FFA Field Day activities attract 1,700 students

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 | 8:34 p.m. CDT; updated 9:52 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 9, 2008

COLUMBIA — One of the most anticipated events of MU's sixth annual FFA Field Day was the "Fistulated Cow" exhibit, where students had the opportunity to reach their hand into one of the multiple stomachs of a live cow to learn about its digestive system. Cara Spencer, a high school student and FFA member, said she "can't wait to see this again." This is her second year in attendance of the event.

More than 1,700 students from 48 high schools in Missouri were in attendance at MU's FFA Field Day on Tuesday at the Bradford Research Center. Students from agriculture classes and members of FFA went on tours of MU's farm and participated in 34 different activities. This included educational speakers as well as interactive and hands-on exhibits. Also, students took tractor rides to displays and demonstrations about ethanol, the nutrient cycle, how to place a bit on a horse, quail habitats and careers in agriculture and science related fields.

Tara Lebsock, an FFA officer at Clopton High School in Clarksville, attended both as a reward for her leadership position in FFA as well as to prepare for the national convention in October.

Sierra Bangs, another Clopton FFA member, has lived on a farm her entire life.

"My dad is a farmer, and when I turn 18, I will get a share of the farm. I will definitely use what I learn today in the future," she said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibits with horses, sheep and silage."

This event is important to have because some students are losing touch with the agricultural community, even in the rural areas, said Tim Reinbott, the event's director. He taught students about the origins of soybeans and genetic mutations in a "Gene Zoo" exhibit.

"We want to teach students that this is not something to be scared of," Reinbott said.

"Kids like seeing actual photos and specimens," said Terry Woods, a representative from the MU entomology department, who hosted a display about insects and arthropods. "They like how we show them some things that might gross them out, but more importantly, keep them interested."

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Elizabeth Lucas September 10, 2008 | 9:27 a.m.

What does FFA stand for?

(Report Comment)
Bob Bagnell September 10, 2008 | 11:28 a.m.

I have a correction for the reporter, the two students quoted are not from Clopton, they are students at Northwestern R-1 in Mendon, MO

As far as what does FFA stand for: It used to stand for Future Farmers of America, but several years ago it was offically changed to just the FFA organization, since we are not just farmers but agriculturalist.

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