On Sept. 26, 26 members of the West Holmes FFA Presented the annual 5th Grade Farm Tour. The members that attended were the Officer Team, which consisted of Jayme Pennell, Maddie Stitzlein, Kylie Ramirez, Cora Crilow, Ally Ogi, Lexi Ogi, Rebecca Sprang, and Amy Hughes. The Juniors and Seniors that were there were Natasha Averbukh, Hayleigh Bender, Megan Brannon, Ethan Drzazga, Taryn Grassbaugh, Hannah Goines, Macin Hager, Bree Houin, Braxton Lint, Philip Lepley, Ethan Reining, Brayden Schumaker, Lucas Shaum, Clay Shepler, Tierra Slaubaugh, Chase Stitzlein, Addison Yates, and Nathan Yoder. The tour was put on by the Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District. This year Spring Walk Farm hosted the tour. The farm is owned by Bill and Bev Wachtel, and is operated by Bill, his son Kurt, and a few other workers. They own 150 Holsteins and Guernseys. The FFA helped set up and run the event. The schools in attendance were as follows; Holmesville, Killbuck, Lakeville, and Millersburg. When the 5th graders arrived, the Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District showed them a demonstration about rainfall and the importance of infiltration.
The Officers served as group leaders for the 5th graders. They led them to stations such as Soils, Farm Safety, Forestry, Farming, Wildlife, and Water Quality. In Soils, they discussed how important soil is to agriculture, as well as why you don’t want to waste it. In Forestry, the experts told the kids how to look for certain aspects of trees to identify them and how to calculate a tree’s age. With the Farming Station, Kurt Wachtel informed the 5th graders what a cow eats and how the feed is made. Over at the milking parlor, Bill Wachtel taught the kids the importance of milking cows and about the cooling and refrigeration station. While the kids were at Wildlife, the instructor went over with them the values of wildlife and why game wardens are in place. At Water Quality, the 4-H Extension Agent spoke about the importance of filtration, and about the scientific method. At Farm Safety FFA, officers Jayme Pennell and Ally Ogi talked about the proper safety in grain bins, while FFA officers Maddie Stitzlein and Rebecca Sprang talked about the importance of animal safety.
After everyone went through all of the stations, they were fed a lunch of hotdogs, chips, ice cream sandwich, and milk. We would like to thank everyone who was involved in putting this on.