ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) They learned about cattle, sheep, and goats. And lots of other stuff, like soil, and the math that goes into farming.
Because, though Southwest Virginia is a rural area, only a small percentage of the population actually works on a farm.
“So many of these kids just think that they go to Kroger’s and get their food," says 4H Extension Agent Megan Sheets. "And Kroger’s is where their food comes from. They don’t understand that that goes back to a farm.”
So the Virginia Horse Center gives the folks from 4H a place to bring fourth graders in for a little agricultural education.
“We hope that at this age – 9 or 10 years old – we can instill in these kids how important it is to understand agriculture, to know that we are an agriculture rich county, and to know that it is a full circle process,” explains Sheets.
“This program went on when I was a kid,” says farmer Cody Manspile.
He brought some of his sheep and goats for the kids to see.
“I remember coming here and doing this program and seeing the livestock and that type of thing," Manspile says. "And with that, that kicked it in, and I got involved in 4H and showed through 4H, showed right through my senior year in high school.”
But really, all they’re hoping for is to help the kids get a better understanding of where their food comes from.
“By the end of the day and by the end of the process of going through all the rotations," Sheets says, "They get it. And it clicks. And they say: those cows that we see on the way down 81, that’s where my hamburger comes from. And it all starts to click. And that’s the main goal we have with this is that it clicks.”