Tuesday, April 25, 2017

[404] MTSU students show school children that food comes from a farm

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — G'Anni Milton, Tinsley Pittenger and Allison Swenson and nearly 900 other Rutherford County school children have no idea how much MTSU senior Austin Brennstuhl wants them to know where there food comes from — and he doesn't mean the grocery store.

The children from 10 schools across the county learned about farm life Tuesday (April 11) during the fourth annual MTSU Agricultural Education Spring Fling in the Tennessee Livestock Center.

To watch video from the event, visit https://youtu.be/hVyNdkdi4Nw.

Between 1,000 and 1,200 people altogether participated in the MTSU agritourism class-led field trip to expose the youngsters to vegetables, animals and chocolate milk from the university's dairy.

The children — from Eagleville, Walter Hill, Kittrell, Buchanan, La Vergne Lake, Thurman Francis, Campus School, Middle Tennessee Christian and McFadden — were exposed to two corn mazes, corn hole, a barrel horse, about 10 animals, farm equipment, beekeeping and more.

Milton, 4, a Kittrell Elementary kindergarten student who had a mother, Monique Alsup, as a chaperone, enjoyed the playground and “picked all kinds of fruit and vegetables and eggs, too.”

Pittenger, 8, a second-grader at Eagleville High (houses pre-K through 12th-graders), said she experienced “a lot of fun … milking the cow, the corn maze and seeing all the animals, especially the horse.”

Swenson, 7, a second-grader at Walter Hill Elementary, liked “petting the animals and the maze, picking the fruit and vegetables, and learning about bees.”

Brennstuhl, 23, from Eagleville, served as student coordinator for the event, which is operated by the agritourism class led by instructor Alanna Vaught. He wishes the ag spring fling could expand.

“My heart has always been here,” said Brennstuhl, who was an agritourism class member in 2016. “It’s what I’ve always loved — to teach kids about a lost time (farm life). … I would love to see this grow bigger and longer (additional days), even having special needs children come and get the same experience.”

Nearly halfway through the event, Vaught said things were organized and running smoothly.

“You want students to enjoy the experience and not be bored,” Vaught said.

One of the checklist items includes safety. A student who is a registered nurse and several other students who know CPR were available if needed.

Because the event has been just held one day in the spring, Vaught said it is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, call 615-898-2523.

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