YORK – Agriculture is the heart of Nebraska. As the state’s leading industry, the impact goes far beyond the food supply, providing jobs, significantly contributing to the state’s economy and touching the lives of citizens every day.
This past week, Nebraska Extension in York and Polk Counties hosted the third annual Ag Fest at the York County Fairgrounds for all the fourth grade students in both counties.
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 agriculture through 25-minute, interactive sessions regarding a number of ag-related topics. The festival sessions looked at topics such as the production of beef, poultry, dairy, sheep/wool, corn and soybeans, as well as agricultural technology.
The fourth graders attending this annual fall event were from York Elementary, Emmanuel-Faith Lutheran, St. Joseph Catholic School, Heartland, Cross County, Osceola and Shelby-Rising City.
Tanya Crawford, extension educator, said 213 kids participated this year.
“We were able to offer this event free of charge, thanks to many sponsors including Midwest Dairy, Nuttelman Dairy, the York/Hamilton Cattlemen, Grand Central and Corteva,” Crawford said.
The kids learned how many careers can be connected to the ag industry and how there are so many aspects of agriculture.
They also learned about the significance of agriculture to the state – according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, production agriculture contributes more than $25 billion annually to Nebraska’s economy, thanks to farmers and ranchers working on more than 45 million acres.
This annual event also helps young people learn about where their food comes from.
“We strive to make the sessions active with hands-on learning that expose students to a greater understanding of the ag industry, and how it is vital to our local, state and global economy,” Crawford said.
The local Ag Literacy Festival was created in 2019.