A new location is not the only change in store for our Tom Graham 5th Grade Conservation Farm Tour this year. After many years of hosting the farm tour at the One-O-One Ranch in the eastern part of Holmes County, this year the tour is moving to the western part of the county: to Spring Walk Farm to be exact. Many Holmes County residents are familiar with the Wachtel family's beautiful Christmas light display that has become a long-standing tradition, but the farm tour will give students a new perspective when visiting this working dairy operation and learning more about the science behind conservation and agriculture.
But in addition to the change in location, 2016 will usher in exciting changes in the student contests that take place AFTER the farm tour as well:
Each year Holmes SWCD received a wide variety of excellent entries for our annual essay contest representing a broad range of writing styles. In an effort to showcase a broader range of student writings, we have elected to divide our essay contest into two divisions this year. One category will be for Narrative essays that feature fictionalized and creative writing styles. The second category will be for Informative essays that feature factual, non-fictionalized essays.
One other change for the essay contest is that unlike previous years where the winning essay was read at our annual meeting, this year both winning essays will be printed in our annual meeting program. Prior to the meeting, interviews will be conducted with the winning authors and incorporated into a slide show about the farm tour as a whole that will be shown during the meeting program. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will still be recognized during the meeting.
This year we will also be changing the divisions of the poster contest sponsored by our Holmes County FFA chapters. This year students can submit entries into a traditional poster contest using 11x17 cardstock as the base for their poster. Or, they can create a digital poster, meme, infographic, etc. for our digital media division. We are excited about the opportunities these division provide for showcasing different student talents and creativity and being able to share the results of that work through a variety of communications, including social media.
New Water Quality Station
And finally, we are excited to add a new learning station to our farm tour line up that will focus on water quality. The new station will focus on conservation practices, such as the use of cover crops, and how soil and water health are two inter-connected parts of a whole.
Have questions about the farm tour or other educational programs? Contact our office for more information!
A Holmes County native, Jane joined the Holmes SWCD staff in 2015 after spending 16 years in public relations for a land-grant university. She holds a BS with distinction in agricultural communication from Purdue University and her master's program in mass communication at Purdue focused on science and risk communication. Jane has a passion for education youth about the science of conservation and agriculture and is an active volunteer in local 4-H and Scout programs. She is excited to bring that passion back to Holmes County where she manages educational outreach programs, social media, and fiscal administration for the district. Jane raises horses and sheep on the family farm where she was raised south of Nashville along with her husband Craig and her three children: Aubree, Garrett & Tristan. You can reach Jane at 330-674-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org