Let’s learn about agriculture: Youth Ag Day at Aucilla Christian Academy

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Students at Aucilla Christian Academy (ACA) were able to delve into the realm of agriculture during the Friday, Feb. 22 Youth Ag Day that was hosted at the school.
This event was the second annual agriculturally themed day and students were able to learn from various farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, foresters and other agriculture experts at the seven booths that were placed on the school's lawn.
At the first station, the Jefferson County Farm Bureau provided freshly popped popcorn and delicious satsuma juice from local orchard and
packinghouse Florida-
Georgia Citrus.
Manning the Farm Bureau booth was the insurance agency's staff: Abby Godwin, Lance Braswell, Melissa Bass and Dustin Hart as well as the Ernest and Sarah Fulford family, with their children Megan and Noah Fulford.
At the second booth, ACA students learned about winter produce from UF IFAS Jefferson County Extension Agents John Lily and Alan Vanersen. While the two extension agents spoke on the various fruits and veggies that are grown during cooler months, students were invited to put together radish seed necklaces from tiny seeds and strands of green yarn.
The third booth was none other than local beekeepers Full Moon Apiary.
Beekeeper Tony Hogg provided a safe and up-close look at bee hives and taught the students what goes into successfully keeping bees.
The fourth booth was exceptionally popular, as ACA students were able to learn about goats from Jefferson County's Golden Acres Ranch. Under the supervision of ranchers Bobbie Golden and Christine Golden, the students were able to hold and feed the adorable and sweet kid goats.
At the next booth, students got to approach some of the giant equipment that makes modern farming possible.
Local farmers Matt Bishop and Clay Fulford provided students with an introduction to the large-scale farming equipment that was parked out on the lawn of the christian school.
Full Circle Dairy was another one of the visiting agricultural experts that provided students with an opportunity to learn about ranching and farming.
Cindy Watts, Courtney Watts and Philip Watts assisted students in helping to feed the two young calves that the dairy brought to the Youth Ag Day and also provided students with a sample of fresh milk from Full Circle Dairy.
Last, but certainly not least, students were able to visit with and learn from forest rangers with the Florida Forestry Service.
While many young students might not think of forests and trees when it comes to agriculture and farming, the foresters spoke to the students about the important role that forestry plays in local agriculture and conversation.
Smokey Bear was also a special guest who visited with the students to remind them that only they “can prevent wildfires.” This special day of agricultural learning was attended by ACA students between the grades of K4 through fifth.
While students traveled around between booths, the ACA PTO and parents hosted the student's water station while North Florida Farm Credit provided water for all the visiting presenters. In addition, Farm Credit's Casey Gunnels and Rachel Watts volunteered to assist throughout the Youth Ag Day.
The purpose of the educational experience was to enlighten children as to where their food comes from, and what goes into the production of the foods that they eat.