Posted: Oct 16, 2012 5:16 PM by Victoria Fregoso-Q2 News
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 5:17 PM
Sugar beets, livestock and bees; these are just a few of the things 4th graders are learning at the Northern International Livestock Expo this week.
"Mainly what we teach at this event are things that are important to this area. And when they go out in the country, they should know what is a beet field or a barley field or a corn field," said Steve Lackman, Agriculture Agent for MSU in Yellowstone County.
Through testing, event organizers discovered kids at this age know very little about agriculture. But thanks to educational programs like this, they have a better understanding of the agriculture right here in Montana.
"We did a pretest and the kids hardly knew anything and then we held the event and then we gave them the test again six months later and it was amazing how much they retained," Lackman said.
For many of these children, this is their first time seeing agriculture up close. The honey bee station is a big hit.
"I thought it was cool that the honey bee was bigger and had a red dot on its back," said Adisyn O'Connor, 4th grader at Big Sky Elementary School.
"The drones are the males and they don't have any stingers so every winter they die, all of them and it was kind of was a sad thought," Emma Balsam, another Big Sky 4th grader added.
And to teach the kids about bees is Alyssa Fine, the American Honey Bee Queen herself.
"It's a lot to digest but once they see the bees inside the hive, that seems to really solidify things for them."
The NILE also offers scholarships and their Merit Heifer Program to promote agriculture among youth.
Click here to see a list of the NILE's events going on at MetraPark this week.