Manawa third graders learned firsthand where their food comes from when they participated in Food for America at the Triple B Produce Farm Friday, April 11.
Sandy Cordes, Little Wolf High School FFA Advisor, said Food for America is an agriculture literacy event. This year's event was the eighth annual. A total of 73 third graders spent time at different stations set up at the event. At each station, they learned about different aspects of agriculture. Some of the things at the stations included: a pig, a calf, chickens, and farm machinery.
"I think it's a good way for kids to see a connection with agriculture, to know where their food comes from," Cordes said. "There are very few kids who have that background of a farm anymore and I want them to have an appreciation of where food comes from."
High school FFA members planned each station and presented information to the elementary students. Elementary students could also do interactive activities at some of the stations. At total of 26 high school students took part in the event.
"It's awesome for the high school kids to be able to put together a lesson plan and to be able to do hands on activities with the kids," Cordes said. "At every station there is something interactive. It's fun to watch the high school students process the activity and be able to answer questions. The juniors were at my first Food for America that I did when I started teaching here, so it's fun for me because they've gone through the program. They were here as third graders and now they are here as teachers."
Mike Thyssen, who owns Triple B Produce Farm with his wife, Brenda, said he and his wife enjoy hosting the event. This was the fourth year they hosted the event.
"It's better than sitting in school and looking at a book," Thyssen said. "Here it is hands-on and they can visualize it. [We enjoy] seeing the kids with big smiles on their faces. You know they are learning something when they are not talking or goofing around."
For the Manawa FFA chapter, it's just another event of many they do each year.
"Our FFA chapter was recognized for the fifth place chapter in the state for agriculture literacy last year," Cordes said. "We do a lot of different activities about food and about agriculture. Farmers are hard workers and I want kids to understand that consumer connection when they go to the grocery store. That's not where our food comes from, it comes from the farm."
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