One student said she, "would like to be a farmer so she could take care of animals and crops. Plus go in big tractors."
Another thought he would like to farm "because you can do lots of cool stuff."
And finally, one thought it better to take a pass, "because you have to buy a lot of expensive equipment and it is a lot of work."
They learned about the different parts of a corn kernel, what corn can be used for, how it is grown and why farming is important to them. We got a chance to share our message about how farmers like us work hard to conserve resources, protect the environment and maximize production all at the same time. The role of biotechnology, precision agriculture (GPS farming), renewable energy and other similar topics were also discussed. Many of the kids seemed surprised to find out how expensive the equipment and crop inputs were. I always think the size and scope is mind-boggling as well. To think that 35 billion kernels of corn are produced from 60 million ears of corn on our farm every year still amazes me too.
After a great lunch of hot dogs and corn chips (of course!) the kids got to head next door to visit the cow/calf cattle ranch at Friedlund Farms. There they learned a bit more about the role of livestock in agriculture and the human food chain. The cows had several new calves and also performed a number of normal bodily functions much to the amusement of the children.
What impressed me most was that in a relatively short time the kids seemed to truly grasp WHERE their food comes from.
It's a good reminder for us all. Food doesn't come from the grocery store. It comes from the farm.
And a lot of hard work goes into feeding the world.