More than 100 inner-city Chicago fourth grade students, parents and teachers arrived in the area last month to embark on an agricultural learning experience.
The Livingston County Farm Bureau Young Leaders’ Committee adopted three 4th grade classrooms at Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language in the Pilsen district of Chicago for the past seven years. The purpose of the program is to bring agriculture into the urban classroom and teach children where their food originates.
The students were welcomed to the Blunier Farm just outside of Forrest to start the day. They were able to rotate through 4 stations learning about pigs at various stages of development, different types of farm equipment, soil and water and about 5 of the different crops we grow in Illinois. As a surprise before they left for the day, Kent Blunier flew his drone to show them some of the newest technology in agriculture.
After lunch, the kids headed to tour Kilgus Dairy. At the dairy, students were able to have a tour of the farm to learn about how dairy cows are raised and taken care of, the milking and bottling process, what they eat and how they eat it, milk a cow and end the day with an ice cream cone!
During the year the Young Leaders’ have been corresponding with the students. They have provided the students materials and activities to incorporate agriculture into their classroom curriculum, along with letters about their farming operation. Last winter, members of the Young Leaders visited the three (3) classrooms in Chicago.