Harvest to Hand funding ag education

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Saturday night hundreds gathered to support agriculture education in Clark County.

Brandon and Amy Reece of Reece Farm and Serena and Brennan Gilkison of Gilkison Farm hosted the second-annual Harvest to Hand event. The farm-to-table-style dinner boasted a guest list of 290 and featured a gourmet menu from local chef Steve Atkins, of Engine House Deli + Pub.

The menu included meats and produce from local and regional farms, and proceeds from the dinner will support ag education programs in local schools.

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The two young farm families have a mission of promoting agriculture particularly through education programs for Clark County students.

Last year’s dinner raised approximately $4,000 for programs, including an agriculture field day for all third-grade students at Gilkison Farm and various events at local elementary schools.

Agriculture education, especially when implemented early, is important for many reasons.

Many students are several generations removed from the farm, which means they have a limited knowledge of where their food comes from. By better understanding how their food is produced and sourced, children can make better food choices which could rub off on their families.

Another important role agriculture education plays is exposing children to various careers available in the industry. Many students may have the misconception that being a hands-on farmer is the only career available, but there are many others. There are various ways to incorporate business, science, biology, marketing and communications into an ag-related career.

In Clark County, one vital role is an extension agent focused on agriculture and natural resources. Clark County is lucky to have two ag extension agents — David Davis and Clay Stamm — who provide information, resources and support to local farmers.

There jobs prove that agriculture education is important even for those who are in the industry. On Saturday, they will host their annual ag field day.

The field day is an opportunity for the farmers of Clark County to meet, share ideas and learn some new things from experts in the field. The day is split into two parts, with the morning focusing on raising and marketing beef cattle and afternoon focused on horticulture. More information about the event is available through the Clark County Extension Office by calling 744-4682.

It’s a source of pride to know that in the past two years, about $8,000 has been donated to agriculture education in local schools and that learning continues for a lifetime.

America has one of the safest and most reliable food sources in the world, thanks in large part to the agriculture community. In Clark County, this community is strong and devoted to making sure the traditions and benefits of farming and agriculture are not forgotten by younger generations.