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Kate's Field Trip

Kelly and Sarah Schmidt
YF&R Committee Chair

Our daughter Kate recently enjoyed her very first field trip last week. Their first stop? A hog farm, followed by a dairy farm and then a beef farm. Of all the places they could have gone for their first trip, visiting farms will hold a special place in the memories of those Kindergartners for many years to come.

As parents, we were delighted her school chose to take the class on a trip to learn more about agriculture and farm life. What surprised us was just how excited Kate was to go to someone else’s farm. You see, all of Kate’s grandparents live on farms and her home on our acreage west of New Ulm has cattle and crops around her every day. She could hardly sleep the night before and was bubbling over with enthusiasm after the trip, telling us all about what she and her classmates experienced and learned. From Kate’s stories, we think she also had fun playing “expert” and telling everyone about her farm.

Do you remember your first school field trip? Mine was much like Kate’s trip – anxious, excited and full of stories for Mom and Dad when I got home. Field trips quickly became one of my favorite things about school — I’m guessing many of you can relate.

Here’s the good news: Field trips don’t have to end after graduation. Experiencing all agriculture has to offer means we need to take the time to leave the farm and work behind for a little while and take a field trip. Visit new places, meet new people, reconnect with old friends and learn something new. These trips often provide just the right amount of energy and enthusiasm boost needed to return home and share agriculture’s story with others.

I’m drawn to Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program for this very reason. By becoming involved, my wife and I are always looking forward to the next YF&R “field trip” on the calendar. One we look forward to every year is the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Leadership Conference, which will be held at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Red Wing on January 23-24, 2015. Attendance and interest in this conference continues to grow – we hope you will join us.

Here’s my challenge to you: Go on a field trip. While I can’t guarantee it will be as fun as a Kindergartner’s first trip, I know you won’t regret it.