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Urban students visit the farm

Students and teachers from Calmeca Academy in Chicago visit Kilgus Farmstead near Fairbury Tuesday / CIFN photo.

Several Chicago students who rarely venture south of Interstate 80 got a taste of farm life Tuesday during the annual adopted classroom visit to Livingston County.

Classes from the urban Calmeca Academy visited the Blunier hog farm near Forrest and Kilgus Farmstead near Fairbury with members of the Livingston County Farm Bureau serving as tour guides. Farm Bureau board member Roger Wahls feels exposing city kids to farm life is one of the most important efforts the organization is involved with.

“Certainly, it’s also important that the teachers and their parent escorts are here because they learn how a real farm operates,” Wahls explained. “When they get back home, they have an opportunity to dispel myths that aren’t so favorable to agriculture.”

Wahls said the kids are so well-behaved and inquisitive that it makes it all worthwhile. He finds speaking in terms kids understand makes them eager to learn.

“In December, when we are up (in Chicago) for our state annual meeting, we’ll go by their school, visit their classroom and teach them a little about agriculture,” noted Livingston County Farm Bureau manager Chris Bunting.

The students were excited to talk about their farm experiences at the end of the day.

“The hog farm was cool because I got to learn about the hogs and how they use them,” said John.

“Right now I like it because they gave us ice cream,” commented Monica. “They showed us a cow when it was pregnant and that was interesting.

“I liked a lot of stuff like when we went to the hog farm it was fun because we learned different stuff,” added Naomi.

Quite a few farmer volunteers assisted with Tuesday’s farm tours since they were not able to plant their crops due to wet fields. Discussion focused on pork and dairy production, machinery, pollution and beans – as students made their own bean bags.

“We’ve got all hands on deck,” said Livingston County Farm Bureau president Jason Bunting. “I think it’s been a big success.”

This is a busy time for the Livingston County Farm Bureau as they prepare for another event on Saturday, June 8 with the annual Breakfast on the Farm at Kilgus Farmstead south of Fairbury. The one-dollar meal includes eggs, biscuits and gravy and will be served from 7-10 a.m.

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