EATON — Kids attending the Famous Preble County Fair had an opportunity to have a self-led tour of the grounds, all thanks to the EXPLORE Agriculture and Natural Resources Tent. The tent, located near the Wildlife Tent, offered displays and activities to educate and entertain both children and adults.
One activity was the scavenger hunt that took children throughout the fairgrounds, to locations like the Toney Building and Horse Barn. Once there, they were asked to answer questions like, “Water that falls onto Preble County as rain eventually ends up in the Mississippi River. What ocean does the Mississippi drain into?”
All kids who completed their answer sheet were given a small prize and entered into a drawing for a water gun.
Organizations sponsoring the activities included: United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Preble County Farm Bureau, Three Valley Conservation Trust, Preble Soil and Water Conservation District, The Ohio State University Extension & Preble County 4-H, Pork Festival, and the Preble County Solid Waste District.
“A couple years ago we put all these organizations under one tent, instead of different ones, with activities geared towards little kids and their parents,” Mike Derringer, Vice-President of the Farm Bureau, said.
“All of these organizations are crucial to Preble County development and we all share the same goals of education of observation and natural resources. It is important that the community see that one message of agriculture in the community.”
Derringer added, it is also important to teach kids about agriculture at a young age, so they retain that interest throughout their lives.
“We have a drawing this year for a very big water gun, so that has gotten a lot of hits. We have a scavenger hunt around the fair, which has been a big draw. It takes them to the horse barn, produce building, and wildlife tent. It really gives them a tour of the fairgrounds.
“Kids can really learn a lot, with the activities and the different information posted. We have random games, like giant Jenja. We have different activities for kids to do. Its about helping them learn in a fun way.
“When young people know about the importance of agriculture at a young age, they’ll keep that with them for the rest of their lives. Most people are at least two generations removed from the family farm. With each passing year, we’re getting farther away from people who know where their food comes from.
“At least three times a day people should thank a farmer. They should be able to understand how important agriculture is, if they like food in their belly.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH