Mary Ann Van Osdell, Russell, Markaye H., Stephens, Matthew F., Stephens, Cynthia, Frazier Jr, Ralph L., Sistrunk, Myrl W., McCann, Jimmy D., Hill, Odis, Collins, R. Keith, Pinnell-Alison, Carol L.
DELHI, La. – Ag Adventures, an educational experience in agriculture, attracted nearly 800 students Feb. 23-24 to the Northeast District Livestock Show Barn and Civic Center here.
Students from northeast Louisiana elementary schools spent about an hour and a half visiting interactive exhibits to learn about agricultural products in northeast Louisiana from LSU AgCenter agents.
The exhibits featured corn, horticulture, livestock and horses.
The goal of the event was to increase awareness of the nutritional and economic importance of Louisiana commodities, said Keith Collins, LSU AgCenter agent in Richland Parish.
This was the fourth time the event has been held.
In the mini farm, children saw cows, pigs, sheep and goats.
“Milk and ice cream don’t magically appear on the shelf,” said R.L. Frazier, LSU AgCenter agent in Madison Parish. “They come from a dairy cow.”
Children got to pet a seven-day-old pig. “That will be good meat,” said Collin Fisher, a third-grader from Delhi Charter School.
“I like the idea of hands-on and seeing real products,” said Rhonda Hutto, a teacher at Delhi Charter. “They need to understand a farmer’s role.”
“The discovery of agriculture was the greatest thing for mankind,” said Markaye Russell, LSU AgCenter agent in Ouachita Parish. She explained that at one time people had to hunt, fish and travel to find food and that they had to acquire land, grow food and have a place to store it.
She showed students parts of a plant – the root, stem, flower and leaves – and told them each could be eaten. She said carrots are examples of a root; asparagus, celery and onions are stems; broccoli and artichoke are flowers; and lettuce is leaves.
Myrl Sistrunk, LSU AgCenter agent in West Carroll Parish, told about corn. Farmers start planting from March through April, he said, and “it takes 100 to 120 days for it to grow and mature.”
Sistrunk said an ear of corn has about 800 kernels.
In a history lesson about corn, Odis Hill, Southern University agent in Morehouse Parish, said Native Americans called corn “maize” and that Christopher Columbus introduced the plant to Europe. Hill demonstrated models of equipment needed to produce corn – a tractor, hipper, planter, sprayer, combine, grain cart and bin.
Carol Pinnell-Alison, LSU AgCenter agent in Franklin Parish, told about different kinds of corn – field corn, sweet corn and popcorn.
The children learned from Cynthia Pierfax, LSU AgCenter agent in East Carroll Parish, about products such as tape, tortillas, gum and starch that are made from corn byproducts.
Caldwell Parish Agent Jim McCann explained the basic equipment needed to own a horse – halters, lead ropes, saddles, brushes and bits.
The AgCenter has hosted similar educational events for students in Lake Charles and is planning AgMagic in Baton Rouge April 19-25.
Mary Ann Van Osdell