The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jun. 4, 2020

‘Cows and Plows’ event touts agriculture

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Fourth-graders from Van Wert Elementary School learned about agriculture and its related businesses during the annual Not Just Cows and Plows event held at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds.

Fourth-graders from Van Wert Elementary School had the chance to pet a calf and learn about livestock production from local farmer Mike Schumm. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Fourth-graders from Van Wert Elementary School had the chance to pet a calf and learn about livestock production from local farmer Mike Schumm. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

The theme of this year’s event, “Soil to Spoon,” provides an idea of the comprehensive nature of the program, which gives young students an idea of just what goes into producing the food that county residents eat.

A number of presenters also were on hand to provide information on the various aspects of food production, including water and soil quality, technology — including farm machinery — and how food is marketed to the public.

This year, students learned about water quality from Nikki Kale of the Wood County Soil and Water Conservation District, heard a presentation on crop production from Sarah Noggle of the Ohio State University Extension, dressed up in gear used by Cooper Farms workers during a presentation by Heather Cooper of Cooper’s on marketing, learned about farming history from local farmer Shawn Gerdeman, got a close-up view of a John Deere combine and hear information from Rabbit Bonifas of the Kenn-Feld Group implement dealership, got to pet a calf and learn about livestock production from area farmer Mike Schumm, learned to find items using GPS technology through a program hosted by Craig Higbie of the Van Wert SWCD and learned about soil properties from OSU Extension Educator Curtis Young.

For the first year since the program started, retired Lincolnview vocational agriculture teacher Earl Gerdeman wasn’t on hand to give local children a presentation on old farm tools. Gerdeman, who died in July, had one of the most popular presentations at Cows and Plows, as he showed students a variety of no-longer-used farm tools and demonstrated how they worked.

The all-day event gives local students a chance to learn about one of the county’s largest employers — agribusiness — while seeing how farming and its related businesses have changed to reflect modern times.

Sponsor of the event is the Cows and Plows Committee, comprised of Higbie and Julie Buggle of the Van Wert SWCD, OSU Extension 4-H Educator Heather Gottke, Lincolnview Elementary Principal Nita McKinney, Van Wert Elementary Principal Kevin Gehres and Crestview Elementary Principal Kathy Mollenkopf.

Supporters of the program include Advanced Biological Marketing, Ag Credit, Cooper Farms Cooked Meats, D & D Ingredient, the 4-H Council, Van Wert County Farm Bureau, Heritage Farm Equipment, The Kenn-Feld Group, Lincolnview Young Farmers, Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Save-A-Lot, Van Wert Solid Waste Management District, Van Wert Soil and Water Conservation District, Wrenco Trophy & Sportswear Company, the Lincolnview and Crestview FFA chapters, Crestview Parents Club, Lincolnview Elementary PTO, St. Mary of the Assumption PTO, Van Wert County Foundation, Van Wert Area Christian Home Educators and Van Wert City Schools Parent Group.

POSTED: 09/30/15 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: News