Food for America hosts agricultural event; Elementary schoolers educated by students

Ben Iampieri, Copy Editor

     Food for America (FFA) hosted an educational farming event for elementary school students around Harford County.

     The goal is “to teach kids about agriculture,” junior Hailey Shoemaker says. “Kids come to the school and get to see all the animals and learn about them.”

     The children also do fun activities, according to senior Elizabeth Holmes. “I’m running the leaf-rubbing station, so the kids get a piece of paper and crayon and they rub a leaf and make it,” she explains.

     Freshman Autumn Ferguson participated in the FFA event earlier in the school year, so she was prepared. “I really like working with the little kids. I love seeing how excited they get to see all the different animals,” she explains. “I get to teach the little kids about something I’m really passionate about–plants and planting.”

     FFA spent about two weeks planning, according to junior Katrina Winkler. “We get our stations in order, learn the basic background facts for the animals, set them up, and get ready for the kids,” she says.

     “We had to clean up the barn,” junior Cole Hellwig starts. “We make it as tight as possible, we definitely make the pigs look good.”

     According to Hellwig, over 800 second-graders showed up on Apr. 13. “Today, I’m doing Simon Says,” he says, “A cooldown is what we’re calling it.” His station is in the barn along with the pigs. “[It’s] kind of like a transition area to the next station,” he explains. “We also do Simon Says stuff, like cow noises, to build on the knowledge of what each animal does.”

     Senior Lily Jerscheid is teaching about Mrs. Cherry. “She’s the pig who had about 16 piglets a few weeks ago,” she elaborates.

     Freshman Grayson Whaley is teaching the kids about Gracie, the cow. He answers any questions they might have. “I fulfilled a lifelong dream of sitting next to a cow while she was laying down,” he adds.

     Freshman Liam Ehrhart is presenting the sheep and one of the alpacas. “I would’ve wanted to come here in second grade, too,” he says.

     “I’m excited. I love doing this; I’ve done it every year for the past three years,” Hellwig explains. “This is my sixth time doing it now. It’s definitely the best.

       Winkler thinks it is cool that NH is the school kids come to. “Kids in my previous experience have never seen these animals or been able to work with them, so it’s cool we can do that,” Winkler says.

      “It’s just a really fun experience and I really recommend it,” Ferguson suggests. 

     Jerscheid is excited to see the second graders because “they get really amazed by animals.”