Kids get ag education
By KRISS NELSON
HUMBOLDT – More than 600 children from Calhoun, Humboldt, Kossuth and Wright counties converged onto the Humboldt County Fairgrounds Friday for Davis Dairy and Friends Ag Day.
The event, which has been previously held on the Davis dairy farm near Gilmore City, was moved to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds for logistical reasons.
Glenn Davis, a member of the family that owns the farm, said with how the spring weather has been and the number of students attending, they made the decision to move the event.
“We will have over 600 kids here today, and that’s not including the adults,” he said. “Last year we had 13 buses at the farm. We are just running out of room.”
The move to the fairgrounds, Davis said, allowed for 150 more students to participate.
Just because the event wasn’t held on the farm didn’t take away any opportunities for the children to learn about agriculture.
“Everything that was on the farm is here and the only thing we didn’t bring in was the milk cow,” he said.
However, a makeshift dairy cow display was made to replace the experience of a live one.
Davis said he thinks his family has been hosting the agriculture educational event for about nine years now. When it first started, they hosted 60 children.
It’s the priceless faces on the children and the opportunities to learn firsthand where their food comes from and how it is grown that makes it all worth it, he said.
“Just look at them kids,” he said. “Some of these kids will never see an animal up close. Only at a zoo with a wire fence that is 20 feet away. They will never see these animals.”
Stations at the Davis Dairy and Friends Ag Day included opportunities to learn about llamas, alpacas, calves, pigs, horses, sheep, donkeys and more.
“We get them wound up putting them through a wild animal display and a hay bale maze, then we slow them down a little bit with the teaching of what animals eat, a spinning wheel and story book time,” he said. “Then we start to wind them back up again to see all of the animals, like the llamas and alpacas. Even I get excited because I don’t see them very often.”
Davis said he even learns something new at the event.
“We have turkens. I have never seen one a day in my life, so that is new for me,” he said. “It’s a learning experience for me, too. Yep, everything is a learning experience to me.”
Turkens are also known as naked neck chickens because they don’t have feathers on their necks. They look somewhat like turkeys.
There are several sponsors that help make the event possible.
Davis said the Humboldt County Fair Board allowed the use of the fairgrounds for no charge, and other sponsorships came from the Madden Mallory Foundation, Power Credit Union, city of Gilmore City, Van Diest, Bank of Iowa, AK Seeds, Frerk Seeds, Farmers Cooperative Elevator, Red Power, U.S. Bank, Dairy Queen, AMPI, Pro Cooperative and Farm Bureau.
“I need to say thanks for all they give me and all of the donations really help,” said Davis. “It ain’t near enough, but how can you charge these kids?”
In addition to sponsors, Davis said they have countless helpers. When it comes time to round up the help, everyone, he said, is more than eager to lend a hand and their animals.
“It sure doesn’t take much to get people to come help,” he said. “Friends, volunteers and sponsors. They get on board immediately. They all have such a good time. Everybody has a good time.”
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