Ag Expo Connects Farm Gates to Dinner Plates & Beyond
AMBOY — Although tractors weren’t on display during the 11th Annual Ag Expo, a helicopter, pea picker and semi were. It was all part of the effort to connect what happens in the world of agriculture with what happens in the world of today’s fifth grader.
More than 385 fifth grade students gathered at the Lee Co. 4-H Center & Fairgrounds on Friday, April 28. Attending schools included: Amboy, Ashton-Franklin Center, Madison, Paw Paw, St. Anne’s and St. Marys.
“What does agriculture have to do with you?” asked Katie Pratt, agriculture literacy coordinator for Lee County Ag in the Classroom, during the opening session. Students responded with answers like food, fuel for cars and fiber to wear.
“Because we live in a rural county, we feel it is important for students to learn the importance farmers and agribusiness play in their daily lives,” said Pratt.
Four agencies have partnered on the Ag Expo project - University of Illinois Extension – Lee County, Lee County Farm Bureau, Lee County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Lee County Ag in the Classroom. The event began in 2006.
Presenters from local agri-businesses, agencies, farms and schools were on hand to discuss topics ranging from livestock (beef, swine, sheep, goats and horses) to ethanol, soil science, agriculture careers, bees, 4-H, gardening, horticulture, semi safety, food service, corn and soybeans.
AFC FFA members and Lee Co. 4-H members were on hand to help set-up and present during the event.
Kayla Halfacre from Culvers-Dixon kicked off the program highlighting how important agriculture is to the restaurant visit. During lunch, Culvers served custard to all Ag Expo attendees