Clinton fourth-graders learn about agriculture


JANELL BAUM THOMAS / DeWitt County Farm Bureau

Jacey Wickenhauser, center, a student at Illinois State University, explains the many “hats” of a farmer to an attentive group of fourth-graders at the DeWitt County Museum/DeWitt County Farm Bureau Ag Day at the Museum event on May 19.

Courtesy of DeWitt County Farm Bureau

CLINTON — The DeWitt County Farm Bureau and DeWitt County Museum hosted more than 100 fourth-grade students from Clinton on May 19 at the at C.H. Moore Homestead in effort to strengthen science and social studies lessons in the context of agriculture.

DeWitt County Museum, University of Illinois Extension and Farm Bureau volunteers staffed the annual event, dubbed “Ag Day at the Museum,” which featured seven stations focusing on different ag topics. 

Stations included lessons on modern tractors and a combine, antique tractors and farm equipment, the blacksmith trade, corn and soybean products, and dairy. Students even tried their hand at making homemade ice cream.

Central Illinois Ag, Altorfer, Inc., and Cross Brothers Implement provided examples of modern equipment for students to examine. Students also learned about the many “hats” a farmer wears – from agronomist to meteorologist and veterinarian to conservationist. 

Volunteers also helped students connect traditional farming techniques with modern ways of farming. They were treated to a full blacksmithing demonstration as well as a tour of the museum’s large farm equipment collection, which ranges from the first wooden plows up to farm tractors from the 1950s. 

DeWitt County Museum Director Joey Woolridge said the event was boosted by energetic volunteers and an attentive group of students.  “Through the efforts of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau, local ag-related businesses, Clinton’s 4th grade educators, the DeWitt County Museum Association, and all others who volunteered their time, the students explored agricultures past, present and future.  We look forward to this event every year.”

Woolridge also thanked Clinton CVS for their donation of water bottles toward the students’ lunches.

A portion of the educational material costs for Friday’s event was covered by the DeWitt County Farm Bureau Foundation, which raises money through its annual Golf Outing, scheduled for July 28, 2017, to support agriculture education efforts in the county. 

The C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum, including the farm museum, are open Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. A tractor show to support the museum is planned on June 24, 2017. For more details about either event, contact the Farm Bureau at 217-935-2126 and the Museum at 217-935-6066.

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