The long Valley Future Farmers of America hosted a farm fair at the Valley elementary school grounds. Several stations were set up, for a variety of learning and hands on experiences.

Christy Hatch, one of the invited participants talked about soil. Since our food source comes from the soil, it was emphasized that individuals need to understand about erosion and how to take care of the soil. 

Dairy production was emphasized, by the homemade ice cream tested by the always-hungry kids. Dustin and Harmony Cox, talked about the statistics involving the raising of produce and animals and how it fits into our society, as the world is dependant on what the farmers are able to produce.

 Farm animals were on display, for feeding and petting. Two calves, goats, a small pony and chickens were provided for hands-on experience. Of course the elementary kids enjoyed the animals and were given an opportunity to hand feed the pony.

The most impressive part of the fair was the demonstration on farm safety. John Keeler, talked with the students about tractor safety involving a power take off or PTO. Most of the children understood the definition, but were given the opportunity to visualize what could happen to a person if they accidentally came in contact with the PTO.

Loose fitting clothing is one of the big taboos when working around tractors and equipment. The students were impressed when Mr. Keeler told them a power take off can turn nine and one half revolutions per second. The proof manifested itself when he tossed the straw dummy dressed in coveralls into the shaft. In mere seconds the ground was covered with straw and shredded denim.

Keeler told the students he expected them to remember the part about the PTO demonstration as one of the most important bits of information they could use from the Farm Fair. He also encouraged students to always watch the person on the tractor and be where you can make eye-to-eye contact. Behind or in front of a tractor is not a very good place to stand.

He  made it clear it is unsafe for passengers to ride on equipment when it is made for one person. If the seat is made for a single driver, others should not put themselves at risk by riding on the equipment.

From the looks of the crowd and smiling faces, it appeared the FFA Farm Fair was a success. Hopefully the children learned some important information and had a good time as well.

Thanks to the FFA for organizing a fun and informative fair day at the Valley Elementary School.