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Beans, bees, bread and beef for Kenmare 4th grade

A group of fourth-grade students from Kenmare attended a much larger classroom Thursday and were taught various aspects of agriculture by professionals involved in farming and ranching.

2/02/16 (Tue)


Working with the state Ag Department... Dana Pritschett Hager with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, talks to Kenmare fourth graders about farming in the past and farming in the present. From left, Grace Ones, Jack Zimmer, Alexia Holter and nine other fourth-graders participated in the Living Ag Classroom during the KMOT Ag Expo in Minot Thursday.

By Marvin Baker

A group of fourth-grade students from Kenmare attended a much larger classroom Thursday and were taught various aspects of agriculture by professionals involved in farming and ranching.

Twelve students rotated through nine round-robin stations during the KMOT Ag Expo Living Ag Classroom in Minot.

From beans to honey, students from several schools found out where their meals come from and how they are produced.

“They need to understand farming, they need to understand where their food comes from and the struggles that agriculture producers have just getting the food to the table,” said Bonnie Woodworth, North Dakota Beekeepers Association director from Halliday.

The Kenmare students started out in the honeybee classroom and were given instruction by Melanie Freeman of Turtle Lake and Anje (Jordaan) Voigt, also of Halliday, who is originally from South Africa.

The two women, who are beekeepers, told the kids the importance of pollination and how it relates to food production.

Freeman told the students that one-third of all North Dakota crops depend on bees for pollination.

Next up was the North Dakota Beef Commission classroom that included a large, wire basket holding 1,800 empty Styrofoam containers that McDonald’s once used for Quarter-Pounder hamburgers. That’s how many hamburgers an average size beef animal will produce.

The students also learned the cuts of beef, the amount of beef per serving and food safety.

They also learned that parts of the animal is used for toothpaste and medications as well as the hides are used to make footballs.

Appropriately, with the Super Bowl football game in less than a week, the instructors impressed upon the kids that one cow hide from a 1,000-pound animal will make 20 footballs, and because each team is issued 100 footballs, 20 cow hides will be utilized during the Super Bowl.

The North Dakota Oilseed Council touched on safflower, sunflower, canola and flax and said oils are used in salads, cooking, cosmetics and even candy bars.

“Where does your food come from,” asked Kaitlyn Tollefsrud with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. “Where does pizza come from, wheat, pork, cheese. Everyone of you is part of agriculture.”

Dana (Pritschett) Hager with the Ag Department, split the kids into two groups, one building a tower using modern technology and the other building a tower with technology that was available 200 years ago.

Velva FFA students had an interesting classroom. They talked about pork and asked the students what their favorite part of pork is. All 12 said bacon, which didn’t surprise the instructors.

Appropriately, they had a roulette wheel they called the “Squeal of Fortune.” Students were allowed to spin the wheel and if they landed on a certain point, they had to squeal like a pig.

A banner behind the instructors stated, “we use everything but the oink.”

At the North Dakota Wheat Commission stop, the students were shown spring wheat and durum as well as whole wheat flour and semolina.

The students were told a bushel of wheat makes 42 loaves of bread and then were asked what they think the farmer’s portion of a loaf of bread might be.

Out of an approximate $6 bushel of wheat, the farmer earns 10 cents.

The students were also told that North Dakota sells wheat to 80 countries around the world.

Renville County Extension agent LoAyne Voigt taught the students about careers in agriculture including veterinarian, food science, agribusiness, extension agent and farmer.

“There’s lots of things you can do in farming,” Voigt said. “It’s not just being a farmer.”

Farm Safety for Just Kids was an eye opening experience as instructors displayed two parallel liquids of the same color and asked which the students could drink and which they couldn’t.

Comparisons were made with cherry juice and seed treatment, fruit juice and antifreeze and Gumout and Orange Gatorade.

Gail Slind of Ward County Extension was heading up the Northarvest Beans of Minnesota and North Dakota classroom and explained the cost of growing beans to the students.

Slind had a large foam die that she tossed on the floor to demonstrate that growing beans is a gamble each year.

She had numerous examples of beans on several table for the students to examine.

Finally, the kids were taught about soil composition and soil health and that three types of soil exist, sand, silt and clay.

The instructors were appeared surprised at how much the Kenmare students knew about soil conservation... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!