I am not super organized most days, it is a product of my profession that is dictated by the crazy Kansas weather, animals, crops and pests, but when I do a presentation everything is planned.
I have taken a step away from actually going to schools over the last few years as my duties on the farm have evolved, my kids have gotten older and as I have grown Flat Aggie into across the nation learning tool with teachers from California, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois and more learning from our paper doll friend.
Enter into my life the young 4-H club. Young in two ways. Number one, the club started in August as in seven months ago! Number two, our oldest member is seventeen and our youngest member is seven which isn’t that uncommon, but our second oldest member just turned fourteen!
Enter in a new 4-H family who loves agriculture especially Hereford pigs. The seven year old stood up at the last meeting and made a motion that the club do an ag day at the local school. Did I mention there are currently only 12 members? The local school is in a town of about 9,000 population which equates to about 475 students in Kindergarten through second grade.
Yes, there was a motion and a second and a unanimous yes vote. My thoughts were Oh my! Do they truly realize what they have agreed to? Probably not, but they are learning quickly. They are lucky to have a leader who has done a Kindergarten Field Day or two, been to Earth Day and has an extensive Barn of Books!
A motion like that can spur a leader into action faster than anything else. I want them to be successful. I want the school to feel like they are getting a quality day of education. I want Agriculture to look
Can these kids do it? YES!
Will it be like when I present our farm to school kids? No, but why does it have to be that way?
Will they tell a side of agriculture that I don’t see? Yes! Did I mention only one-third of the club has a parent who farms full time?
Will the Kindergartner through second graders learn something new about the farm? Absolutely!
Will they remember farmers and ranchers (aka 4-H members) are nice people who know a lot about their animals and crops? We sure hope so.
Will these teachers find a new list of human resources in their community that they can call on when they have a question? Yes and I plan to introduce them to Flat Aggie as well.
Are the kids excited? YES! Even the seven year olds-they may be the most excited to bring their animals to show their friends.
Have they spurred me to action in a way I haven't been in quite awhile? Absolutely!
Am I worried? Maybe a little, but as the days go by, we are getting everyone in the club on the same page and I have a few friends volunteering to come help out.
We all get caught up in everything needing to be perfect to tell the ag story. Farmers have been told time and time again that if we don’t tell the story, someone else will and it could be someone who has never stepped foot in a pig pen or a corn field. Maybe instead of working hard to turn introvert farmers into agvocates we are missing the boat! Maybe we need to be working with the kids who love agriculture, but don’t get to live it every day to help tell our agriculture super story.
Maybe we need to remember to take action when some says please come talk to us.
Stay tuned...I have more to say about this subject.