NASHVILLE — The 54th annual Holmes County Fifth Grade Farm Tour hosted by the Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District was held on two separate days last week to accommodate the number of students participating.
There were nearly 200 students on the tour last Tuesday from East Holmes and parochial schools, and around 160 on Thursday from West Holmes and Holmesville for the second day of the tour.
The two separate events were held at Harold’s Equipment and Dairy Farm near Trail on Tuesday, and at Wachtels’ Spring Walk Farm near Nashville on Thursday.
"We try to keep it relevant," said Michelle Wood of the Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD). "We try to do as much hands-on as we can to keep it interesting for the kids.
"Back at soils, they are actually going to be feeling texturing soils and try to find organisms in the different types of soil," Woods continued. "We’re trying to make this so if the kids do something as part of the activity, it is something they remember. We have the rainfall simulator to create a nice visual to show the concept."
The students went from station to station for a brief presentation on water quality, soils, forestry, farm safety, farming and wildlife.
At the forestry stop, the students got to smell different cuts of wood.
"I think this is one of those things they can relate back to as they go through school," Wood said.
Several FFA students helped with the farm tour as guides, leading the students around, and some served as presenters. Ally Ogi and Jayme Pennell gave a presentation about farm safety.
"It’s a great chance for the students to understand a little about what FFA does, and helps get them interested in the program," she said. "Plus, with our limited staff, it helps enable us to put this program together. They are very important to us, and they just continue to increase their contributions to the program. Their leadership has grown greatly over the years."
Holmes County Commissioner Joe Miller stopped by Harold’s Equipment on Tuesday to take in some of the tour out east.
"I just listened in briefly as they moved from station to station," Miller said. "It was very well organized. The kids really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful day. I think this is a great program that is very beneficial for the kids."
— Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.