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Wayne County High School students participate in Agriculture Conservation Field Day

Junior Conservation Club members

      The annual Agriculture Conservation Field Day offered local students an opportunity to serve and be a part of an informative special community event.  Wayne County Junior Conservation Club members introduced the audience to several of the agriculture professionals who are very familiar with the soil, water, and farmland that makes Wayne County so beautiful. FFA/Agriculture students helped prepare and serve the dinner held under a tent, after the presentations and hayride tour.

      The outdoor event was held this fall at the Red Barn Farm, located three miles from town out East Highway 92 on the right. The event was hosted by the farm owners Larry and Kathy Leady, who moved to Wayne County from rural West Central Illinois in September of 2018. Even though the couple were hoping to slow down by moving to Wayne County, they have been busy making all kinds of improvements to the beautiful Oil Valley farm. Those in attendance were fortunate to get a close up view of the enhancements made to the scenic farm property.

      During their first year in Wayne County, fences were redone and changed; barns, shop and the historical house were painted; the driveway was changed back to its original position. They planted alfalfa for hay for the cattle they had purchased. They found some help through the Soil and Water Conservation District, Extension Office, NRCS, and USDA. One of the improvements they received assistance with was the interior fencing to facilitate rotational grazing and fencing to remove livestock from the woods. Another improvement was the waterers for smaller pastures.

      Wayne County Junior Conservation Board Chairwoman Kathren Crabtree welcomed the crowd, along with fellow club members Tanner Stephens, Madelyn Frogge, Katie Jones, and Timothy Crabtree. She laid out the agenda for the early evening by pointing out the Junior Farmer Area which included farm-related crafts and a petting zoo for youngsters. Following the initial presentations, the crowd could enjoy the wagon ride tour of the farm, followed by the meal.

        The Junior Conservationists got valuable speaking experience by introducing experts to the farm like Dr. Amanda Gumbert, who serves as an Extension Water Quality Specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The majority of her programs focus on the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act and implementation of conservation practices, but also has special interest in stream-side buffer zones in urban and rural areas.

         Other agriculture related specialists who were introduced by the students included: FSA Farm Loan Manager Vickie Swift, USDA Service Center Farm Service Agency County Extension Director Carissa Truman, and NRCS Field Technician Larry Lewis.

           There were several stations set up along the tour. Alyssa Clements, representing the Co-op, offered information on the quality value of hay and designing a customized nutrition plan for livestock. Danny Hughes and Lynn Slagle discussed implementing a buffer zone between pasture land and woods. They suggested planting native wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies. Larry Lewis shared information on fencing and water sources.

          The crowd returned to the tent behind the house to enjoy a hamburger dinner, with the beef donated by the Leadys. All those present enjoyed the educational event and hospitality.

          Wayne County Schools appreciate working with the Wayne County Conservation District on a variety of educational events that give students opportunities to learn and excel. In addition to the Junior Conservation Board, the District office orchestrates fruit tree sales, safety days, scholarships, and the Enviroscape. Farmers benefit from programs they offer like: state cost share, environmental quality incentive program, and the Lake Cumberland Regional Conservation Partnership focusing on improving water quality degradation. Local programs like district cost share and dead animal removable are also helpful. Farmers also take advantage of equipment rental of everything from spreaders to plows to post drivers.    

Junior Conservation Members

Junior Conservation Club members attending the event (l-r:) included Tanner Stephens, Timothy Crabtree, Kathren Crabtree, Katie Jones, and Madelyn Frogge

Spectators rode the haywagon to enjoy the tour

 A good crowd attended the annual event and got a better look at the farm on a fall hayride.

Hughes and Lynn Slagle at Pollinator station

Danny Hughes and Lynn Slagle spoke about the significance of a pollinator buffer strip between pasture and woodland property. 

Larry Lewis spoke about erosion & fencing at a specially designed entrance to a water source

Larry Lewis, NRCS, spoke about preventing erosion & adding fencing near a specially designed entrance to a water source.

Alyssa Clements spoke about the quality value of hay

Co-op/Purina consultant Alyssa Clements spoke about knowing the quality of your hay and designing a nutritional plan for your livestock.

Bell Elementary student Charlye Rice, daughter of Leslye & Noah Rice

Bell Elementary student Charlye Rice, daughter of Leslye & Noah Rice, showed off her art project completed at the event.

4 servers

(l-r:) WCHS FFA volunteers serving the dinner included: Kason Stockton, Sierra Jones, Sandra Hodges, and Melanie Bridgeman.  

FFA Student

Wayne County High School FFA student Kassidy Simpson assisted the crowd with drinks.

Wayne County Conservation District Display

 The Wayne County Conservation District provides leadership in the locally led effort to protect, enhance, and conserve natural resources in Wayne County. Spectators could view the display to learn details about specific programs. 

Petting Zoo

sheep were part of the petting zoo

A calf from the petting zoo

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