to ask questions about them,” said Darrell. “It’s important for children to see different animals and learn their purpose. Some of them do not know where bacon or even eggs come from.”
The Simmons family owns and operates a cattle farm. Since they love animals, they decided to start their unique collection and share them with others.
“We enjoy all animals, but we added the petting zoo to our family life to help pay the bills,” said Darrell. “The farmer sometimes has a very hard time making a living, but it’s something we like to do so we stay with it.”
The historic Fairfield Milling Company was up and running in Fairfield Village. Shane and Sheryl Prater and Henry Colwell manned the exhibit with a 1932 Meadows grist mill grinding corn into cornmeal. The antique farm equipment was donated to the fair by the family of Arzie Delong, with Prater and Colwell being designated as caretakers.
They explained the process to the children and Sheryl prepared fresh cornmeal hoecakes for them to try, with most of them giving it a thumbs up.
Student Avery Womack tried the treat and agreed it was tasty, especially the honey on top.
“Several of the children said they had not tasted a hoecake, and many have never had cornbread,” said Sheryl. “I grilled them up and gave them a dollop of honey to put on top.”