City kids learn farm life

Nearly 400 fourth grade students in Marshalltown got a hands-on learning lesson about life on the farm Thursday.

The 13th annual Farm to Table event presented by the Marshall County Farm Bureau was held at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds. Several area farmers spent their day talking about life on the farm.

“They get to see the animals and equipment instead of just driving by a farm,” said Mary Jo Baitinger, organizer of the event.

There were several stations set up for the students, including learning about farm safety with a tractor, about the crops and how many uses there are for them, and the animals such as cattle, goats, pigs and sheep.

One of the big goals of the organizers is to show the students where their food comes from and help them learn about that process.

“Agriculture is a big part of the economy,” Baitinger said.

The response from the students is usually positive, especially around the livestock.

“They love the animals,” said Hoglan Elementary School teacher Gena Graglia.

Graglia said the day is full of hands-on activities that keep the students engaged. They learn lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.

“It’s still amazing to me that a lot of these kids have never been on a farm,” Graglia said.