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Berthold students host Agriculture Appreciation Day...

To recognize National Agriculture Week and the stake North Dakota has in agriculture, Lewis & Clark elementary students in Berthold held an impressive agriculture appreciation day Wednesday.

3/26/19 (Tue)

To recognize National Agriculture Week and the stake North Dakota has in agriculture, Lewis & Clark elementary students in Berthold held an impressive agriculture appreciation day Wednesday.

From numerous static exhibits, to live animals to big machinery and ag-related classes, the day had something for anyone who has any relationship to agriculture.

The day was designed for elementary students to let each other know of the many aspects of North Dakota farming and ranching. However, in addition to many parents of students, farmers and ranchers in general attended to be appreciated.

Elementary Principal Melissa Lahti said the entire day was driven by the elementary students. She said they contacted high school kids to be moderators at many of the various round-robin stations located throughout the school.

“We want to show kids as many aspects of agriculture as we can,” said Tracy Ross, one of the teachers involved in keeping the schedule intact. “Where does grain go, what is agronomy and we have a good demonstration in the farm safety class with two Lego guys in a load of grain.”

Alechia Neubauer, another elementary teacher, worked with Ross in scheduling the event.

All the sessions were geared to those who were sitting in on that particular class. For instance, if first graders were being taught about farm safety, the high school students presented in a way the young children would understand.

According to Lahti, nearly all of the elementary students are aware of the importance of farming and ranching, some more than others, as many of them live on farms and see their parents and siblings doing different things on the farm.

Some students have joined Lewis & Clark from out of state and their knowledge of farming and ranching might not be as broad as the local farm kids.

“It’s really interesting to them,” Lahti said.

High school student Ann Schauer was manning a cow-milking station. A life-size cow caricature was set up complete with an udder (5-gallon pail) and teats for the children to learn how to milk a cow the old-fashioned way.

For most of the kids, Schauer said they embraced the opportunity. Others did not.

“One kids said it felt weird,” Schauer said. “The others were comfortable with it.”

Next to Bessie, junior Andy Johnson was explaining the difference between dairy and non-dairy products. Johnson and his associates had pieces of cheese, butter, whipped topping and milk, as well as the equivalent non-dairy products.

They were instructed to taste both and attempt to figure out which was which. Johnson then showed them reality.

Perhaps the most dramatic session was that of farm safety and the demonstration that freshman Natalie Heidt showed the kids.

Heidt had a scale-size gravity box full of spring wheat with two Lego characters sitting on the top of the grain. She opened the gate and the wheat slowly began running out into a 5-gallon pail. As that happened, the Lego characters began to sink into the grain and audiences were either totally shocked or unaware that gravity could do that with wheat.

Heidt and her associate also showed a slide presentation in which cartoons were used to better illustrate their points, especially to the young children.

“We tell kids not to play in grain,” Heidt said. “We especially tell them when it’s being unloaded.”

Debbie Deaver, of the Ward County Farm Bureau, was the farm safety presenter. In addition to gravity-fed grain, she said the class covered dangers with lawn mowers, power take offs, all-terrain vehicles and even what do you do if a cow protecting her new calf decides to charge you.

Heidt asked the students if they knew about augers and PTO shafts? Most everyone knew, but Heidt further explained why they are dangerous and why we must respect them during operation of farm machinery.

The underlying theme of the session was to stay away from dangerous equipment, even if you’re curious, and get someone’s attention, who is operating the machine, another way such as waving your arms or jumping up and down so they notice.

Other presentations included a farm to market class presented by Berthold Farmers Elevator, seeds and chemicals by United Agronomy, a petting zoo by the Sunshiners 4-H, Pride of Dakota samples by Andy Fjeldahl of Berthold Farmers Union Oil Co., and a livestock branding session by Susan Hanna, a local rancher.

Static displays included corn, soybeans, hogs, durum wheat, poultry and eggs. The students who put the displays together used clever props such as spaghetti sticks to simulate harvest-ready durum.

It was clear, however, that the kids enjoyed the livestock in the parking lot. A chicken, horse, donkey, goat, llama, a ewe and her two lambs and even wool in its raw form, were on display on a beautiful and warm afternoon that happened to be the first day of spring.

Numerous kids enjoyed holding a five-day old lamb while the mama cared for the lamb’s twin in a nearby pen.

The day concluded with the students thanking farmers and ranchers for their hard work in their own way.

“We are gathered here to recognize agriculture,” Lahti said to the general assembly. “We are grateful to live in the community we live in.”

Each class, from kindergarten through sixth grade, provided their own facts and humorous information about their selected topic.

The kindergarten kids talked about wheat, the first grade, soybeans, the second grade, sunflowers, the third grade, sheep, the fourth grade, hogs, the fifth grade cattle and finally the sixth grade talked about bees.

Each demonstration drew a generous round of applause from the audience.

All of the fourth-grade students were wearing hog masks and two of the sixth-grade students were wearing bee costumes to help illustrate bees’ importance to ag.

The final student had a riddle. “Where do bees go on vacation,” he asked the audience? “Stingapore,” was the reply. Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!