March 29, 2023 – Over the course of two days, ag students at Clovis East High School will have hosted over 900 kindergarten to second grade students at their McFarlane-Coffman Agriculture Center.
These students, from eight different elementary students, made the trip to the farm for the Spring Agriculture Fair, as they have annually for about the last eight years.
Before this large scale Agriculture Fair, only one school at a time could visit the Clovis East farm, says Jennifer Knight, Agriculture Department Chair of Clovis East.
“This is where we can offer these ag educational tours to kids coming to the farm, kindergarten and first grade…[Schools in our district] reach out wanting to do a field trip because they usually study a farm unit during this time of year.”
Knight explained that Clovis East facilitates sign ups for the incoming year’s event at the end of the school year because spots tend to fill up extremely quickly.
Knight also discussed the fact that the tours themselves are not only beneficial for the students who visit the farm, but for Clovis East students as well, allowing them opportunities to teach and practice their work.
“It’s a good opportunity for our kids too. Our 7th through 12th graders in our program design the curriculum and design the activities at the booths.
They can take what they learn in class and turn it into a student activity where they get to provide some education to the younger students on plants, animals, and mechanics.”
These examples given by Knight were a few of the examples that were present at the Ag Fair as sections of the fair included plant and soil science, animal care, as well as labor mechanics such as demos on operation of machinery.
Around sixty different booths were manned by high school students allowing for education on all sectors of agriculture.
Jennifer Knight also stated that there is importance with the event in that younger students get to see the production on the farm allowing to get them to understand that not “everything comes from the grocery store.”
“It may be the first time for some to see a farm or farm animal in person. We want them to know their food is grown by a human and that food doesn’t just come from a store or a factory.”
Schools attending the event held over the course of two days include Mickey Cox, Pinedale, Young, Clovis, Garfield, Reagan, Maple Creek, Fancher Creek, and Oraze elementary schools.