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St. James Parish youngsters learn where food really comes from

News Release Distributed 10/04/12

GRAMERCY, La. – Over 500 students from kindergarten through second grade attended the St. James Parish Ag Day on Oct. 3 to learn where their favorite t food comes from, according to LSU AgCenter county agent Kenneth Guidry.

“We have 22 stations set up at our Fast Food Farm to show the students how their food gets from the farm to their table,” Guidry said.

At the stations, high school 4-H club and FFA members served as teachers to show the younger children the different animals and tell about some of the things that happen on the farm.

The Fast Food Farm is land donated to provide this educational opportunity for the students in the parish, Guidry said.

More than 10 years ago, industry leaders, school personnel and LSU AgCenter staff in St. James Parish decided to design a daylong annual event to show students where food comes from, Guidry said.

“We have the 4-H and FFA members from around the parish come out ahead of time to learn about what they will be teaching at their station,” Guidry said.

The Ag Day event gives the students of the parish the opportunity to experience interactive activities which will help educate them on the importance of agriculture in their daily lives, said Denise Hymel, executive director of the Fast Food Farm.

“Ag Day is partially funded by the Mosaic company and the Fast Food Farm,” Hymel said. “This year we have many businesses and industries that have contributed as a booth sponsor.”

Barbara Becnel, a kindergarten teacher at Vacherie Elementary School, she said she gets so excited about Ag Day and what the students will be learning that she dresses like a farmer to help the learning process.

“We’re learning about agriculture and the different crops that are grown here in the parish and also learning about the different farm animals,” Becnel said.

The lack of agricultural knowledge on the part of the parish children spurred the beginning of this annual event, said Timmy Roussel, St. James Parish president. “After a generation or more removed from farm living, some students need to be reminded that milk doesn’t originate at the grocery store.”

The St. James Ag Day is coordinated by the Fast Food Farm, St. James Parish 4-H, St. James Parish FFA, New River Soil Water Conservation District, LSU AgCenter and East St. James Parish Ag in the Class.

Two Ag Days are held each year. The next will be held in the spring for third- and fourth-grade students.

Johnny Morgan

Last Updated: 10/12/2012 8:18:06 AM

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