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10 reasons why every child should experience farming and how you can help make that happen

Rye Withington wearing a red shirt and shoes with blue bibbed overalls

I could not imagine any other way to raise a big family than on a farm.

My kids are held responsible for daily farm chores, animal care and maintenance on a daily basis. They are well rounded kids who are not afraid to get dirty, jump in and help, bust their ass or take risks. Living on a farm teaches kids skills that can never be taught in a classroom. I am grateful everyday for this simple, yet involved and busy life we live.

Top 10 reasons every child should experience farming:

  1. Farming Teaches Kids Where Their Food Comes From: As a teacher it always amazed me how many children didn’t know where there food came from or what their food was. Pork and pig where totally different entities. Vegetable were mystery edibles that they were forced to eat. Kid benefit in life when they know where their food is coming from, how it is raised and the amazing process of bringing food from the farm to their plate.
  2. Farming Teaches Kids Responsibility: Anything that is raised or grown on a farm depends on the farmer. Daily care for animals and plants is essential for raising and producing a quality, healthy and delicious product. Feeding and watering, cleaning and grooming, building and fixing are daily tasks that take place on every farm, everyday. Kids who farm learn how important their role is in the production of the food that feeds them, their families and their friends.
  3. Farming Teaches Kids How to Care for Animals: Proper care for animals is essential in raising quality food. Animals need food, shelter and TLC to grow healthy and happy. Farming teaches kids why and how different animals receive different feed, require different types of shelter and need different care at different times. It teaches kids to be aware, observant and alert to the different animal needs.
  4. Farming Teaches Kids Life Skills: There are some things that you just can not learn from a book or in school. Farming teaches children of all ages life skills like raising food, working hard, communication, caring for others and much more.
  5. Farming Teaches Kids Safety Skills: Being aware of your surrounding is the number one rule when farming. Milking cows, working on equipment, feeding pigs, catching chickens, working in the gardens all require safety awareness at all times. Kids learn to keep their guard up at all times to protect themselves, the animals and the farm around them.
  6. Farming Teaches Kids to have a Greater Appreciation for Food: Spending a day, a week or a life time on a farm will change the way you see food. Food becomes a reward not just something that comes from a grocery store. Kids who grow and raise their own food are more likely to waste less and eat a greater variety of foods.
  7. Farming Teaches Kids the Life Cycle: One of the hardest aspects about farming is the fact that where there is live stock there is dead stock. The cycle of life is hard to teach and even harder to accept. Being on the farm brings to joys of new life and the sadness of lost life. It is the cycle of life, hard and rewarding at the same time.
  8. Farming Teaches Kids to have a Greater Awareness Weather and Mother Nature: Weather, of all sorts, affects farming on a daily basis. Rain is extremely important but too much is never good. Extreme heat or extreme cold has it affect on everything and everyone on a farm. Farmers are very dependant on Mother Nature yet we have no control over any of if. All we can do as farmers is be aware of what is forecast and prepare properly.
  9. Farming Teaches Kids Problem Solving Skills: Animals have a mind of their own and things change on a daily basis. As a farmer kids need to figure out ways to get chores done if animals, weather or equipment doesn’t want to cooperate. Fixing fence, pulling weeds, fixing watering systems so that everything on the farm continues to function are just some problems that farmers face daily.
  10. Farming Teaches Kids that Hard Work Results in Sweet Rewards: Farming is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had, and I have had a lot of jobs. It is physical, mental, stressful, and emotional but at the end of the day it is so very rewarding.

So, I am sure you are wondering how you can help make it possible for kids everywhere to experience farming. The solution is simple. Farms and farmers everywhere are now offering farm day experiences through summer camps, field days, tour and more. Search for local farms in your area that are offering these experience and donate to their scholarship fund. These scholarships will provide the funds needed to help children every experience farming.

Want to donate to Lilly Den Farm: Young Farmers Summer Camps of Home School Days? We make it easy.

  1. Come out to our Pig Pickin’ Fundraiser on April 30.
  2. Make a monetary donation to Lilly Den Farm Camp Scholarship Fund
  3. Come visit us at one of our farmers’ market to talk about volunteering or to make a donation.