Today our 4H club had a couple of calves on display at the Douglas County Nebraska fair which is in the heart of Omaha, a good size city.
The bad part was it really does show how many city kids have little to no exposure to the agriculture community. A few times we were asked if those were deer, a few people made comments that they didn’t think they were cows because they thought cows were black and white referring to dairy cattle they had seen on TV. A few kids mentioned that today was the first time they had actually seen a cow in person.
Now for the good part, as I spoke to the kids and answered their questions it was fascinating to see how intrigued they were about learning more about the calves. Their eyes would light up when you asked them if they wanted to pet the calf. The most common question was how old were the calves, both of the calves on display today were born in April.
Today really reinforced the idea that we really need to do more to bring the farm to the city, to help bridge that gap between rural and city people. Today became the perfect opportunity to plant the seed in the minds of the kids that agriculture is not bad or scary. The kids really do want to learn, we just need to continue to work at providing that opportunity for them.
The fact of the matter is that we can’t wait around for the city people to seek out the agriculture community, the agriculture community will need to think outside of the box on how to get in front of these kids, bring the farm to them. I look forward to the next county fair where we can once again showcase agriculture to inquiring young minds.