Nearly 200 students from Kanab Elementary School took a break from the classroom to learn firsthand about local farmers and ranchers, their livestock, and the impact they have on our nation’s food supply when they visited Dusty and John Reese’s home east of Kanab on May 27.

The Reeses, members of the Kane County Farm Bureau and currently serving on the National Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Rancher Committee, hosted the event, supported by other Farm Bureau members, Kane County 4H, Kanab Future Farmers of America (FFA), and the Bureau of Land Management.

“We decided to hold a Farm Day to help our local children learn about agriculture and its contributions to our community and society. Most of these kids live in town and don’t have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a cow or a pig or a sheep like they have today. It’s fun giving them that chance,” said Dusty Reese.

Six stations were set up to teach different aspects of the rural lifestyle – local rancher Danny Button talked about horses and how they are an integral tool used by ranchers to help manage their livestock; Farm Bureau member Harmony Cox talked “pork,” explaining how pigs are raised; BLM wildlife biologist Lisa Church taught how plants grow and helped the children make living necklaces from a corn seed wrapped in wet cotton; rancher Jim Ott answered questions about cattle; BLM ranch management specialist John Reese sheared a sheep and talked about wool and its many uses; and Kane County 4H member Angie Reidhead taught nutrition and how to read labels on packaged food.

Assisting the adults with their presentations and helping keep an eye on the students were members of the Kanab FFA.

Button volunteered his time for a number of reasons very near and dear to him, “I love ranching because in my book, there is no better way to raise a family. The life teaches our kids the importance of hard work and that food doesn’t come from a store – feeding a nation starts right here with the family ranch and farm.”