March is Ag Month in the Napa region of California; last Friday marked the official Ag Day during which more than 1,100 students participated in hands-on agriculture education. According to an article from the Napa Valley Register, Ag Day is put on by the Napa County Farm Bureau as part of an effort to educate students on the importance of healthy dietary choices and to increase the presence of local produce in school lunches.
As part of Ag Day, students were reportedly given the opportunity to pet a variety of farm animals and to learn how to properly milk a cow, thanks to the mobile dairy station at the Napa Valley Expo. Students were also taught about agriculture animals and products to learn about where their food comes from and the reasons for conserving these resources. The Farm Bureau reported that Ag Day gives students an opportunity to learn outside the classroom and come away with a basic understanding of the cycle of agriculture and how it affects our daily lives.
Sandy Elles, executive director of the Farm Bureau, said, “The purpose is to teach kids about agriculture, show them where their food and fiber come from, and provide them with a hands-on experience about all things ag. For a couple of hours kids are enthralled and challenged about topics such as sustainable agriculture, livestock production, land stewardship, pest management, healthy eating, and future agricultural education options.”
Representatives from the Farm Bureau believe that this effort will better inform students about the agriculture community and its impact on their lives, which will encourage them to make healthier decisions about dietary habits.
Photo courtesy of the St. Helena Star