Children's farm event bridges gap between producer and consumer

TISDALE — This year’s Farm Food event allowed Grade 3 students from the east central region to get up close and get to know the seeds, machinery and animals of the farm.

Stations were set up on beef cattle, pigs, meat rabbits, agriculture equipment and farm safety.

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Rhonda Mayerle of Greenleaf Seeds Ltd. owned the host farm for the event.  Organized by Ag in the Classroom, Mayerle said there were multiple reasons to run the event.

“There is so much misinformation out there about agriculture and the role farmers are playing in the environment, and even the role agriculture plays in people’s lives,” Mayerle said. “There is a big gap between consumers and agriculture and where your food comes from – kids just think the food comes from the store.”

She said an example of misinformation she wanted to clear up is that farmers are using chemicals to the extent where the food shouldn’t be eaten. Mayerle said this isn’t the case, that she eats the food she produces with her own family. This is something she said wouldn’t do if she believed it was dangerous.

Another misconception she hoped to clear up is about the role that farmers play in the environment.

“We’re not out destroying the environment, mass producing things. We are there, we take care of the land – we’re good stewards of the land. We take care of the animals. We only produce the things ourselves we would feed our family.” 

Mayerle said the emissions producers put out are minimal compared to the general population.

“The goal just is that I would like them to learn something they didn’t know,” she said. “Something maybe they didn’t know before and spark and interest in agriculture because we’re losing youth to the city and there is a lot. Maybe somebody get interested in agriculture and take a role in that.”

The June 12 event had students from Tisdale, Bjorkdale, Star City and Nipawin.

There were about 160 students throughout the day and over 10 volunteers.

Jazlyn Lalkowski was one of the youth who attended.

“I liked petting the animals,” Lalkowski said.

One of the things she learned from the event was that cows and goats have more than one stomach. When asked if she learned anything else she replied, “that money pigs hurt when they bite you but baby pigs don’t hurt”.

This was a lesson she learned from the pig workshop, rather than by experience.

In this workshop the students learned that the piglets there had to be taken from their mother. This is because the mother pig could get violent and defensive of her babies. In contrast, the piglets themselves were more scared than violent allowing them to be touched by the students without fear of biting.

Nixon Colman was another student present.

He said he learned, “that cows eat their food really fast and throw it up and then it goes into their other tummy then they keep just doing that” and that “pigs are scared of people”.

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November 24, 2020 POLL

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