Ag Education: Cowbelles Ag Expo teaches students about agriculture
For several decades, the Laramie County Cowbelles have hosted an ag expo for Laramie County fourth grade students. On Sept. 20-21, the Archer Complex at the Laramie County Fairgrounds hosted around 500 to 600 students to learn about agriculture and livestock care.
The event included several vendor education stations and animal exhibits where students learned about livestock and food production, conservation districts, animal science, Western lifestyle and wildlife ecosystems.
The final two presentations of the day featured by Bob and Jan Wagner with their working cowdog demonstrations and a High West Energy demonstration in the outdoor Archer Fairgrounds Arena.
Local FFA members assisted with the all-day event.
The Laramie County Cowbelles’ mission is to help develop the social well-being of women in their organization and county; and to help be of assistance to the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in its efforts to promote the welfare of the livestock business, with an emphasis on promoting beef consumption.
For many years, the Laramie County Cowbelles have found a passion for helping educate the next generation of agriculturalists.
“With the ag expo, our mission is to educate youth on agriculture in general but also try to promote beef,” shares Laramie County Cowbelles President Pam Freeman. “We try to promote U.S. and Laramie County beef through several events throughout the year, and over the years, a lot of different organizations have been involved with the ag expo.”
Freeman says the ag expo days have been going on since the 80s, and the Laramie County Cowbelles started running the ag expo in 1992.
Importance of education
Some children in schools throughout urban and rural communities don’t understand where their food comes from. Events such as the ag expo help connect the dots and teach children where their food really comes from, aside from the grocery store.
“A lot of kids don’t understand where their food comes from – they think it comes from the grocery store,” Freeman explains. “The farm-to-table concept helps them understand where their food really comes from.”
The Laramie County Cowbelles provided each student with a cookbook of recipes they can make at home and introduced them to FFA members.
“One of our key elements is the local FFA chapters that come out and help,” says Freeman. “It gives the members a leadership experience – being a role model to the kids who come and enjoy the field day – we try to make it beneficial for the FFA members who help.”
“It is an educational program for the fourth graders, plus the high school students,” she adds.
“We didn’t have quite as many classes this year as we had in the past, but the last few days went really well,” says Freeman.
“Having the ag expo event is really important in this day and age,” she mentions. “There’s a lot of myths out there when it comes to food – if it wasn’t for our ranchers and farmers, we wouldn’t have food or clothing – we wouldn’t be here.”
The next Laramie County Cowbelles Ag Expo days is tentatively scheduled for September 2023.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.