Hundreds of kids from around Whatcom County will get to experience a really cool event. Dillon Honcoop spoke with Gavin Willis of Whatcom Family Farmers on the Farming Show, to get the details about Farm Circle.
Whatcom Family Farmers partner with people from the dairy, berry and potato industries in the area to help put on the event. The conservation district and Washington Ag in the Classroom also help with the event.
“The idea here is to educate third grade students on the value of farms,” Willis said. “What they add locally to our community, and what they do to help protect the environment.”
The event is Nov. 19 through Nov. 21 at the Expo Building of the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden, Wash. The students are bussed in from their schools. Seven groups of students at a time will cycle through different stations that are set up.
“They learn about watersheds and soil conservation,” Willis said. “They learn about farmland conservation, about some of the wildlife you can find on farms. What it takes to grow potatoes, to grow raspberries. Personal nutrition and how the food and how the food produced on farms is related to that. And, some of the neat technology that our local farms are using as well.”
Willis says farmers will bring in some of the “more interesting” equipment and it is usually a hit with the students.
Just about every school district in the county is represented in the event. Willis, who has a masters in environmental education, says it is critical students of this age learn how they contribute to their communities, and what this event does is show students what’s going on locally.
“Since farming is such a huge part of Whatcom County, economically, and just in terms of contributions they make to the community, it’s really important the students who are growing up in Whatcom County understand that importance, and are educated and feel like they know the farmers and have a personal connection there,” Willis said.
Some schools hadn’t heard about the event until the Bellingham Herald did a write up on it. Willis said the event is free to schools who wish to participate. This year is full, but if schools want to be included next year they can reach out to Whatcom Family Farmers.