SOIL LESSONS: University of Nebraska Extension Educator Keith Glewen leads a lecture last Friday on farmland rented by Kavan Farm Services during the first Saunders County Youth Ag Tour. The students learned about soil research and its importance to the agricultural industry of Nebraska. (Staff Photo by Clayton Karloff)

WAHOO – The first Saunders County Youth Agriculture Tour was met with eager participants and high hopes for next year.

Lower Platte North Natural Resource District Information and Education Department Head Desirae TePoel said for a first year event, a good number of students showed up to take part. The seventh through 12th graders from multiple Saunders County schools numbered at about 30.

“It was around what we expected,” TePoel said.

TePoel said over the course of the tour, the students saw and learned about different aspects about agriculture in Saunders County.

“The agriculture life is very diverse here,” TePoel said.

The tour was organized by the NRD and Saunders County 4-H.

The tour began Friday morning at the Wahoo Locker, where the students were shown different aspects of the meat production business, such as how exactly the meat they often eat is prepared and processed.

Afterwards, the students traveled to nearby farmland west of town rented by Kavan Farm Services. The students learned about different farming practices, conservation efforts and why soil research is so important to the agriculture business.

“I really just wanted to learn more about the agriculture around here and how it’s all done,” Ellie Stohlmann said about why she signed up for the tour.

After the farm visit, the youth traveled to Raikes Farm Enterprises near Ashland. There they learned about the business side of agriculture, specifically the business procedures that deal with the raising and selling of livestock.

“I want to know more about animals, what they do here and how to do it,” Avery Harrington said.

TePoel said with this being the first year of the ag tour, she and others would be accepting feedback from the students and teachers for next year’s tour, as well as possible locations for next year.

“We’re looking into different stops across the county,”

TePoel said.

She said this was only possible through the aid and support from Frontier Cooperative, Saunders County Livestock Association, Nebraska 4-H Foundation, NRD, Future Farmers of America chapters of Mead, Ashland and Bishop Neumann, Nebraska Extension and Saunders County 4-H and Farm Credit Services of America.

“Everything has been covered for us,” TePoel said.

Overall, things seemed to have gone very well and everyone enjoyed the experience.

“I loved seeing the engagement of the students and showing them how important agriculture is to not only the county, but Nebraska as a whole,” TePoel said.

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