TIFTON — The 14th Annual Children’s Farm Day was held Nov. 3 at the school farm.

Third graders from all of the school system’s elementary schools got to learn about the importance of agriculture.

Farm day is an event driven and taught by students. Students from both the middle and high schools come up with the fundraisers for the event, put the exhibits together, staff the stations and teach third graders about the different stations.

Most of the stations were staffed by students from Tift County High School, who worked tirelessly to learn the material so they would know it well enough to teach it. 

The area was divided into three different areas, each with about a dozen stations that classes rotated between.

In the first section, there were stations where students learned about horticulture, recycling, blacksmithing, flower arranging, and various crops like peanuts and cotton. They also learned about the school nutrition program that utilizes farm to table produce.

The second section was all about animals. They were able to get up close and personal with poultry, mules, horses, cows, rabbits, goats, sheep and pigs. There were also stations where they learned about beekeeping, cattle roping and where milk comes from.

The third section focused on the area’s natural resources. Students learned about alternate energy sources like solar power, entomology, turkeys and ducks, wildfire prevention and wildlife identification.

They were also able to see a retriever dog in action and learn about various aspects of soil, such as different kinds, what the layers mean and how erosion affects it.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources had a station where they showed students examples of native animal species. The forestry department’s station used tree rings to help students understand how trees grow, and two game wardens from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources went over different aspects of woodsmanship, like firearm safety and hunting laws.

The Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom was a big hit as always. Students are able to see a dairy cow getting milked and learn about where the milk they drink comes from and how it is extracted from the cow. They also learned about caring for cows and how milking methods have changed through advances in technology.

Nocole Karstedt, coordinator for the classroom, said that most kids don’t know where milk comes from, and that it is a fun and eye-opening experience to see the milk come straight from the cow.

New this year was a raptor show put on by the environmental education department of Calloway Gardens.

Paul and Emily, two of the educators, brought three raptors - meat eating birds - to show the kids. They said that having the birds helps show kids examples of the food chain in a tangible way.

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