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Franklin County students attend Farm-City Day

October 18, 2005

HARRISBURG - Lessons on modern farming were brought to life recently for more than 1,500 children during the state Department of Agriculture's ninth annual Farm-City Day at the Farm Show Complex.

Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff welcomed second to fifth graders from 18 schools in Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York counties, and stressed the importance of agricultural education.

Students in Franklin County who attended were from James Burd Elementary.

"With fewer families involved in farming operations, a growing number of people fail to realize the effort it takes to deliver healthy and delicious foods to our dinner plate," Wolff said. "By teaching the benefits of agriculture to children, we are working to reverse this trend and foster a better understanding of farming practices."

The day's activities included farm safety miniature golf, papermaking and flower bulb planting, as well as a petting zoo. "Penny" - the department's model Holstein - was also there, giving children the experience of milking a cow.

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Farm-City Day is meant to help bridge the gap between the farming community and people who live in cities and suburban areas.

Wolff said the initiative also broadens the career choices for the students.

"Many children have never had the chance to visit a working farm," he said. "Because of this, they may never consider an ag-related career, such as a production farmer or large-animal veterinarian."

Students were also able to attend the Keystone International Livestock Exposition, which featured booths and displays from 18 agricultural organizations. Each year, more than 1,200 exhibitors attend the expo to show about 4,000 livestock animals, including beef cattle, horses, sheep and swine.

Farm-City Day is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, with support from the Agriculture Awareness Foundation. To learn more about the agriculture education initiative, visit www.marketplaceforthemind.com

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