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Chester County students participate in 4-H Ag Day
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019
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Chester County 4-H Ag Day was held Tuesday, May 14. It was an amazing day for approximately 1,100 4-H students and more than 100 staff/teachers from Chester County Middle and Chester County Junior High. Ag Day is our way of teaching agriculture through 4-H with the help of other groups from the agriculture industry. Students rotated through six stations including: small and large animals, farm commodities/equipment, dairy, beekeeping, poultry production, and soil conservation.

The day started out with a coolness in the air as all the 4-Hers and adult volunteers arrived way before the first bus of students arrived. Many of our 4-H students from grades four-12 participated by bringing their projects to display. They were the stars of the day with their classmates from their respective schools. My favorite thing about Ag Day 2019 was that we tripled in participation from 4-H compared to 2018. The excitement from last year created a buzz; as a result, we had new kids that wanted to showcase their animals or other projects, like plants. This is the first opportunity that many students that do not grow up on a farm have to interact with farm animals. The highlight of the day this year was probably the goats in numbers and also entertainment. There were milking and meat goats with live demonstrations; students and even some teachers took their turn milking. My favorite was Jax, the agility jumping goat, and his owner Mari Grace Stoltzfus, an eighth grade 4-H homeschooled student. Jax displayed his ability to jump hurdles routinely after being trained by Mari Grace. These two had been practicing many hours in order to be prepared for this event. They both went home very tired after the long day of excitement.

Our 4-H students who participated and their parents deserve all the credit for making this second Chester County Ag Day a huge success. The 4-H youth in Chester County are awesome. They have taken ownership of this special day. Without the support and help from their family none of this would be possible. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, and friends who took time out of your day to help us prepare and cleanup for Ag Day. Your work is very appreciated by the staff here UT Extension-Chester County.

I also would like to say thanks to First Farmers Coop in Henderson for providing our livestock pens, Farm Bureau of Tennessee for helping us purchase Ag Day shirts to wear through their farm tour grant, Farm Bureau of Chester County, Charles Cavaness for providing us a wonderful lunch, Jeff Fielding from the Chester County Equine Association for his support and help with getting the old fairgrounds mowed and ready for the day, Jackson Beekeepers Association for providing a station on beekeeping, NRCS for bringing their rain simulator, a new station this year, Tyson Foods for bringing some baby chicks and teaching our students about poultry production, Prairie Farms dairy for providing free ice cream to everyone, which was a big hit and Joe McKinnon from Tennessee Farm Bureau for leading our dairy station. Danny Morris, Farm Manage Specialist with UT Extension, leads our farm commodities equipment station for the second straight year. Some of the local farmers who brought us some amazing farm equipment included Faulkner Farms, Moore Farms, Neis Farms and Cherry and Sons.

The second straight year of 4-H Ag Day was a great way to wrap up our 2018-19 school year in 4-H. We are very blessed to have such a great school system here in Chester County that believes in our 4-H program. Let me remind everyone again that 4-H is year round. Most of our camps, livestock shows and other activities are during the summer months when school is out. For more information on getting involved and having tons of fun in 4-H, call the UT Extension office in Chester County at 989-2103. Check out our Chester County 4-H Facebook page for pictures from Ag day and upcoming events.


This article courtesy of the Chester County Independent