The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

Area 4th-graders learn about agriculture

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Fourth graders from Crestview and Lincolnview Elementary Schools were taught a very important subject here in Van Wert County — agriculture — on Tuesday. With agriculture and its related businesses the largest employer in the county, Tuesday’s Cows and Plows event showcased the various facets of agriculture, from “Soil to Spoon”, which also happens to be the theme of the event.

JaNahn Evans (in Cows and Plows t-shirt) gives a presentation on livestock production using goats and chickens during Tuesday’s Cows and Plows event on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Because of COVID-19, which forced the cancellation of the event last year, the presentations were a bit more spaced out this year, with Cows and Plows using the Commercial and Agriculture buildings, as well as the Junior Fair Building and the Rabbit Barn.

Cows and Plows breaks down the subject of agriculture into a number of presentations that provide fourth-graders with a detailed, but simplified, look at how their food is grown and reaches the dinner table at home. The subject is divided into eight presentations: Water Quality, Production-Crops, Processing and Marketing, Historical Development, Technology-machinery, Production-Livestock, Technology-GPS, and Resources-Soil.

Presenters for this year include Macala Ashbaugh of the Ohio State University Extension, Water Quality; Danielle Matthew from Farm Credit Mid America in Delphos, Production-Crops; Heather Cooper of Cooper Farms, Processing and Marketing; farmer Shawn Gerdeman, Historical Development; Rabbit Bonifas from the Kenn-Feld Group, Technology-Machinery; JaNahn and Thomas Evans, Production-Livestock; Seth Owens, Technology-GPS; and OSU Extension Agent Curtis Young, Resources-Soil.

OSU Extension employee Macala Ashbaugh provides a hands-on presentation on water quality during Cows and Plows.

Each presentation provided information on what factors go into growing crops and livestock: the importance of water and soil on crop production, how agriculture products are processed and marketed, how machinery and technology are crucial to planting and harvesting crops, and an overall history of agriculture from someone who knows.

Students and their teachers broke halfway through the all-day event to lunch on some of the products local agriculture producers grow right here in Van Wert County.

The event requires the services of a large number of people to put on each year. The Van Wert County Agricultural Society Board provides the use of the fairgrounds and helps set up the event, while Sav-A-Lot donated some of the food items, the Van Wert County Farm Bureau donated cookies and ice cream and also the use of its food stand, while American Legion Post 178 loaned out a cooler from its Chicken Shack to use. The OSU Extension Office helped with technology use and set-up, while the Ag Credit office donated water.

In addition, some FFA students from Crestview and Lincolnview volunteered to help out for the event.

Of course, there is a cost to putting on each edition of Cows and Plows, and this year’s event was no exception. Financial sponsors for this year are Cooper Farms Cooked Meats, Farm Bureau, Kenn-Feld Group, Lincolnview Young Farmers, Van Wert Soil & Water Conservation District, Wrenco Trophy & Sportswear, Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Heritage Farm Equipment, D & D Ingredient, Advanced Biological Marketing, 4-H Council, Farm Credit Mid America, the OSU Extension, and the Van Wert County Foundation, which is a major supporter of the event.

Van Wert and St. Mary’s fourth-graders will attend Cows and Plows on Thursday.

POSTED: 09/21/21 at 11:17 pm. FILED UNDER: News