Austin, Lyle area students take the classroom to the farm - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin, Lyle area students take the classroom to the farm

(NEAR AUSTIN) KTTC-DT -- The Gerlach farm outside of Austin is normally pretty quiet, save for the snorts coming from their seventeen hundred pigs.

But Tuesday, the snorts were echoed with squeals from Austin and Lyle area 3rd graders.

"Piglets!!! And we got to pet them."

This is Day At The Farm, hosted by the Agribusiness Committee of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dale Larson, a member with the Agribusiness Committee, says, "It's just a matter of exposing them to what goes on at a farm at an early age."

That exposure is necessary - it gives kids a means of making the farm, food, and economy connection. It may also get them thinking about their future.

Larson says, "They should see there's an opportunity hopefully for them to maybe someday to be out here producing foods for others."

This is the seventh year the tour has been ongoing. Over 400 students and their teachers strolled through the hands-on exhibits, hearing about the farm, the role the animals play, and the role food plays, as well.

Javaughn Bryant says, "The mama pig was getting angry because we were getting too close."

And their reactions vary.

"They're really cool."

"It stunk. It smelled like pork!"

This outdoor classroom is a chance to see something they might otherwise never be able to.

Dale Larson says, "I enjoy seeing young kids out here, you know, that don't maybe get exposed to agriculture in any other way, or the farm, in any other way.

And as an extra bonus, it was a chance to perfect their pig talk.

The students visited two other farms: the Sayles Dairy Farm, where they learned about cows and milking, and the Ingvaldson Hobby Farm, with sheep, chickens, cattle, and pheasants.

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