From the Springfield Sun, November 4, 2020


Cabrina Buckman, Family & Consumer Science Agent 


Agriculture is vital to our community and around the world. In order to teach the teen leaders about the importance of agriculture and the variety of industries included, we had Agriculture Day on October 28, 2020. Protective health measures were followed, including wearing masks, hand washing and sanitizing, and distancing.

We began by visiting David and April Donathan at the St. Catharine Farm Apiary to learn about beekeeping. David taught the students about how the bees work and live, how honey is made, and showed equipment that is used in the process. In our evaluation, students commented that this visit was impactful, stating
“I didn’t realize bees were so interesting,” “I didn’t know bees could do as much as they do,” and “They were very engaging and helpful for us to understand each part of their presentation.”

We returned to the Extension Office to hear from Jay Grundy with GM Hemp Company. The students
learned about the process of growing hemp, the market of customers, and the uses for the product. This discussion also helped to reiterate the message of supply and demand. The teens noted that the theme kept appearing with each visit or speaker in the various sectors of agriculture.

Following lunch, the students traveled to Osborne Hay and Cattle to speak with Bob, Denise, and Beth Osborne. The students commented that the visit was impactful and helped them to see the operation in a new way. They stated, “The Osbornes were the most impactful because they helped explain the importance of supply and demand,” “There are a lot more technical parts in it than I thought,” and “Cattle production is something I’m very interested in and it taught me there are several ways to produce cattle other than the
traditional ways I know.”

The teens returned to the Extension Office to complete Agriculture Day by hearing from Taylor Smith with Ag
Credit. Taylor discussed the process of getting a loan and what qualities he looks for when someone is seeking a loan. On our evaluation, the students commented, “I learned what Ag Credit really does and what their job is” and “I learned a lot from Taylor Smith and how business works.”

We are grateful to all of our speakers and community partners that help to make Teen Leadership successful.

There were a few themes that each speaker helped our students to realize. One was that agriculture has a major impact on everyone. On the evaluation, the students commented that their take away messages included, “Everything is tied together in some way” and “that agriculture is the foundation of many things in our lives. It plays a bigger part than we may think.” Another theme was the law of supply and demand. Several students stated supply and demand as something they learned from the day, stating, “Supply and demand play a huge role in agriculture.” The final theme was that connections matter in career development. Students stated that their take away messages included, “To make impressions on everyone you meet” and “Always get your name out.”

Plans are underway for Business and Industry Day in December, when we will partner with Daniel Carney
from SWEDA, Lora Justice with the Chamber of Commerce, and businesses to teach the students about local industry and help them to think of the possibilities for their future. We are looking forward to it!

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