Agriculture event yields more than 1,000 participants

The Hutson School of Agriculture and the Agriculture Leadership Council hosted their 9th annual Fall on the Farm event at Murray State’s Pullen farm complex last week. The event was open to the public on Saturday, Sept.  22nd, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but had been open since Sept. 17 for school visits.

The event was designed to help elementary school children learn about agriculture in a fun and educational way. Among the attractions included at the event were hayrides, a corn maze, a plant sale, a petting zoo, pony rides, cow milking (on a wooden cow of course!), pumpkin painting and a corn pit, which is like a ball pit.

Rhea Ann Wright, academic services coordinator for the Hutson School of Agriculture, said the Agriculture Leadership Council provides the backbone to the event, as far as coordination, workers, and help with setting up go.

“It’s really a collaborative event with the entire school of agriculture.” She said.

Joy Straney, president of the Ag Leadership Council and a junior from Flaherty, Ky., was pleased at the turnout of the event.

“Wednesday through Friday we’ve had around 1,200 kids here,” she said. “Today we’ve had a large turnout, more than we expected. All our parking lots are full, which we are very thankful for.”

Straney was also pleased that children were having fun as well as learning a thing or two about agriculture as well.

“We also have students from the Agriculture Education Department that have been teaching a lesson throughout the week,” she said. “So it’s actually a part of their class where they have to educate young children about … all the essentials to growing corn. We also have another group of students that teach children about tractor safety and milking cows.”

Tony Brannon, the Dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said an event is added to Fall on the Farm every year to make Fall on the Farm bigger and better than it was the previous year.

“(Fall on the Farm) is one of our great community service activities for Murray, Calloway County and the surrounding communities,” he said.

He said all of the proceeds from Fall on the Farm go back into the Hutson School of Agriculture.

“This event is student run, so the money goes back into the students,” Brannon said. “It’s an excellent way for (the agriculture students) to help fund their activities. They have a lots of budgetary needs, and this of course doesn’t meet all of them, but it does help tremendously.”

Story by Kristen Oakley, Contributing writer.