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Lamb County SWCD and USDA-NRCS Educates Youth at Annual Ag Awareness

story by Quenna Terry

NRCS and Pheasants Forever team up to educate students on the kind of crops grown in the local areaMore than 220 fourth grade students from Littlefield, Sudan, Amherst, Olton, and Springlake-Earth attended the Lamb County Ag Awareness Day in Littlefield this year. Hosted as an annual springtime event, the local Texas Farm Bureau and AgriLife Extension Service planned and organized a day for students to get a glimpse into the world of agriculture.

The Lamb County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) demonstrated using a rainfall simulator. Students learned how valuable cover crops can be to help build up soil nutrients and prevent runoff during a rainfall event. They also got a good look at how water can cause severe erosion on bare soil. Jordan Menge, biologist for Pheasants Forever and NRCS, led the demonstrations with the help of Jayson Thompson, NRCS soil conservationist, and Kyla Tolbert, Lamb County SWCD.

A fourth grade student explains what sand feels like compared to silt and clay.Students experienced real hands on training as they touched the basic soil types and learned the difference between sand, silt, and clay. They were also challenged when asked what kinds of crops were grown in the area and what conservation practices could be utilized by local farmers and ranchers to help improve farm and ranchland.

“The students learned the value and importance of different types of cover crops such as grass, wheat, and sorghum, and the role they play in the health of our soils,” Menge said. “They also enjoyed being able to distinguish the difference between the three main soil types and their physical characteristics.”

The event included more learning stations from Golden Peanuts, Xcel Energy, the Buffalo Wildlife Range, Lamb County Farm Bureau, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

The students got a real hands-on education of the different types of soil found in the area.Students had the opportunity to learn about different types of crops, animals, and even rattlesnakes. Xcel Energy presented safety tips and awareness of high voltage power lines.

The event has become so successful that organizers extended the hours to the public so anyone could attend during the day. A total of 10 stations were set up and presentations were provided by agribusiness and agency experts.

As a great way to wrap up the day, ice cream and goodie bags were given to all of the students for their participation.