HAPPY FRIDAY! Also, HAPPY LAST DAY OF WINTER!
Both are exciting! However, today's Friday Farm Photo post is on steroids. I've been fairly non-existent this week, and that's because I've been hung up on things like finals and moving home for break and AGvocating. As mentioned in my last post, I spent Wednesday and Thursday teaching area 4th graders about agriculture. I worked the rabbit booth Wednesday and tried my hand at corn on Thursday. (All photos were taken by Tim Yohnka. Thanks, Tim, for letting me snatch and share them!)
Here is our corn booth. (Thank you to the Illinois Corn Growers Association for providing it for the Kankakee Corn Growers to use.) We talked about how yellow dent corn is unique from sweet corn, popcorn, etc. and then transitioned into talking about all the different ways corn can be used. We also talked about how corn products, especially ethanol, can keep jobs in America, where importing products, especially gas, can take away jobs. Keith and Tim did a great job. (I was pretty mediocre.)
Keith Yohnka during one of his presentations. Here, he's starting up a video of an E85 pro-stock pulling truck, to show that 100% ethanol can be used at high-performance competition fuel. We also had a Mark Thomas funny car model and a picture of a dragster and Indy car to show kids other ways that E85 is used for competing.
Here I am, giving one of my rabbit presentations on Wednesday. Yes, I'm showing them the butt end of a rabbit. The idea was to show them the fur texture so they understood how different this breed (Havana) was from the one I'd just shown them (Mini Rex). Hopefully, they understand the basics of husbandry now...or something along those lines.
These pigs (I'm not sure of the breed) belong to a senior from Momence High School. They are part of both her 4-H livestock project and her FFA SAE. They're about 5-7 weeks old, if I heard their owner right.
The beef exhibit this year featured Elmo, a young shorthorn steer. The girl presenting about beef is also using this fella as her 4-H and FFA project. I'm proud to say Elmo's owner inherited my FFA office, and is serving as the president of the River Valley FFA. (Elmo liked it when I scratched his forehead.)
This, by far, was my favorite exhibit. These animals, belonging to a family based out of Chebanse, IL, were one of the most popular topics of the event. It's not the fact that they're sheep, it's the fact that the lamb is only four days old. During my breaks, I was often out in the large animal area watching from a safe distance. Once the kids all cleared out, he got brave and started climbing all over his mama.
I can confidently say that just about everyone enjoyed themselves for this year's Kids Day on the Farm. I look forward to going back next year, although I know I won't be working with the rabbits again. It's always great seeing people of all ages come together to teach kids about agriculture. Our youngest presenter was 13, I'd like to say. Our oldest volunteer? I'd wager he was in his 70's or 80's.
This is a perfect example of how ag can bring people together. I really enjoyed it, and I hope you liked the pictures. Have a safe, happy weekend, and I'll be seeing you next week!