Scroll to the bottom of this page to see pictures and hear audio clips from Ag Encounter.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Hundreds of fourth graders swarmed through the Lawrence County Fairgrounds Oct. 7-8 to get a glimpse of how agriculture affects everything from their shoes to their snacks.
The two-day program, called Ag Encounter, gives every fourth grader in the county a chance to see where his food comes from and just how many everyday products originate on the farm. This year, 1,050 students went through the Ag Encounter experience.
The students rotated through 12 stations, each one focusing on a different aspect of farming. The lesson at each station lasted 15 minutes and topics included dairy, beef, swine, sheep, poultry, corn, apples, vegetables, honeybees, forestry, conservation and soybeans.
“They don’t get a lot of information, but they get enough to tease them a little bit about what’s going on and where their food supply comes from,” said Janice Hassen, Lawrence County Extension director and one of the organizers of the event.
The learning stations are led by industry representatives and students from the Mohawk, Laurel and Wilmington FFA chapters.
The fourth graders had the chance to ask questions, pet some animals and a few even had their own farm stories to share.
“The kids seem to really relate to the student presenters, so that’s been a real asset to the program,” Hassen said.
Ag Encounter is an annual event in Lawrence County. This is the seventh year for the program, which was started by county resident Dick Kind.