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All About Ag!

I spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks out of the office and out in the field. With finally some nice weather, I was so glad to be able to spend many of my days outdoors! One of the main events that we had is called Agstravaganza. Agstravaganza is a two-day event held at the county fairgrounds. About a dozen fourth grade classes from the area schools come each day to learn about all of the different avenues of agriculture. I ran a station about 4-H and why agriculture is important to us, as well as played a few agriculture-based games. It is a really great way for students to learn about what agriculture is and everything that is included in it.

Then, the following week the local fifth grade classes had a field trip again put on by Cooperative Extension at a local dairy farm. The McMahon’s own E-Z Acres, where they milk around 700 Holstein cows. Again, this two-day event provides the ins and outs of a dairy farm with the classes visiting around ten stations throughout the farm, ranging from hoof trimming to equipment and soil health. I ran the calf station, where the students learned about calf housing, nutrition and the life of a calf on the farm. It was a really fun experience sharing knowledge that I am passionate about and spreading the importance of dairy and agriculture to the students.

This past week, I spent most of my afternoons out in corn fields getting a sunburn (I forgot sunscreen!). Janice, the fields crop specialist, has three different cornfields that we are doing research on this summer. Each field has fifteen plots, with each plot having either 36 or 24 rows in each, depending on the size of the field. Different fungicides and amounts will be sprayed on the different plots; the first field being sprayed today. It was my job this week to visit all of the fields and measure plant populations on all of the plots in each field. While it might seem like a simple task, it was quite time consuming. I had to do three populations in each plot and there were fifteen plots per field. That’s a lot of measuring! The different plots are divided out by the flags, as you can see in the picture.

The best, yet most intimidating thing in the last couple weeks are the chicken eggs that are currently in my spare bedroom. The eggs themselves are not at all intimidating, who doesn’t love little chicken eggs! What is intimidating is that I’m in charge of hatching them! Each year for the county fair we hatch eggs for the 4-H building so that the kids can see them throughout fair week. It takes 21 days for them to hatch, so for the days that are left, I’m in charge. That’s a lot of pressure, I hope I don’ t mess it up somehow! Until next time, stay tuned for my next blog and hopefully the eggs will still be in tact!

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