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Kids Day on the Farm attracts nearly 1,000 students at DSU

For more than 30 years, the Dickinson State University Agriculture Club brings the farm into the city every spring to offer children from preschoolers to third graders a unique opportunity to learn about agriculture.

Children are full of awe and excitement Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena during Kids Day on the Farm — an annual event hosted by the DSU Agricultural Club.
Children are full of awe and excitement as they feed hay to an eager goat Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena during Kids Day on the Farm — an annual event hosted by the DSU Agriculture Club. Bringing the farm into town has been a longstanding tradition each spring for more than 30 years.
Contributed / Annika Plummer
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DICKINSON — Roughly 1,000 children came out for Kids Day on the Farm Thursday at Dickinson State University to advance their agricultural literacy, develop leadership and team building skills and interact with area students.

The community-wide event exposes agriculture to area preschool through third grade students each spring in a hands-on kind of way, with farm equipment, animals, crops, a soil tunnel, petting zoo and even rodeo roping exercises. This year, the DSU Agriculture Club hosted its 31st year of Kids Day on the Farm and had more than 980 students already pre-registered for the event. DSU Agriculture and Technical Studies Department Chair Chip Poland said that they had almost 1,000 students throughout the day.

Dickinson State Univeristy student Jacob Jessen helps Sigurd Nelson rope a steer dummy with a clean head catch during Kids Day on the Farm at Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Dickinson State Univeristy student Jacob Jessen helps Sigurd Nelson rope a steer dummy with a clean head catch during Kids Day on the Farm at Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Contributed / Annika Plummer

Given that they had fewer exhibits than previous years and the horse wagon rides had to be canceled due to last week’s snowfall, Poland, who’s also the advisor for the DSU Ag Club, said that “participants took that all in stride" and "had a great day.”

“Agricultural literacy is very important, particularly a sense of where your food comes from and its importance to North Dakota,” Poland said. “Thus, we try to use a fun adventure as a way to start that process in local kids. Our target group is third grade and younger in the region, and their adult supervisors. It is also a way for us to give back to the community.

“Additionally, it is a great learning opportunity and leadership and team building exercise for the students in the DSU AG Club. They are the brains and brawn behind putting on the event. The ag department recognizes the need to build leaders ready to serve in their communities and this is just one step in that process.”

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Buster the Blue Hawk greets students Thursday, April 21, 2022, inside Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena during Kids Day on the Farm.
Buster the Blue Hawk greets students Thursday, April 21, 2022, inside Dickinson State University's Indoor Arena during Kids Day on the Farm.
Contributed / Annika Plummer

For the past couple of years, this event has been extended to agriculture students from Dickinson High School, who have provided “invaluable help on the day of the event,” Poland said, adding that the event also serves as a recruitment opportunity for the DSU Agriculture and Technical Studies Department.

“Honestly, I cannot believe the number of local students attending DSU that indicate Kids Day on the Farm was one of their first exposures to DSU,” he added.

From left, Conner Steier, Jake Newton, and Olivia Newton check out the soil tunnel with flashlights, as part of Kids Day on the Farm at Dickinson State University Thursday, April 21, 2022.
From left, Conner Steier, Jake Newton, and Olivia Newton check out the soil tunnel with flashlights, as part of Kids Day on the Farm at Dickinson State University Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Contributed / Annika Plummer

Throughout the day, the DSU Ag Club led a guided tour every 15 minutes with the students, teaching all about life on the farm.

Along with Kids Day on the Farm, DSU Ag Club President Cassi Wagner has been in charge of leading the organization through the FFA District 8 Leadership conference in the fall of 2021 and the FFA/4-H Roughrider Judging Contest that took place in February.

Poland noted that Wagner’s schedule is exhausting, but “she has taken it all in stride.”

“From my perspective, Kids Day on the Farm is a great day for both the kids attending as well as the Ag Club members and volunteers putting the event on,” Wagner said. “It allows us to work with kids at a young age and get them excited about agriculture. There are several members and volunteers that are getting an education degree, and this was great exposure for them to work with kids. I think other members have enjoyed coordinating this event knowing that it has an impact on these young kids and their understanding of agriculture.”

From left, DSU students Nathan Unruh, McKell Meidinger, Avery Hansen, Kaylee Obrigewitch, Katelyn Fritz, DSU Ag Club Advisor Chip Poland, Cassi Wagner and Hannah LaBree stand together for a photo op with bunnies and miniature donkeys during the event.
The Dickinson State University Agriculture Club hosts the 31st Kids Day on the Farm on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at the university's Indoor Arena. From left, DSU students Nathan Unruh, McKell Meidinger, Avery Hansen, Kaylee Obrigewitch, Katelyn Fritz, DSU Ag Club Advisor Chip Poland, Cassi Wagner and Hannah LaBree stand together for a photo op with bunnies and miniature donkeys during the event.
Contributed / Annika Plummer
Karlee Sailer and Buster the Blue Hawk thank the Midwest Dairy Association for the milk during Kids Day on the Farm on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Karlee Sailer and Buster the Blue Hawk thank the Midwest Dairy Association for the milk during Kids Day on the Farm on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
Contributed / Annika Plummer

Jackie Jahfetson is a graduate of Northern Michigan University whose journalism path began in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a freelancer for The Daily Mining Gazette. Her previous roles include editor-in-chief at The North Wind and reporter at The Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich. Raised on a dairy farm, she immediately knew Dickinson would be her first destination west as she focuses on gaining aptitude for ranch life, crop farming and everything agriculture. She covers hard news stories centered on government, fires, crime and education. When not fulfilling deadlines and attending city commission meetings, she is a budding musician and singer.
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