Readin,’ writin,’ farmin’
MASON CITY – It was something old and something new for two events held during the third week of February by the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau.
The something old event was the Feb. 21 Ag Fair that’s been around for more than 10 years. The new event was held Feb. 19, called Grab and Give Food from Farmers.
It is designed to introduce first- and second-graders from area schools to crops and livestock on North Iowa farms and was held at the fairgrounds west of Mason City.
Linda Anderegg, coordinator of the county’s Ag in the Classroom program for Farm Bureau, said first- graders from Mason City and Clear Lake schools attended, along with second-graders from Newman Catholic school, in Mason City; West Fork community school, in Rockwell; and Ventura Elementary, in Ventura.
There was a morning session and an afternoon session to handle the approximately 500 pupils in attendance.
The purpose of the Ag Fair is to provide a “hands- on education,” said Anderegg.
The children get to “touch a pig, sheep and cow, sit on a tractor and have fun,” she said.
Volunteers were at 15 different stops with each stop duplicated to handle the number of students.
At noon, all the pupils ate sack lunches at the fairgrounds with the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau furnishing the milk.
Grab and Give
Grab and Give Food from Farmers was held in recognition of National Food Checkout Week that recognizes farmers for growing abundant, inexpensive and healthy food.
It was held at the west location of Hy-Vee in Mason City.
Teams of three people were given five minutes to collect groceries, coming as close to $250 as possible. No calculators were allowed.
The teams were from seven ag-related businesses – Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Services, North Iowa Cooperative, Five Star Cooperative, Cartersville Elevator, MBT Ag Lenders and Golden Grain Energy.
The teams worked off a shopping list of non-perishable food items such as peanut butter and canned items that were needed by the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.
When the contest ended and the prices were totaled, the event was won by the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau team with a total of $249.98, two cents short of the $250 maximum. They decorated their grocery cart to look like a tractor.
The Cartersville Elevator team came in second with a total of $259.59.
Each business paid for their team’s groceries and then donated the food to the food shelf.
The food donations from this event totaled $1,615.34.