This year they had six different topics featured to give the students an understanding of soils, water quality, water safety, 4-H, jobs that have to do with insects and the history of wheat.
Joe Huntsman, retired Ag teacher from Churubusco High School takes the fifth graders outside to discuss what erosion is and what can be done to prevent it from happening to our fields, yards and roads. He also explains that there are different types of soils. He talks about different types of practices people can do to help stop erosion on the property to help keep our soils in place and to keep our water clean.
Gene Haskins contracted with the Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District explained to the students how much water there is in our world. But then he explained how much water there really is that we can use to drink compared to all the water that is either locked up in the North and South Poles and the oceans. Mr. Haskins also discussed how the city sewers and storm sewers work. He also explained some of the things we can do to help keep our water clean for us to use.
Eric Bolt and Darren Reed, both with DNR came to explain to the fifth graders the importance of respecting the water when you are swimming or boating. They reviewed some of the Indiana laws for boating. With the cooperation of a volunteer student, they showed why you should be wearing your life vest when you are riding in a boat and the vest needs to fit you properly. They explained things you could use in case of an emergency that might save someone from drowning.
David Addison, youth educator with the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service gave the children a taste of what some of the 4-H projects have to do with nature. There are insect, leaf, and rock collections that could be 4-H projects if you live in town or are not interested in having a livestock project. There are posters that could be 4-H projects having to do with nature related items.
Gary Moughler, NRCS brought a video explaining numerous federal government jobs that are involved with insects. He explained why it is so important to keep our US borders and state borders safe from pests coming into our region. He had slides of various pests such as the Japanese beetle that we have here in Indiana. There are jobs for people to inspect airplanes at the Indiana airports to monitor and insure that Japanese beetles don’t travel to California where they don’t have the Japanese beetle yet.
Ron Myer representing the Ag Learning Museum located at the 4-H grounds covered the grain which this year was small grains such as wheat, oats and barley. He had examples of the grains and what some of it is used for today. He discussed how wheat is raised and how it has been harvested. He demonstrated to the students how a hand sickle was used to cut the wheat compared to our modern combines that are used in the fields now. Mr. Myer explained how old end wagon seeders that were pulled behind horses worked to scatter the wheat seed on the ground for it to germinate and grow.
The Columbia City High School FFA Chapter attended Thursday to help assist the fifth grade teachers with the students as guides and also assisted the Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District with cleaning up the 4-H Center and putting away the tables and chairs that were used during the event.
Lunch was provided and served by the Whitley County Soil and Water Conservation District Board members and employees to the fifth graders and their teachers.