The Paulding Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual fifth-grade field day was held Sept. 27 at the Black Swamp Nature Center and Paulding County Fairgrounds. This field day was for all fifth-grade students from Oakwood, Paulding, Antwerp, Grover Hill, Payne Elementary and Divine Mercy Catholic School, as well as home school groups.
The students were divided into groups where they visited eight different stations throughout the day, led by Paulding FFA officers. Students spent the day learning about forestry, wildlife, water quality, farm safety, agriculture, geology, pollinators, and livestock.
Speakers for each station were experts in their fields, and the presentations featured hands-on activities for the students. Providing the forestry session was KJ Martin with OSU Extension of Defiance County. Amanda Podach, Education Specialist with Fulton Soil and Water Conservation District, provided the wildlife session, taking students on a journey about native Ohio wildlife with an amazing array of animals from owl mounts to beaver furs.
Julie Lause, administrative assistant with Wood SWCD, taught students the importance of keeping their water clean and how we impact water quality by making a “Lake in a Bag.” In this activity, students saw how quickly their “lake” became polluted by the many contaminants that enter our waterways through our daily activities.
Steve Doster and Randy Baughman from Kenn-Feld Group brought a lawn mower, tractor, and silage chopper for students to learn about how the equipment works that brings the food to their table. A big thank you to Kenn-Feld Group for providing equipment for this demonstration. Michael Schweinsberg with OSU Extension Paulding County taught students about locally grown products and how they tie into the foods they eat on a regular basis. One of the many popular favorites of the students was the geology session. Robin Kraner of Stoneco discussed operations that take place at a stone quarry and how they get the rock. The favorite part came when everyone had the chance to break their own geode rocks.
At the pollinators session, provided by Jamie Walters and his wife Dee, everyone learned about why we need pollinators and the very important job they do of pollinating the food we enjoy every day. At the end of the session, everyone got to have a taste of some honey from the Walters’ bees. Lastly, Athena Brown from Cooper Farms taught students about the livestock operations of Cooper Farms and how it reaches their dinner tables.
All students, presenters, and volunteers enjoyed a hearty lunch, which was made possible through sponsorships and donations to this countywide event. Everyone also received a fifth-grade field day commemorative T-shirt listing the sponsors of this event, and their very own fifth grade field day knapsack.
The Paulding SWCD would like to thank the following for sponsoring this very educational event for the students: Haviland Drainage, Williamson Insurance, First Federal Bank, Paulding Putnam Electric Operation Roundup, Cooper Farms, Paulding County Area Foundation, and Van Wert County Foundation!
Additional thanks go to the Paulding County Ag Society for use of the livestock barns for the event, Flat Rock Dairy of Paulding for donation of milk for lunch, Ag Credit for donating water and napkins for the day, along with the Paulding County Commissioners for their continued support of conservation in Paulding County. We would also like to thank the volunteers who stepped forward to make this day a success, such as the Paulding SWCD Board of Supervisors and their spouses and the Paulding FFA Chapter for being our group leaders. Fifth-grade field day would not be the success that it is without this support.
Spreading and promoting the conservation message is a top priority of the Paulding SWCD. If you or your group would like programming provided such as this field day, feel free to let us know at 419-399-4771.