WCSO Helps with Farm Days for April 12, 13 at Lebanon’s James E. Ward Agriculture Center
An estimated 1,700 second graders are expected to learn all about rural farm work and life and how agriculture plays a vital role in our everyday lives during this week’s Farm Days.
The event, sponsored by the Wilson County Farm Bureau Woman, UT Agriculture Extension Office and Wilson County Soil Conservation is being held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tues and Wednesday at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center.
“It teaches them about rural living,” explained Wilson County Deputy Charles Hobson, who also raises cattle in addition to his law enforcement job. Hobson has participated in the event every year since it began 15 years ago. “The kids get to see animals, and experience things they may not see in everyday life. It also gives them a positive first impression with law enforcement. They love getting in the police vehicles and talking to the deputies.”
In addition to Deputy Hobson, three other members of WCSO, Deputy Christopher Andrews, Deputy William Dunn and Deputy Charles Mothershed show students the logistics of the Mobile Command Center, Prisoner Transport Unit and other emergency equipment, allowing them to get inside all the vehicles to see how they operate.
Diane Major, who works with Wilson County Soil Conservation, said the school children “get really excited” about the event, and described it as “their favorite field trip of the year.” which is limited to second graders from all Wilson County Schools, Lebanon Special Schools District and some home-schooled and private school students.
Among the exhibits are farm animals (which children can touch), including goats, dairy and beef cattle, chickens, pigs, horses; a working-bee-farm; and a veterinarian who discuss how to care for the farm animals. There will be sheep-shearing, a rodeo cowboy in full dress costume. “They get all torn up about the cowboy,” Major added.
The Wilson County Farm Bureau will show the children grains and what kinds of products are made from wheat and corn seeds in addition to the importance of good nutrition and how farming is essential to healthy living. A master gardener will demonstrate gardening and present each child a seed to plant at home. The Soil Conservation employees will have a soil tunnel and explain why it’s important to conserve soil, etc.
Other exhibits include farm equipment and ATV safety. The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will bring its mobile command center and allow children to look around. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will bring a patrol car and allow some children to get inside.
Major said the event began with about 700 children but that number has swollen to 1,700. “This is an all-volunteer event. We have approximately 200 volunteers who donate their times and resources to make this a success every year. We couldn’t do it without them.”