Students learn the ways of agriculture through 4-H Field Trip

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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On the first Tuesday and Wednesday of April, many events around Winchester were canceled or delayed due to inclement weather. 

Thankfully, the same need not to be said the next week. 

Third grade students from various schools throughout Clark County visited Gilkison Farm at 345 Calloway White Road as part of the 4-H Agricultural Day Field Trip to learn and gather first-hand experience of various topics. 

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“The whole purpose is to teach them about agriculture and where their food comes from, and just appreciate what the farmers in our community do,” said Aubrey Lawson, Clark County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development. “[Teaching about agriculture] is one of our seven core content areas in 4-H.” 

Gilkison Farm, which has hosted the event on several occasions through the years – returning in 2023 following a brief break due to COVID-19 – had 12 different stations set up around its location for the field trip, which lasted from 9:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. both days with a 45 minute lunch break. 

They were farm chores, corn, soybeans, beef, sheep, drone, bees, horticulture, goats, poultry, horses, and dairy. 

As they rotated through different stations, representatives from different organizations provided detailed information to enhance the students’ knowledge. 

For example, Becky Kinder of the Kentucky Soybean Association helped define that a soybean is 40% protein and 20% oil – making it a healthy choice for both humans and animals. 

Surrounded in a barn by Lucy, a quarter pony, Equine Extension Association Mary Jane Little of the University of Kentucky Equine Department provided information about Secretariat – arguably the greatest racing horse of all time – and answered students’ questions about various topics including equipment. 

“A halter…is what we put on horses to be able to handle them and lead them around and control them,” she said. 

At the drone station, students discovered how different technologies in agriculture have helped pave the way for success. 

This included computer and electronic technology, biotechnology, and engineering and conservation technology. 

Curry Gilkison, son of owners Brennan and Serena Gilkison, even demonstrated and explained how a DJI Agras T40 works. 

An industry leader in drone spray services, the waterproof device can be used to spray fields with various materials – including fungicides – and includes rotary style nozzles, a 7-inch remote screen, a Front FPV and Gimbal Mapping Camera, and more. 

Josh Adkins, a third grade teacher at Justice Elementary School, spoke about what interest he saw from students. 

“They really like…seeing how the drone [is] used in farming. They really like live animals,” he said. “I hope it kind of gives them an idea of something they can do…as far as a job later in their lives.” 

Lawson, who also works with 4-H staff to deliver instruction to local schools at other times during the year, extended gratitude for the opportunity. 

“We are super grateful for the Gilkison family,” she said. “They work very hard [along with] their entire crew in helping us put this event on.”