Sussex students get up close to agriculture during Farm Day

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: May 10, 2018 | 12:00 p.m.

SUSSEX – Approximately 200 first and second graders from Sussex County Schools enjoyed a day full of fun and learning on the farm Friday, April 13. The annual Sussex County School Farm Day is presented by Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District and graciously hosted by Mac and Keith Dunn of Oak Hill Farms in Yale. 

It was a great day for the students of Sussex Central Elementary to learn about agriculture and natural resources with a hands-on experience. Students had the opportunity to put their hands in the soil and learn about soil types, how beef cattle are raised and utilized for food; and how food gets from the farm to the table as well as learn about forestry, wildlife, water quality, plants, and electricity.  They even had the opportunity to watch a puppet show. 

Eric Brittle from DGIF presenting students at his Wildlife station.

The students traveled to 11 different learning stations in 10-minute intervals where they were able to interact and learn from the following organizations: Oak Hill Farms, Chowan Basin SWCD, Farm Bureau, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. 

Other volunteers in attendance included 10 FFA students from Southampton County High School and Prince George Electric as well as several members from the Sussex County Farm Bureau. Several of the FFA volunteers spent the day stuffing “goody bags” for each student and teacher. Each student bag contained items donated by the participating organizations which included educational materials, booklets, bookmarks, pencils, ink pens, stickers, and coloring books.  The teacher bags contained  pencils, cups, book for their classroom and educational materials.  Along with stuffing the goody bags, FFA students worked as tour guides and assisted at learning stations and wherever help was needed. 

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Farm Day is a day for not only the students but also for parents, teachers, and volunteers. It is a fast-paced day from the time the buses arrive to the time they leave. The reward for all involved in this event is seeing the excitement and eagerness for learning, and hearing the appreciation from the students throughout the day. 

“Without the help from all the volunteers from each organization, Southampton FFA chapter, Farm Bureau, and especially Mac and Keith Dunn for hosting and helping to organize and plan, we at Chowan Basin SWCD could not make Farm Day as successful as it is,” said Jennifer Coker, Chowan Basin SWCD’s Conservation Education Technician.  

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