Elementary students in Madison, Howard, Chester, Rutland and Oldham-Ramona learned about the importance of responsibility and care for animals during this year's Ag in the Classroom lesson.
The program is sponsored by the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee and had support from Miner County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Susanne Oddens and area producers. The lesson was provided to second-grade classes. Each lesson includes a story and activity. This year students heard the story "Levi's Lost Calf" by Amanda Radke, which pointed out the importance of responsibility and care for animals. Students learned about how area producers take care of their livestock and how animals are identified with ear tags. The classes completed the exercise with constructing their own animal ear tag.
"The Ag Committee and the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce realize the importance of agriculture in our area," said ag committee member Kevin Jaspers. "It is important to help promote the No. 1 industry in the state. Area businesses realize without Agriculture in our area it would be very difficult for them to stay in business. Chamber member businesses appreciate area ag producers choosing to do their business locally in Madison."
Rob Thuringer (Wells Fargo) and producer Kevin Hoff hosted sessions at the Madison Christian School and St. Thomas Catholic School. Kevin Jaspers (Farm Credit Services of America), Mark Stoller (Madison Farmers Elevator), Craig Walker (Great Western Bank), Bernie Schuurmans (Madison Family Dental and Chamber liaison), Chamber Executive Director Rosie Jamison and producer John Morse presented at the Madison Elementary School.
Oddens (Miner County Farm Service Agency) and Vicki Neises presented in Howard. Amber Steinberg (Farm Bureau Financial Services) and Susan Hilmoe (Sioux Valley Electric) presented in Chester. Amanda Stade (Lake County Extension) and producer Mike Clark presented at Rutland and Oldham-Ramona as well as a Madison elementary classroom.
South Dakota Ag in the Classroom is part of a nationwide program designed to help students develop an awareness and understanding of the food and fiber system and how agriculture impacts daily lives.