The eighth annual Fall on the Farm began early Wednesday morning with kids hurrying off of school busses to enjoy the activities of a farm.
Murray State’s Pullen Farm Complex located on the corner of Ky. 94 West and Doran Road started the event Wednesday and will continue through Saturday.
Rhea Ann Wright, academic services coordinator of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said the program is a great opportunity for local elementary school students to enjoy agriculture and learn how it affects their daily lives.
“(The goal is) to provide an educational and recreational hands on agricultural experience for our elementary age children and the community,” she said.
Fall on the Farm’s mission is to provide a fun educational avenue for children to share in traditional fall activities in a rural setting and teach them how agriculture relates to their daily lives, said Wright.
Toni Cortez, senior from Almo, Ky., said she wants the event to be very interactive. For example, children can touch and smell the plants in the greenhouse.
Being able to interact with the plants is something the students really enjoy, Mark Mohlev, chaperone with Benton Elementary, said.
Other activities enjoyed by the students include playing on the playground, petting the farm animals provided by Crazy Critter Farms, milking a simulated cow and navigating the corn maze.
“The students like the corn maze, the water balloons, they like it all,” Heather Blankenship, green house manager and professor of horticulture, said.
The students learn the most from the greenhouse and composting, because they teach as much as they can to become greener and to be more sustainable, Blankenship said.
Another event being held is the soybean session in which kids learn about the impact of soybeans on the community.
“We teach the students the many uses of soybeans, why farmers grow them and how they impact their daily lives,” Becky Kinder, education director for the Kentucky Soybean Board, said.
The Hutson School of Agriculture students, faculty and staff maintain the event. Among the 60 to 70 volunteers working are college students.
“I will be working the rock wall and slide, along with helping out at the green house,” Greg Deahl, senior from Hanson, Ky., said. “All of the Ariculture students will be helping.”
“Usually it varies from year to year, but this year we have almost 1,200 students planning to visit,” Wright said. “If weather permits we usually have over 1,000 members from the community come on Saturday.”
The farm complex is open for school visits today and will open to the public Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with admission $5 per person.
Wright said proceeds provide financial support to the school of agriculture clubs and organizations.