Grand Island Class Wins State Wide Farm Bureau Contest

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- One day after the Farm Bill is passed, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson presented a special award to some Grand Island students for answering the question, "What does agriculture mean to Nebraska?"

It was a surprise when Jefferson Elementary School's 2nd Grade Class won a state wide contest, put on by the Nebraska Farm Bureau. And although the presentation was a shock, when the kids learned that they had won, many of them responded with, ''I knew it!''

The "What does agriculture mean to Nebraska" contest is a learning tool for students across the state.

"A lot of kids haven't ever been to a farm so I think just the experience itself and learning what agriculture is and where the products and food that we buy comes from.," said Ashley Mueller, the teacher of the winning class.

Nelson added, "They don't understand where their food comes from and this is an opportunity for us to talk to them about how food is raised, how things are done on the farm and it's a very important part of what we do in Nebraska is to raise food for people."

Nelson will be giving the kids a tour of his crop farm, a valuable lesson in nutrition.

"The farm is important because all the animals we have gives us healthy stuff like milk, Vitamin C, Calcium. Without the farm you wouldn't have all this stuff like, you wouldn't have shirts, leather, corn," said 8-year old Noel Medina.

And the kids will have a chance to see a dairy farm.

Dairy Farmer Steve Wolfe said of the tour he will offer, "It'll be a great group when the come because they're definitely exciting and just today they had tons of questions, so when they get to the dairy they're really going to have a lot of questions when they see things. So that's exciting to us."

This contest is just one thing the Farm Bureau does to help kids learn about agriculture.

"We do Ag Pen Pals, we do a whole bunch of different educational processes but this is just a piece to kind of help raise the awareness of what happens on farms and really get kids involved in what we're doing," said Nelson.

The kids all agreed, what won them the award was the song.

"Because the song is catchy," said 7-year old Tina Pham of the class's victory. She added that, "All of our classmates," are also in the video.

Mueller said the experience the kids gain on the farm is much better than what she can teach in the classroom.

"The experience. That's what's going to stick in their minds rather than just telling them something or giving them a piece of paper that shows it," she said.

The farm tours have been put off until early May when the weather's a little bit warmer and the kids can have some more interaction.