Parents can encourage children to learn about agriculture by taking their children to area agricultural activities like the County Fair. There farms and 4-Hers demonstrate the results of their activities by having their products and animals exhibited and judged by experts. Children can go to the barns and watch animals being groomed for showing and watch the animals being judged. They may see animals being fed and dairy cows being milked. They may even learn to move quickly if they see and animal raise its tail!
Besides County Fairs, many County Farm Bureaus may hold A Day on the Farm or Open Farms where families can tour the farm and see how it operates. They can ask questions, see demonstrations and participate in activities that are scheduled. They may be able to sample products that are produced on the farm.
Farmers’ markets are also a place that children can learn about their food and how it is produced. There the farmers are willing to talk with and answer questions about how they grow and harvest the food they have to sell. Children have an opportunity to see food that is fresh, touch and smell it, and sometimes, even taste it.
So, while most children in New York no longer live on a farm, they still have plenty of opportunities to learn about farming and agriculture. If agricultural organizations, schools and teachers, youth organizations, and parents work together, children can experience agriculture in a variety of ways. So, Old McDonald may not be needed anymore, because experience is really the best teacher.