May 9, 2014
The Crawford Soil & Water Conservation District (Crawford SWCD), in partnership with USDA NRCS, Pheasant’s Forever, ODNR Div. of Wildlife, and ODNR Div. of Forestry, conducted their 26th annual conservation field days. The field days were open to all 5th graders in the county, including those that are home schooled.
Once again, Stump’s Heritage Farm, just southeast of Bucyrus, graciously hosted the event. The farm was built in 1839 and currently has the 5th, 6th, and 7th generations from the original family owning and operating the dairy.
The event was a huge success with close to 230 students, teachers and chaperones from Wynford, Colonel Crawford, Wayside Christian, Crestline St. Joseph and Holy Trinity schools attending.
Upon arriving at the farm, students were divided into groups and rotated through six stations. The six stations consisted of speakers and hands on involvement of the following topics: wildlife, forestry, soil & water conservation, dairy farming, food sources, and agricultural equipment. The day concluded with a GPS scavenger hunt. The purpose of this program is to educate participating youth about the fundamentals of natural resources conservation and agriculture using a hands-on approach that meets Ohio content standards.
Each student group was able to walk through the woods while the forester discussed timber management and how to identify trees and forest plants. At the wildlife station, students were able to handle and touch pelts while discussing the importance of responsible population management. They toured the milk parlor while learning about dairy farming and calves were available for the students to pet. The soil & water conservation stop had the students making a “soil salad” and discussed the importance of conserving this important natural resource. At the hands-on station the students were able to play a game learning where our food comes from. While at the agricultural equipment station the students had the opportunity to get a close look at many important farm implements associated with modern farming.
The Crawford SWCD would like to express its gratitude to Stump’s Heritage Farm, all speakers and presenters, and to all of the schools, students, teachers and parents that participated and hope the students enjoyed themselves as they learned about our natural resources and agriculture.