Junior Achievement Hosts Ag Day

On November 16, about 175 fourth graders at Easton Elementary School participated in the Ag Day festivities hosted by Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore. What resulted was a group of very eager youngsters and pleased agriculture proponents.

A representative from Baywater Farms discussed how lettuce and sprouts can be grown hydroponically.

One focus of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is to identify workforce gaps in businesses and industries in a local community. The expo’s purpose was to show students all the different facets of the agriculture industry.

“One industry gap we’ve identified is the world of agriculture, in general,” said Jayme Hayes, President of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore. “Our hope is that at the end of the day, the students see that the world of farming is the future. If we can inspire even a few students to pursue a career in agriculture, then we’ve done our job.”

An exhibit by the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board introduced Easton Elementary School fourth graders to different grains.

The Ag Day program consisted of five in-classroom lessons about resources and entrepreneurship, delivered by employees of MidAtlantic Farm Credit. The sixth activity was an expo-style event featuring local business owners, each with their own interactive exhibit. Students witnessed, for example, how peanuts are turned into fresh peanut butter at the Eat Sprout table. Rotating through the expo, students then got to visit with volunteers from Phillips Wharf Environmental Center to talk about aquaculture. The students were thrilled to climb on the wheels of a John Deere tractor and asked a million questions.

Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth, grades K-12 both public and private, on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. JA’s hands-on, age-appropriate programs inspire youth to live within their means, prepare for the world of work and understand the free enterprise system. The programs are brought to life by local business members. JA is an enhancement to what kids learn in school and a direct link to real-life applications, making school relevant and increasing students’ engagement in the classroom. For more information, call 410-742-8112.

Michelle Bullock and Zach Evans, of MidAtlantic Farm Credit, discuss Ag Day logistics with Lisa Thornton (left) and Jayme Hayes (right), both of JA of the Eastern Shore.
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