Farm Bureau Insight: Sowing Seeds of Knowledge

By Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and ranchers

Last week included one of the highlights of my year. The Pottawatomie County Farm Bureau hosted its Day on the Farm for most of the fourth graders in the county. It was even more special because it was the first time we had hosted the event in three years. I look forward to this every year, and it was so good to get back in the swing of it this year.

It is the only Day on the Farm I have participated in, but I know many other counties host similar events or try to reach students in some form. Education has always been one of the cornerstones of Kansas Farm Bureau, and it is one of the most important things we do. We all know that those of us in agriculture are an ever-decreasing number and consumers are increasingly more separated from a close knowledge of what we do.

I consider Pottawatomie County to be close to agriculture, but I am always surprised at how little the students really know about what we do. This year I hosted a station where we talked about sheep. The students were excited and eager to learn about how sheep are raised. I led them through a typical year starting with when the sheep are born and going through when they are harvested.

I explained how we care for their every need. We talked about meat and wool. The students were enthralled, and I even had parents who a few questions, proving that you are never too old to learn. Of course, having three lambs to pet and look at did not hurt anything and, if I am honest, were the highlight of the station. I had also asked my friend Laney, a 4-Her and FFA member, to talk about her sheep (the three lambs were hers). It was good for the kids to see that someone closer to their age was also connected to agriculture.

I hope the fourth graders got a sense of what we do in agriculture from the day. All facets of farming and ranching were covered by people who make it their livelihoods by growing food. From livestock to grains, conservation to agri-business with a little farm safety thrown in for good measure. No pun intended, but the seed of knowledge about agriculture was planted and maybe someday something they learned yesterday will be remembered.

I must also come clean; I also get as much out of the day as the kids do. It reminds me of why I chose to go out every morning and do what I do. I love talking about the animals and crops that I raise, and it is truly a joy to share that with an eager audience. If you ever have a chance to help with an ag education event, I strongly encourage you to participate. I promise it will be worth every second.

“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.Β 

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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