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Students learn about agriculture at Ag Days

MOOSEHEART – Munhall Elementary School fourth-grader Riley Brown on Wednesday learned just how many uses there are for apples during the Kane County Farm Bureau's 30th annual Ag Days at Mooseheart Fieldhouse.

And that's one example of the point behind Ag Days.

"Students learn where their food comes from," said Suzi Myers, Kane County Farm Bureau's agriculture literacy coordinator. "When they are eating a pizza, they are not thinking about the wheat that made the crust."

Myers has been the Kane County Farm Bureau's ag literacy coordinator for 10 years. She found out about Ag Days when she was a teacher for East Aurora School District. She said she taught fourth grade, "and I brought my students to this."

Volunteers manning 25 stations gave presentations on a variety of topics, from the value of apples to the importance of soil and water conservation. Myers said she is proud of the fact that Ag Days continues to this day.

"It is not hard to find dedicated volunteers," she said. "We always have people willing to do it."

That included Kirk Bunke, farm manager at Primrose Farm near St. Charles. Bunke had the students experience what it was like to use a corn sheller.

"Today you are going to help us with a chore," Bunke told the students. "We use corn to feed our animals."

Primrose Farm has been part of Ag Days for the last several years. Bunke said the event is "a great thing to reach out and teach kids in Kane County about our rural past and agricultural heritage."

Beekeeper Harry Patterson, a former North Aurora resident, explained to the students about the importance of bees. He has been a beekeeper for 30 years.

"Honey bees are the best pollinators of flowers," he told them. "It's very important to protect them."

Patterson also explained to them about the equipment he uses, such as a smoker. He said bees are "very aggressive when they are in a hive."

"You use a smoker to calm them down," he said.

Munhall fourth-grader Daniela Paladino said she enjoyed hearing about the 4-H group and what it does.

"They talked about how you can do activities like making pots," she said. "I might want to do that."

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