September 13, 2000 | By: Laura Skillman

Fall is a busy time on the farm. But each year,farmers across the state take time out to spend some time with elementary students giving them a better understanding of agriculture.

In Ohio County, some 350 fourth-graders were provided a glimpse of farm life over two days at the Luttrell Farms. This is the fourth year Debbie and Darren Luttrell have hosted the event on their farm near Hartford.

The event is sponsored by the Ohio County Cooperative Extension Service with help from other agencies and businesses throughout the area.

The goals of the event is to provide urban and rural children the opportunity to broaden their experiences with and knowledge of agriculture; to expose youth to the varied career opportunities in agriculture; and to provide youth with a sense of connection to the land and environment in the county. The program also meets several goals set in the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

"We felt like so many kids are urban today, they don't live on a farm any more and, as evidenced by our presenters, kids today don't know about farming and farm life," said Gary Druin, Ohio County Extension agent for 4-H. "We felt this was a good way to introduce them to it - not just production agriculture but meeting people with careers in agriculture."

The day, like others across the state, provides a series of activities for students to observe and learn about. At Ohio County, activities included information on farm safety, entomology, forestry, farm equipment, soil erosion, food safety, sheep and wool, livestock and nutrition, technology and crops.

The program is geared toward providing students with a greater understanding of modern agriculture production and its importance to the local community.

"Ag Days relates well with the core content assigned for science and it relates well with the goals and achievement expectations of the Kentucky Education Reform Act," said fourth-grade teacher Ginger Tichenor. Plus, its opens the children's minds to Ohio County ‘s farming economy and the equipment needed to operate a farm today.

"Even though this is a rural area, the students have not seen how the equipment works," she said.

Wayland Elementary School fourth-grader Lars King said he'd spent his day learning many new things.

"I learned about lawn mower safety and sheep and wool and about how much pigs weigh," he said.

Lars said he learned the largest pig ever recorded weighed 2,000 pounds. "I didn't know they let them get that big," he said.

While the program takes two days away from farming activities, Darren Luttrell said it's only two days out of 365 and it is well worth the time to teach young people about agriculture.


Gary Druin, (270) 298-7441