Pierz Junior High Students Learn More About Ag

November 9, 2023

Recently, seventh and eighth grade students at Pierz Healy High School had the opportunity to visit the Agricultural Career Expo at the Central Lakes College campus in Staples. There, they learned about advanced and innovative production methods, said Scott Herold, elementary and middle school counselor.

Later, the students toured Smude Farms in Pierz, where crops and black Angus are raised.

Pierz Students Ag
Seventh and eighth grade students at Pierz Healy High School had a blast learning about agricultural careers at the Agricultural Career Expo and visiting Smude Farms. Standing around the table are (from left): Kaidyn Johnson, Joshua Roach, Tyler Thesing and Timothy Steiner.

At the Expo, the students learned about a variety of agricultural careers, such as farmer, crop scout, conservation officer, mechanic, drone flyer, field worker and more. For seventh-grader Tyler Thesing, the career of a conservation officer was the most interesting. While being a farmer was more fascinating to seventh-grader Ellie Hanson and eighth-grader Westin Hoheisel, seventh-grader Madelyn Kahl said the found the careers of field workers and drone flyers more intriguing.

“The field workers and the drone flyers because, well, you can fly the drone around for work purposes and field workers because you can see how good the crops are going and see what will work better for the crops,” she said.

All of the students were surprised in different capacities at some of the things they learned during the Expo.

Thesing said he was fascinated by all the different parts of the soil during the soil presentation.

For Hanson, on the other hand, she was surprised to learn that some people help the land — and love doing so — when most people want to destroy it in some manner.

The students had the opportunity to learn more about the advancements in technology when it comes to agriculture.

“I think it is crazy how advanced the farming technology has become. Though it makes farming easier, I found some things to be unnecessary,” Thesing said.

Kahl said she recognizes there are both positive and negative outcomes when it comes to technology advancement in agriculture.

“It can be used for good and bad. The good is for things like to see if there was a bear wrecking the crops,” she said. “The bad part is that they might take it too far and they will just leave it all up to the machine, but it’s mostly good.”

Hanson said she thinks it’s cool how people use today’s technology in agriculture. Hoheisel was impressed how easily something like irrigation can be managed through a simple cellphone.

One thing is sure, Kahl, Hanson, Thesing and Hoheisel agreed — they all enjoyed their visit to the Agricultural Career Expo and learned a lot in the process.

“It was fun to learn about the different jobs that people have and to learn more about the different types of things we can do,” Kahl said.

“I really enjoyed it,” Thesing said. “I’ve always liked learning about agriculture.”

Besides learning more about agriculture, Herold said the students had the opportunity to learn more about the use of wind turbines and the connection to producing and conserving energy and power.

“Students tried on some lineman worker equipment, as well,” he said.

After the Expo, the group of students visited and toured Smude Farms. While all students had a good time at Smude Farms, each had their own takeaway from the tour.

Thesing said he really enjoyed looking at the livestock and machinery. Just seeing how the workers at the farms work together was a highlight to Hoheisel, he said. A few others honed in on the crop- and feed-side of the business, as they grow their own feed.

“We learned about the feed they give to the cows. How much they use up, the different types of crops they grow and of course, all the animals, like the cute dogs they had,” Kahl said.

For Hanson, the tour was a realization of the quantities of different crops that are used for foods that people eat every day, she said.

Having had a great time, the students encourage other students to go on the field trip, if given the opportunity.

“It was a great trip to learn and all of the fun things we got to do,” Kahl said.

“I think that more kids should go to this, because they will love it and will probably do this job, because of how much fun they had,” Hanson said.

In other words, Herold said, “It was a great field experience and exploration day of learning for our seventh and eighth grade students.”

Original Article by Sheila Bergren/Morrison County Record