“A day in the life of the farm is really good for kids. There are so many jobs and opportunities that kids don’t realize.”
For more than 20 years, the late Ralph Glosemeyer, of Concord Hill, hosted one of the three farm tours sponsored by the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District. St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School stepped up to make sure the farm tour was still available to area schools.
Polly Sachs, SWCD district clerk, organizes the annual tours. Locations also include Puetz Farms near Warrenton and Reckamp Farms near Wright City. Sachs said the Concord Hill tour has not been held for three years, mainly due to COVID, but they had also been unable to find a replacement for the Glosemeyer Farm.
“Our board thinks it is important to continue to hold the tours and we want to continue,” said Sachs. “Mrs. Amanda Schwoeppe, a teacher at St. Ignatius, contacted us and helped organize the tour this year on the school grounds. We want to recognize the school staff for their support.”
Because so many students missed out on the tour during the hiatus, fifth- and sixth-graders were allowed to join the fourth-grade tour this year on Tuesday, April 18. Schools invited in addition to St. Ignatius students included St. Vincent’s Catholic School, Dutzow, and Liberty Christian School, Wright City.
Stops on the tour were trees and wildlife, rocks and minerals, field and stream, farm safety, pollinators, farm animals, fire safety and electricity.
FFA members from Warrenton High School introduced the students to cattle, goats and rabbits
“It’s good to talk to younger kids to teach them and advocate for agriculture,” said Taylor Frye. “A day in the life of the farm is really good for kids. There are so many jobs and opportunities that kids don’t realize.”
Wesley Hanks, of Quails Forever, and Tara Wallace, SWCD, taught the students about pollinators, in particular, the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly.
“We can create an area for them to eat as they migrate,” said Hanks. “Creating prairies is the perfect place for Monarchs to stop by on their way north.”
Taren Justice, SWCD, could be found at the farm safety stop. She asked the students if they could identify what certain common household substances were by looking at them. She held up two similar jars — apple juice or pine cleaner, water or rubbing alcohol. Jayne Glosemeyer showed the students how dangerous grain bins and other farm equipment can be without proper precautions.
Students were able to hike down to the creek near the school to check out native soils with SWCD specialist Rhonda Martinek. She pointed out how the plant winter creeper could suffocate the trees and that seeing a lot of springtime Sweet William could indicate the health of the soil.
Gabe Twellman, representing Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, presented a check for $1,000 to help pay for the food prepared by the area Pork Producers. Lunch included bratwurst and pork burgers. Chips were donated by Uncle Ray’s Chips from Montgomery County.
Sachs said the SWCD plans on continuing farm tours for years to come. She said volunteers from many agencies help ensure the success.
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