Hundreds of Hancock County students have some farming fun

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) - More than 200 first grade students from across Hancock County had some educational farming fun Thursday afternoon at the 15th annual Down on the Farm event.

The annual tradition is sponsored by the Hancock County Farm Bureau, and took place at the University of Illinois Extension Center in Carthage.

Students were broken up by class, and spent nearly 20 minutes at different educational stations.

Some of the topics included were conservation, tractors, farming safety, pollinators, and farm animals.

There were also activities to help spur some fun, such as a horse drawn wagon ride and animal mask coloring.

Hancock County Farm Bureau Manager Kristin Huls said that this year’s event was the first in-person experience since the pandemic started.

Down on the Farm was cancelled in 2020, and was virtual in 2021.

Huls said she was excited to hold Thursday’s event even though it did come with some challenges due to the late planting season.

“This event, we rely on about 35 volunteers to make this event happen. And, as you can imagine, with most of those being farmers, it was a little bit challenging now that the weather has finally gotten nice and dried up so they can be in the fields,” Huls said.

Huls said they were able to push through though with the help of local ag businesses, such as the Carthage Veterinary Service, and volunteers from local FFA chapters, and the University of Illinois Extension staff.

She said this event is important because it helps teach students about agriculture, while supplementing the their in-class learning.

“A lot of the ag literacy program teaches in the classroom they’re really kind of getting that hands-on experience today. They’re getting to pet the farm animals, they’re getting to see a combine in real life, see tractors and see exactly what those pieces of equipment do,” Huls said.

Several teachers echoed her statements, and the students were consistently engaged and having fun.

According to a teacher, a southeastern student was quoted as saying that Thursday was going to be “the best day of his life,” because of the activities.

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