School of Agriculture adopt second grade classroom

Marc Ramirez, Assistant News Editor

Macomb School District’s Adopt-A-Classroom program paired a group of second graders with the Western Illinois University’s Agriculture program. On Tuesday they visited the livestock center and greenhouse.

Anna Mercer and her 19 students from Lincoln School visited and participated in many activities ranging from learning about and growing plants to having hands-on experience with livestock and machinery. The second graders also had the opportunity to have a hayrack ride around the School of Agriculture to visit various parts of the program.

Mercer’s class was given the chance to brush claves, pet and shear sheep, climb on tractors and learn about baby pigs with the help of the agriculture students. This hands on interaction and teaching about agriculture to younger children brought a newfound perspective on education according to senior agriculture science major Will Taylor.

“It adds value and a passion for agriculture advocacy,” Taylor said. “It’s fun to interact with the kids and see their passion for animals and agriculture grow.”

Senior animal science major Mikaela Fringer had a similar experience, she said she enjoyed the experience of teaching younger students. “Teaching the younger generation is a stepping stone to teaching at a higher level someday,” Fringer said.

Over the course of the year Western Aggies have visited Lincoln school and worked with the students on agriculture related projects according to agriculture instructor Jana Knupp. She says students in the program have taught the second graders how to plant seeds, food production and livestock lessons.

“The WIU School of Agriculture enjoys the opportunity to connect with the community and educate them about agriculture,” Knupp said.

The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture, the Hoof and Horn Club, the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter and Western’s Ag-Vocators organization were all sponsors of the event.