By GARY POPP
For the past 15 years, fourth-graders from Floyd County schools have made visits to Konkle Farms in Greenville to get a lesson on how food is produced before it arrives in the aisles of their grocery stores.
For the first time the four-generation, family-owned farm will deliver the same message to the whole community during Farm Day this Saturday.
Dennis Konkle said there has been such a positive response reaching out to the nearly 14,000 youngsters over the years that the Konkle clan decided to host the community-wide event.
He said the decision to host the event at the 1,000-acre farm was made after many of the parents expressed their interest in learning more about farm life and food production.
“I want people to be able to come out and experience the reality of agriculture and the processes of food production that make their lives very simple and a lot easier,” Konkle said.
He said the children who have come to the farm with their classmates often don’t give any thought to where food comes from and the work that is required to produce the food.
“Our goal 15 years ago was to get them on a working farm,” Konkle said. “We want to make them agriculturally educated.”
More than just young people are interested in learning about farm life, however, Konkle said, adding that there has been a lot of excitement building up to Saturday’s event.
“People are interested, especially a lot of older people who were raised on a farm and want to come out and visit a farm again,” he said.
Konkle said those who attend will have the opportunity to see the equipment used to plant and harvest crops, learn the difference between a dairy and beef cow and be exposed to many other aspects of agriculture.
Farm Day will include 10 stations that will present various agricultural topics from livestock, food preservation and beekeeping.
Konkle said he expects the event to be educational and fun for all who attend.
“People’s lives are so busy and so hectic they don’t’ have the time to recognize and figure out how blessed they really are,” he said. “We want people to take the time to get out of the towns and experience the open spaces.”
Konkle said Farm Day will help people understand the crucial role of family farmers that are often overlooked.
“We the farmers are going to feed the world,” he said. “I am very passionate about this stuff.”
Konkle said Farm Day is open to the public with no admission charge.
“Nobody is profiting,” Konkle said. “This is just something we want to give the community.”