The Kentucky Farm Bureau in Greenup presented the annual trophies to talented fourth-grade students on Monday.
This year’s recipients joined a long list of students who wrote essays and crafted posters to show their understanding and appreciation for Ag Day.
The event is to educate students about the area’s rich agricultural background, and to foster an appreciation of the means by which food is grown and harvested and livestock are raised.
The day and the contest are a special treat for the students, and in some cases it can serve as an insight into their individual family histories; many students might have had grandparents or great-grandparents whose livelihood depended upon agriculture, but their own parents might have pursued other careers.
Today, it is not uncommon for families to be two or more generations removed from their agricultural roots. One aim of Ag Day is to present the numerous opportunities available, and perhaps instill a desire in the current generation, to consider an agricultural career and return to those roots.
“We feel like it is our responsibility to teach the area youth about agriculture,” Greenup Farm Bureau President Terry Osborne said. “So many people today don’t know enough about it.”
Osborne said the poster and essay contest is a good way to measure how much of the information presented to the students through Ag Day and other programs sinks in.
“The kids retain a lot of the information. There were so many great essays and posters, and we think that they are gaining a good grasp on what it means to farm and raise livestock.”
According to Osborne, it was also obvious that the students went beyond the information they were given.
“You could tell that they built on the information we gave them by doing research, either in books or through the Internet,” he says.
Osborne and the farm bureau hope to instill the love of farming in the younger generations.
“There’s a great deal of satisfaction in watching things grow,” he said.
The same sense of accomplishment, Osborne said, applies to both growing crops and raising livestock such as cattle; you can see what you have accomplished.
“It is a lot of work,” he said. “But it is well worth it. It is definitely something that you can become passionate about.”
Greenup Farm Bureau volunteers not only sponsor Ag Day, but also other programs designed to raise awareness of the agricultural process. Volunteers regularly go to area schools and both read to students and provide books on agricultural topics.
“These kids really go all out,” Osborne said of the contest and the overall interest level of the students.