Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rural Education Day program teaches Michigan youth about local food, agriculture

About 600 fourth-grade students from St. Clair County, Michigan, had an opportunity to experience rural life this week during Rural Education Day, a program through the Michigan Farm Bureau that teaches children about local agriculture, Bob Gross reports for The Times Herald in Port Huron. St. Clair County is one of 33 Michigan counties to have a Rural Education Day program. (Herald photo by Jeffrey Smith: A student pets a dairy cow during Rural Education Day)

While much of St. Clair County is rural in nature, farmer Stacey Lauwers "said there are many county residents who don’t know how their food is produced," Gross writes. She told him, “We need to know it actually starts with a farmer growing the food, that there are several steps that need to be taken before it ends up in the grocery store." Teacher Mark Whitney told Gross, “A lot of our population don’t have farms anymore. I would say six of these kids have farms, and it’s important that they know where their food comes from.”

Farmer Mark Naplin told Gross, "The American public is so removed from the farm. It’s nice to be able to educate them.” Teacher Liz Falk, told Gross, “A lot of them live outside the city, but they don’t live on farms, so this is new to them. It’s something they don’t get every day.” (Read more)

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