By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
Ask some kids, and they'll tell you bacon comes from cows and hamburgers come from McDonald's.
But some area fourth graders now know better.
Northwest FFA student Molly Moeller said, "We have three Hereford piglets."
"We show them were ham comes from, where meat comes from," fellow FFA'er Jillian Dixson continued.
Kids experience life on the farm, at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce's 14th annual Ag Day, which gives city kids a taste of animal agriculture.
Fourth grader Gavin Langer said he liked the pigs. "They're really cute and chubby and like to dig holes in the ground."
Many of these kids have been to the zoo, but a surprising number haven't spent time on the farm.
Tate Ryan, another member of FFA at Northwest said, "Some don't get a chance to go out and see a farm or interact with animals and be around them. This is the closest they get to a farm."
That includes kids from the Grand Island Northwest district. While the Northwest FFA students show off their animals, most kids from the district's rural elementary schools have no connection to agriculture. Those who do, often fail to see it.
Do Perla Orellana's parents work in agriculture?
"I don't know," she said, throwing up her arms. But in fact her dad does, working at a food processing plant.
Retired Northwest Superintendent Bill Mowinkel said, "I don't think they realize how important agriculture is to Grand Island. That's the largest employers in the community. It's amazing what all comes out of it."
The students who do raise crops and cattle worry kids won't get a balanced picture without these experiences
Northwest FFA President Jeremy Kroeger said, "They could grow up learning all the wrong things and be against ag."
From their favorite pizza ingredients like sausage, pepperoni, and hamburger, to the ham that will be part of Easter dinner, many of the foods kids love come from right here in central Nebraska.
"I'm sure thankful for farmers, especially Nebraska farmers," said Kyla Wize of the Nebraska Pork Producers.
This is an event of the Grand island Chamber of Commerce.
Not only did they have more kids from the Grand Island Northwest feeder schools, but from dozens of area schools, which doubled last year's attendance with more than 800 kids this year.