Students learn elements of farming at Foxhill Farms

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

by Jennifer Coker

Approximately 239 third graders from Southampton County Schools enjoyed a day full of fun and learning on the farm last week. The annual Southampton County School Farm Day is presented by Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District and graciously hosted by Clarke and Cliff Fox of Foxhill Farms in Capron.

It was a great day for the students of Southampton Academy, Capron, Meherrin, Nottoway, and Riverdale Elementary to learn about agriculture and natural resources with a hands-on experience. Students had the opportunity to put their hands in the soil and learn about soil types, pet farm animals; see how a dairy cow is milked, how beef cattle are raised and utilized for food; and how food gets from the farm to the table; learn about forestry, wildlife, water quality, plants, and watch a puppet show.

Upon arrival to the farm the students enjoyed a presentation by Amanda Griffith of Southland Dairy Farmers mobile dairy classroom, where they met her dairy cow, Ellie May. The students learned how to milk a cow, how milk goes from the farm to the table and the importance of dairy foods for good health.

The students then traveled to 10 different learning stations in 10-minute intervals where they were able to interact and learn from the following organizations: Foxhill Farms, Chowan Basin SWCD, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Lynda Updike and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Other volunteers in attendance included 15 FFA students from Southampton County High School and several members from the Southampton Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

Several of the FFA volunteers spent the day stuffing “goodie bags” for each student and teacher. Each student bag contained many items that were donated by each of the participating organizations which included: educational materials, booklets, bookmarks, pencils, ink pens, stickers, coloring books, stress peanuts, candy, and bagged peanuts. The teacher bags included: pencils, cups, book for their classroom and educational materials.

Along with stuffing the goody bags, the FFA students assisted at different learning stations, worked as tour guides for the classes, and assisted wherever help was needed.

Farm Day is a day for not only the students but also for the numerous parents, teachers, and volunteers. It is a fast-paced day from the time the buses arrive to the time they leave. The reward for all involved in this event is seeing the excitement and eagerness for learning and hearing the appreciation from the students throughout the day.

“Without the help from all of the volunteers from each organization, the local FFA chapter, Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, and especially Clarke and Cliff Fox for hosting and helping to organize and plan, we at Chowan Basin SWCD could not make Farm Day as successful as it is,” said Jennifer Coker, Chowan Basin SWCD’s Conservation Education Technician.