‘Farm Day’ Experience Gives Prince George Second Graders Opportunity to Learn About Agriculture Industry in Their Community

April 16, 2024
Second-grade students from each of Prince George County’s five elementary schools immersed themselves in the expansive world of agriculture during the "Farm Day" event organized by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Prince George Farm Bureau, and other community partners. 
Willie Bresko’s southern Prince George County farm served as host for the event, providing hands-on, interactive experiences for students. The event, an elementary school tradition for over 20 years, provided students with a unique opportunity to interact with farm animals and learn about the origin of the products they use in their daily lives. The day's activities were designed to engage the next generation of producers and consumers, and shed light on the vital role of agriculture in the local and statewide economy.
Farm Day

Prince George County second-graders listen to an engaging presentation from the Prince George Master Gardeners discussing vegetables, including common crops grown in Virginia, and the life cycle of plants, during Farm Day on April 16, 2024. (PGCPS Photo)

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), agriculture is Virginia’s largest private industry, accounting for an $82.3 billion economic impact annually and nearly 382,000 jobs. Locally, the most recent Census of Agriculture conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2022 found that Prince George County is home to over 120 farms that manage over 26,000 acres, many of them family-owned. Their data found most of these farms range in size between 10 to 499 acres, with these producers growing various crops, including grains and vegetables, and tending livestock and cattle. 
Activities like Farm Day give students the opportunity to engage with a multi-million dollar local industry in their own backyard as the Census of Agriculture revealed that producers in Prince George County sold agricultural products amounting to nearly $11 million in market value in 2022. 
Farm Day not only provides an exciting local field trip opportunity for students but also closely aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives for second-grade science education as it delves into living systems and processes for plants and animals.
Farm Day

A Prince George County second-grader pets animals during their visit to the Prince George Farm Bureau station highlighting the important role farm animals play in agriculture at Farm Day on April 16, 2024. (PGCPS Photo)

Throughout the year, Prince George County Public Schools students take part in a variety of hands-on learning activities like Farm Day. Last month, the district hosted its annual Technology Field Day, an award-winning initiative that exposes fifth graders to advanced technology and career and technical education (CTE) with support from teachers and students participating in Prince George High School’s CTE programs. This homegrown district program has been recognized by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) for excellence in workforce readiness. Other programs, including Farm Day, nature trail explorations, career fair experiences, and others serve to enhance the learning experience of students throughout the school year.
To learn more about the Virginia Cooperative Extension, visit their website at http://ext.vt.edu
Farm DayStudents from the Prince George High School 4-H lead a session at Farm Day highlighting dairy production, explaining how milk gets from the cows, to the carton, to the store. (PGCPS Photo)
Prince George County Public Schools thanks the following individuals and organizations for their support of Farm Day: Willie Bresko, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Prince George Extension Office, Prince George Farm Bureau, Prince George High School 4-H, Prince George Master Gardeners, RD Radford, president of the Richmond Beekeepers Association, and the James River Soil and Water Conservation District.