Story by Eryn Carter, sophomore (ACJ)
The Agricultural Education Club spent a day at the zoo advocating for agriculture to children in the Manhattan area. The Sunset Zoo hosted Safari Edventure Day 2015 on Friday, October 2. The day was to help educate students on various types of animals through fun hands-on activities and presentations.
The Agricultural Education Club provided elementary students an opportunity to learn about farm animals and to show the various materials that come from livestock products. The club members used a trifold board to display different animal products from sheep, pigs, chicken, dairy cattle and beef cattle. They then asked the children what products they use every day that come from these animals. The kids were able to have hands-on participation matching different pictures of products to the correct animals. The activity not only engaged the children, but also allowed them to learn about agriculture and livestock.
Jake Rutledge, Service Committee Head for the Agricultural Education Club, stated they have presented at this event in the past and enjoyed it so much they decided to come back.
“We did this so the kids would have a better understanding of the animal products that they use everyday and understand where they come from,” says Rutledge.
The day at the zoo is not only important for the elementary students, but the club members participating as well. Rutledge says opportunities like these allow the members to gain experience in public speaking, gain knowledge on different topics and content areas, teaches them patience and flexibility, while also gaining collaboration skills.
He says he wants to advocate for agriculture in the future and the agricultural education program at K-State allows him to gain these skills to help prepare himself and others for that role. He especially enjoys teaching kids of all backgrounds about agriculture to inform them for when they are older.
“Whether they go into agriculture as a career or not, it will affect their lives inevitably. It is important to have a general knowledge about agriculture and how it affects each and every one of us on a daily basis,” says Rutledge. The Agricultural Education Club participation in local events is a great way to advocate for agriculture in the city of Manhattan, along with giving great experience to the members of the club as well.