For some in Sonoma County, every day is an Ag Day. Farmers and ranchers rise early to tend their livestock, monitor their crops throughout the day, attend regulatory meetings to stay current on the latest information, and stay up late researching new production methods or technologies. However, for the 5,000 people, including nearly 4,100 inquisitive and excited
students, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Ag Days provided a unique and exciting peek into the world of agriculture. On Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13, students from
across Sonoma County filled the Sonoma County Fairgrounds as they explored the sights and smells of agriculture firsthand.
Students ranging from 5 years to 12 years old witnessed agriculture in action at interactive exhibits and demonstrations from 9 a.m. to noon each day. They learned about the sources of their food and fiber, experienced farm animals and demonstrations about life on a farm, had conversations with local farmers and ranchers who grow and raise our food, and took home awesome educational materials in their backpacks. Students, teachers, and parents munched on popcorn provided by Les Schwab Tire Center or crunched on Sonoma County apples, petted cows, pigs, horses, and tiny chicks, and watched a tractor guided by GPS drive back and forth. They attended sheep shearing demonstrations, ran through the hay maze, and learned about pulley systems with Fred Frey from Vintage Tree Care.
This year’s theme was the Year of Technology on the Farm. Resource agencies and organizations from throughout the County gathered to educate kids about agriculture and the many technologies farmers and ranchers use each day to run their operations. Exhibitors Humberto Castaneda Produce and the Sonoma County Cattlewomen won awards for the best use of technology in their exhibits. Humberto’s son, Gabriel Castaneda, educated students about how he uses drones to monitor and take photos of his crops. He said that he enjoyed interacting with the students, answering their questions, and showing them one of the latest technologies used in farming.
“I am a 4th generation farmer and I love farming,” Gabriel said. “It was great to have the opportunity to share with kids and to see how excited they were to learn about drones. A lot of kids think that farmers just drive old tractors and are boring. It was awesome to show them an example of cool technology that we use. I can’t wait to come back next year.”
Students from all backgrounds attend Ag Days each year. The Sonoma County Farm Bureau hopes they will take the fun experience of attending Ag Days and all that they learned home to share with family and friends.
It takes a real team effort and countless hours to put on this event and to educate so many students, teachers, and parents about the many diverse aspects of agriculture. Thank you to all the volunteers who participated in the event and the sponsors who made the event possible. We appreciate you!