James HowellStaff Writerjhowell@heartlandpublications.com
October 14, 2012
Fall Field Day proved to be an exciting way for both younger and older members of the community to enjoy and learn about agriculture while they participated in a full day Saturday at the Ashe County Ag Expo site on N.C. 163.
“This event was a nice way to get the community involved in agriculture and show kids how fun it can be,” said Micah Orfield, agricultural agent for livestock at cooperative extension, who oversaw the event.
After registering for events, children in attendance competed with each other in a variety of games, including a tug of war, a pie eating contest, sack races and hay bale stacking contests.
Another event (slightly less organized) was a “calf scramble,” where nearly 20 children chased after two calves, trying to grasp ribbons that had been tied to the calves’ tails.
Fall Field Day wasn’t all fun and games though; it was also a chance for the participants to learn more about agriculture and livestock. The kids watched demonstrations showing how to milk a cow and rope a steer.
According to Orfield, one of her goals for the event was to teach children more about agriculture. “I would like to pull kids back into liking agriculture,” said Orfield.
One educational aim was to teach children how to responsibly tend to livestock by holding a “chicken show.”
In late August through early September, children involved in the 4-H Ag Club received six newborn chickens to raise until Fall Field Day. Food, water and shelter were provided by the 4-H Ag Club; the children only needed to feed and watch over the chicks.
When Fall Field Day arrived, the children returned the now grown chickens to the 4-H Ag Club. All of the chickens were weighed, and the child that raised the heaviest chicken was declared the winner of the chicken show.
Orfield said this event was a good way to teach the children about responsibility and garner more appreciation for the work farmers do every day.
“Too many people don’t appreciate how important agriculture is, but agriculture plays a part in nearly everything from the clothes you wear to the food you eat,” said Orfield.
According to Orfield, this was the third year of the event. However, Fall Field Day was cancelled last year because of snow. Orfield said “we are definitely planning on throwing this event again next year.”
Fall Field Day was sponsored by Ashe County’s Cooperative Extension Service and the Upper Mountain Research Station.