Between Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, the Rock Island County Farm Bureau Foundation of Illinois will sponsor the 2015 AgXPerience event, which will be held at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds and John Deere Pavilion. Since 2005, the event has been giving students an up-close look at farm animals and agriculture in the area.
Children from school districts across Rock Island County annually register for the event, which is a part of the Rock County Island County Agriculture in the Classroom program. AITC is a statewide initiative that is designed to raise awareness of agriculture and its role in everyday life.
At AgXPerience, students spend about 18 minutes at five different stations. Everything from row crop to animal agriculture is addressed by farm companies that sponsor the event and hold presentations.
At the John Deere Pavilion, volunteers including John Deere employees meet with students and further educate them throughout the event. Each day, students attend the AgXPerience for a “full day,” that begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends around 1:45 p.m.
The AITC program focuses on students in grades K-8, and it is designed to integrate language arts, math, science and social studies. Agriculture is considered to be a teaching tool for volunteers.
Statistics have shown that the younger generation still has strong ties to agriculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 23rd Annual Young Farmers and Ranchers survey released in Spring 2015 found that 84 percent are more optimistic about the industry than they were five years ago.