FFA Field Day teaches about foodPublished 8:33pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013
CASSOPOLIS — Between Cassopolis FFA’s third annual Field Day and Good Sam campers, the Cass County Fairgrounds bustled with activity Wednesday.
About 30 FFA members hosted 205 first, third and fifth graders from Sam Adams Elementary School who rotated between seven stations.
“We started planning this two months ago,” FFA President Cameron Hayden said. “These kids took two to three weeks researching fun facts and different aspects of their specific species or tractors and equipment to help them understand more about where their food comes from, which is not commonly taught in the classroom. From scripts, we branched off to see who was able to bring animals and to be here to help as tour guides.”
“The first year,” Hayden said, “I helped out with horses. Last year I helped out with hogs. This year I’m kind of a floater, making sure everything goes smoothly.”
Field Day also serves as an FFA recruitment tool, with information available at snack and game stations.
Fifth graders learning more about rural life might join the award-winning program as seventh graders.
FFA “has been life-changing for me,” the junior said. “I plan to go into some aspect of ag-business.”
While Cassopolis is one of the last FFA programs in Cass and Berrien counties, it has an up-and-coming robotics team.
“Since some of the kids are in both FFA and robotics,” Hayden said, “we could actually work into a partnership somehow in the future. That would be cool.”
FFA adviser Carrie George said, “It varies. The first year we did K-4. Last year we did first and second. They make a small circle around (the show arena) — pigs, horses, poultry and rabbits, beef cattle, tractors, goats, sheep. The fifth graders are at an age where they’re almost too cool, but (the younger students) are fun. It helps both groups. It’s good for (my students) to get experience. They’re already good talking in front of people from their FFA experience. Most of them are involved in the animal industry somehow. But they step back and try to look at it from these kids’ perspective — not only this age group, but consumers, and what their misunderstandings are.”