Area students learn about Ag through SC MN Ag Tour
Two years ago Kasson-Mantorville Agriculture Teacher Lori Pagel took a group of students around South East Minnesota to explore the eight different pathways of agriculture.
Two weeks ago, students from K-M along with students from Byron took part in the second ever ag tour this time exploring different industries in South Central Minnesota.
The idea came about from years of teaching and realizing that there were many different field trips that they could take, but because of different commitments during the school year, those trips would always seem impossible to schedule.
Then one day, Pagel came up with a solution. Instead of having the individual trips throughout the year, she would have a tour, exploring different places for three days during the summer.
During the trip, the students and chaperones explored different places involving agriculture. Some of the different examples include places like the Hubbell House, Waterville Fish Hatchery, Compeer Financial, and Guardian Energy just to name a few.
The whole goal of the ag tour was for students to be able to learn about different potential careers in agriculture, and have their curiosity peaked in different areas of ag that they may not have had before.
“It's all about exposing the students to the different pathways in agriculture,” Pagel said. “Kids get to learn about different interests that they may not have had before.”
During each place they visited a different group of students were responsible for different things. For example, one group would be responsible for greeting the tour guides and thanking them at the end, and one group was responsible for asking questions. Through the different tasks Pagel explained that students also got to learn different skills, like how to properly greet someone, and different social skills.
One of the things, that Pagel also said was very important to have during the trip is a service project which they completed during their tour.
“Having a service project involved with the trip is really important to me,” Pagel said.
After having success with it two years ago, Pagel decided to invite Byron’s group with them this year, and through a Compeer grant they both received they were able to combine forces and funding.
At the end of the day, Pagel said that she hopes that students will become excited about agriculture and the different possibilities it has to offer through different once in a lifetime education trips like the one they had this summer.
“I hope students get excited about agriculture and all it has to offer,” Pagel said.