MOSES LAKE - Moses Lake School District first graders gathered in the Ken Ardell Pavilion at the Grant County Fairgrounds to learn about agriculture this morning, Oct. 18.
First Grade Farm Day is an annual event that the Moses Lake High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) club puts on.
High schoolers of every grade work hard to organize the event for about a month prior.
Every first grade class is invited to come and this year almost every elementary school participated.
“Because of the sheer number of first grade classes and first graders that we have in the Moses Lake School District, we have it broken into two sessions; a morning session for two hours and an afternoon session. We’ve got 18 and then 19 classes,” said teacher and FFA advisor, Tony Kern.
As students race off busses, they are put into groups with high school leaders and given plastic bags to collect prizes with which are donated by North 40 and the Washington Potato Commission.
First graders move from station to station where they can learn about agriculture.
Each station has a presentation that is created and run by high schoolers who deliver topics ranging from cattle dogs to welding.
First graders stay at each station for around six minutes and then rotate to the next until they have visited every one.
FFA students who raise animals can also bring them in for demonstrations and a petting zoo.
“It’s all about knowing your audience… If you’ve got a lot of energy, then they’re going to real happy. If you go in there timid, you can get eaten up,” said Kern.
Tony Kern said it’s not only a learning day for the first graders but for the high schoolers as well.
Along with taking agriculture classes at the high school, FFA members learn public speaking and communication skills from giving presentations over thirty times at First Grade Farm Day.
Kern said, “It’s amazing really to see the transformation that goes on between when they come in to when they walk out of our high school because they gain confidence, they gain speaking ability, they’ll be super tired but they have a lot of fun.”
Junior FFA member, Carl Hart went to First Grade Farm Day when he was little and has now been a member of the club for two years.
“I remember seeing all the animals and it was a really fun experience,” said Hart. “I love agriculture and it’s just something I have a passion for.”
Carl Hart said that it is important for younger kids to experience something like First Grade Farm Day because of how prominent agriculture is in the Columbia Basin community.
The event has been going for years and continues to be one of the FFA groups’ favorite community outreach.
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