HARRISBURG – Lessons about agriculture came to life for nearly 600 students during the Department of Agriculture’s 15th Farm City Day, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Agriculture Secretary George Greig welcomed second through fifth graders from public, private and home schools in Cumberland and Dauphin counties, emphasizing the importance of agriculture in students’ daily lives.
“Fewer than two percent of Americans are farming today, which puts each generation even further removed from agriculture,” said Greig.
“By exploring agriculture for just one day, these children will better understand the origins of our food supply, how important agriculture is to their lives and the educational and career opportunities that exist in agriculture – even in suburban and urban areas.”
Hands-on learning stations featured products like dairy, produce and animal feed.
Students met farm animals, watched honeybees in a demonstration hive, spoke with 4-H and FFA members and learned how to spin wool.
Farm City Day was designed to provide agricultural resources to schools, including curriculum materials and grants, and to raise the awareness of agriculture’s importance to communities, the economy and the world.
“Many children have never had the chance to see a working farm or touch a live animal,” said Greig.
“We hope attending Farm City Day will help them make the connection between the cow they saw and the ice cream they ate here, and they can better understand how food gets from farm gate to dinner plate.”
Participating schools included Lenkerville & Tri-Community elementary schools and the Scott School in Dauphin County, as well as Bellaire, Elmwood and Hoover elementary schools in Cumberland County.
Farm City Day was part of the 55th Keystone International Livestock Exposition, which features more than 3,600 animals, including beef cattle, horses, sheep and pigs.
The expo ran through yesterday.