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‘Ag Day’ Program Set for Students

August 1, 2010
Jim Cochran

Two years ago a Spring Ag Day program for all fifth graders in Marshall County was instituted, with the two-day program deemed very successful.

However, this past school year Ag Day had to be canceled because of missed school days due to the winter weather, and it could not be worked back into the school calendar.

Since scheduling events in the spring sometimes becomes hectic, organizer Mark Fitzsimmons decided to schedule the 2010-11 Ag Day in the fall - Sept. 9-10.

The site for Ag Day will again be the Marshall County Fairgrounds in Moundsville.

The school system will be collaborating with several agencies. They include:

Northern Panhandle Conservation District (NPCD); Northern Panhandle Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D); The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agricultural. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Marshall County Community Education Outreach Service (CEOS); the Marshall County Sheriff's Department; the Moundsville Police Department; the West Department of Agriculture; the West Virginia Division of Forestry; the West Virginia University/Marshall County Extension Service; the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the USDA; and the Marshall County Fair Board.

Fitzsimmons, a retired Marshall County educator, states that information provided the students will fit into several school subject areas, adding that the data gained will be geared mainly toward Science. He listed the 12 stations as follows:

Bodacious Beef - Students will be introduced to the beef industry in the area, and have the opportunity to learn about the by-products from beef that is used in everyday lives.

Dairy - Students will learn how milk is produced.

Sheep and Goats - Local farm owners will talk about raising sheep and goats and how to care for them, along with discussing the by-products.

Youth Development through 4-H and FFA - Both organizations stress opportunities to learn such things as citizenship, leadership and life skills.

What Is in the Water - This station will deal with water quality.

Forestry - Since Marshall County has much forest land, the students will be introduced to forest products and by-products.

Germ City - Which will stress that "Clean hands result in healthy people."

Horses - The students will be introduced will to Haflinger horses, which are used for both work and recreation.

Pollution Solution - The students will be introduced to sources of pollution, and steps that can be taken to prevent water contamination.

Backyard Composing - The students will learn how to turn organic wastes from the kitchen and yard into compost.

The Dirt on Soil - The students will learn about the "living soil" and build a soil profile to take home.

West Virginia Agriculture -The students will learn fun facts about agriculture in West Virginia.

Two events will be taking place in the next week in Glen Dale. One will be Saturday at the Cockayne Farmhouse, and the other next Sunday at Glen Dale Park.

The event at the Farmhouse will be a "Rock-A-Thon."

Nila Chaddock, who heads the preservation of the Cockayne Farmhouse on behalf of the Marshall County Historical Society, said, "Samuel A.J. Cockayne, the last surviving owner and last occupant of the 1850s farmhouse, was a plain and simple man who loved to care for his land by day, and during the evenings he would sometimes sit in his rocker on the south porch and reap the rewards of another day well spent." She continued, "Sam, in his rocking chair, has become a fond memory to many residents of Glen Dale and its surrounding a area."

Chaddock added, "Hence, a Rock-A-Thon for us to honor Sam.''

In addition to being a tribute to Sam, it will serve as a fund raiser for the Cockayne project. Chaddock said the ''rockers" will begin at 10 a.m. on the Cockayne lawn and finish at 2 p.m.

Anyone interested may be sponsored by the hour or by the day. Sponsorship in the amount of $100 enables a spot on the lawn for four hours. You must provide your own rocker.

Rocker categories include Bronze, $100-$249; Silver, $250-$499; Gold, $500-$999; and Gold Star, $1,000 or more.

Anyone wishing more information can call the farmhouse at 304-845-1411.

In a related matter, Glen Dale Council last week approved a $5,000 contribution to Cockayne effort. This amount was needed to complete a $41,000 match which in turn will enable the preservation committee to receive a $164,000 grant.

Family Night will be held from 6-8 p.m. next Sunday at the Glen Dale Pool, with all city residents invited. There will be no admission charge and hot dogs and beverages will be provided. Those attending are asked to bring a covered dish. Music will be provided by disc jockey Don Gilbert.

Anyone wishing additional information is asked to call the Pool at 304-845-8620.

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