Science on the Farm Held at Sumter County Fairgrounds

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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6th through 8th grade students poured into the Sumter County Fairgrounds for Science on the Farm on March 15th. Kindergarten through second grade students had attended two days prior, and third through fifth grade students had come the 14th. Over thirty booths were set up on the third and final day to teach students about agriculture and related fields.

Mark Shutters, with the Georgia Forestry Commission talked about controlled burns, explaining the smoke so many have been seeing recently. Shutters mentioned that there is a narrow window, usually only from January to March, in which do to controlled burns in the pine stands. This is when the temperature is usually mild enough to burn the undergrowth without the fires burning hot enough to kill the trees.

Sumter County Senior Stoney Asche displayed a farming robot attached to a raised bed. Asche and other students in Ben Pope’s Ag mechanics class were responsible for building and fixing it. Asche explained how each of the parts was easily replaceable, with many that could be 3D printed. The robot had motion along three axis’s, allowing it move forward and backward, though the up and down motion was currently in need of repair. Asche talked about how it was equipped with a camera allowing the farming bot to analyze how well plants are doing and identify weeds. He told how the machine was highly customizable, and showed off lights that allowed the robot to work 24-7.

12th grade student Alicia Wiggins gave a demonstration of various mammal pelts, including those of a weasel, grey squirrel, coyote, red fox, and several others. She showed the pelts to a group of students, rattling of lists of facts about the behaviors and characteristics of each animal.

Sumter County Middle School teacher Brinson Brock and his FFA students had a booth. They displayed young chicks, talking about their care and showing them to students. Several FFA students demonstrated the proper way to use a hand drill, and a display with honey was set up that the students sold to benefit FFA, along with free seeds.