River View’s Agriculture Education students host 135 local second graders for Farm Day

The River View Agriculture Education Department hosted a farm day for all River View Local Schools 2nd graders on October 14, 2015. There were approximately 135 2nd grade students that participated. All 120 students in the River View Agriculture Education Program helped in the event by leading sessions, walking groups through the rotations, setting up and cleaning up. The 2nd grade classes rotated through eight sessions: Animals, Corn and Soybeans, Nutrients, Pick your own pumpkin, Gardening 101, Forestry, Soils, and Bugs.

In the animals session, the 2nd graders had a hands-on learning experience with a variety of animals including pigs, goats, a calf, and rabbits.

The corn and soybean session taught students the parts of the corn and soybean plants, the uses of corn and soybeans, and the basics of the production processes. Students put their learning into practice, labeling the corn plant and simulating the role of a combine by rolling a soybean pod in their hands to release the soybeans. 

In the nutrients session, student presenters went over what a plant needs to grow: soil, air, sun, water, and the major nutrients nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. They explained why each are important. They then had each 2nd grader put a corn seed in a baggie with gel beads that represented the different thing plants need to grow. 

Picking a pumpkin was a process that started way back in June when the pumpkin seeds were started in the greenhouse, then planted in the FFA garden in July. Each 2nd grader was able to choose their own pumpkin. 

Gardening 101 taught about having your own garden. The 2nd graders learned about environmental factors that can impact a garden: sunlight, temperature, water, soil health, and pests (animals, insects, and weeds). Thanks to a donation from our local Rural King, this session included free packets of seeds for each 2nd grader as well as extras sent with the teacher to use in additional classroom experiments.

The forestry session included discussion on the forest ecosystem. Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers were all identified. They also learned the parts and functions of a tree and made a “living tree” where each student played a role as part of a tree. 

In the soils session, the 2nd graders made a list of what soil is and what is in it and categorized that list into living and non-living. They also learned about particle size. Using different sizes of cereal in a baggie, they learned that sand is the biggest particle, silt is in the middle, and clay is the smallest. They also observed two different types of soil in water and discussed the observations they made, such as why potting soil is darker than field soil and the layers formed in the field soil. 

The bug session was led by OSU Extension leaders Emily Buxton and Tammi Rogers. They talked about the difference in good bugs and bad bugs and why good bugs are important to us.

This event was a great way for the students in the Ag. Education program to use their knowledge and skills learned and developed in the program to teach the younger generation about different agricultural topics and get them excited about agriculture.