Feature Story

Sarah Hanson
Extension Educator
Purdue Extension
Johnson County

Hanson, S.*1,
1 Extension Educator, Purdue Extension, Franklin, IN, 46131

Objective/Purpose: This article was written as part of the 2019 celebration of Ag Days in Johnson County which takes place each March. This article reached 9,000 in circulation. It is a special printed tabloid that the local media publishes, inserting it inside the regular Daily Journal newspaper. Field staff email their article to the newspaper staff. The circulation area is Johnson County Indiana and the southside of Indianapolis. As a result, readers are made more aware of various agriculture and Extension topics.

The folks with the National Ag Day group (www.agday.org) encourage us to share what agriculture means to us. Agriculture varies for us all, but for me it has depended on where I have lived. As a child, agriculture meant cattle, pasture, and hay. My family has a small farm that keeps my dad busy taking care of animals and land down near the Ohio River. As I studied Animal Science, my horizons were broadened regarding genetics, behavior, large-scale production, health, etc.

Throughout my life, I've continued meeting people in different fields and it is always fascinating—whether someone is growing grapes, producing flowers, raising livestock, or combining corn. Farms come in many sizes, and I want to make sure people realize the importance of each farm.

Everyone's narrative of past and present agriculture is important to share with children. I know people in the ag business love to swap stories with one another, but having the stories be told to the next generation is crucial since all of them will be consumers and a few of them will be farmers.

As we have fourth graders come visit our Ag Day program, they get to hear from farmers about soil, equipment, fruit, vegetables, milk, meat, honey, grain, wool, and eggs. I am grateful for the teachers that bring students. As the world continues to change, the meaning of agriculture morphs along with it.