Third Annual Ag Festival Focuses On Corn


WAYNE – Area fifth graders visited a northeast Nebraska community Thursday and were able to attend eight stations during the Growing Potential Ag Festival.

From the Beaumont Event & Concert Hall parking lot in Wayne, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers Association hosted the event.

Courtney Schaardt, Director of Outreach Education with the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation said the day was all about corn.

“Getting into the corn and viewing the combine,” said Schaardt. “Learning about chickens and cattle and how that all relates to corn and then connecting it back to their curriculum in school like language arts, science and social studies.”

This was the third year of the Ag Festival where the event was held in Wisner last year and in Jackson the first year. Four towns were represented of Wisner-Pilger, Holy Trinity in Hartington, Lewis & Clark in South Sioux City and Wayne totaling about 200 fifth graders.

In all, 15 sponsors and volunteers came together to help put on the successful event along with the Wayne FFA Chapter volunteering at the festival.

Vice president of the Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers, Taylor Nelson added he likes the level of engagement from the students with the stationed-format.

“It’s really good to see the fifth graders getting to have a true hands-on experience with ag,” Nelson added. “Because that’s something that can be very hard for kids that don’t grow up on a farm to have.”

Each class continued to rotate between each station and learn about ethanol, process of planting and harvesting, irrigation, chickens and livestock throughout the afternoon.

“We really hope that they can understand that agriculture is apart of their everyday life whether they live on a farm or ranch,” Schaardt mentioned. “Agriculture affects us if you eat food, if you drive your car or you wear clothes. So, really just making that connection for them.”

A plot night will also be held Thursday evening (August 29) where member growers will meet near Laurel focusing on engaging different educational opportunities.