Farming comes to life: Simulator brings ag to Branchville classroom

Farming comes to life: Simulator brings ag to Branchville classroom
Second-grade students at Branchville's Lockett Elementary School had an opportunity to experience what it is like to ride and operate a combine on Monday morning. (Source: GENE ZALESKI T&D Staff Writer)

BRANCHVILLE, S.C. (T&D) - The sights and sounds of the farm came alive at Branchville’s Lockett Elementary School Monday morning.

The school’s second-graders were able experience what it is like to operate a combine and learn all about farming.

"People need to know how beneficial and how important agriculture is. That is our livelihood,” Orangeburg County Farm Bureau insurance agent Wesley Collier said.

“If people are not aware of what it costs to get a gallon of milk to the table or a can of corn or any food, if you don’t show any involvement in that, you will never understand the true value of a farmer,” he said.

The opportunity was made possible through the Orangeburg County Farm Bureau, which adopted the school to educate children about the importance of agriculture. Collier helped to spearhead the effort.

As part of a three-hour program, the students were able to experience a farm combine through a simulator. It used video to help children simulate cutting a crop.

"It gives real-life experiences of harvesting crops," Collier said.

In addition, about 50 students received a Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, a grade-appropriate cookbook, as well as a bookmark, crayons, pencils and folders.

The outreach is an offshoot of South Carolina Farm Bureau's Ag in the Classroom program.

Ag in the Classroom aims to teach students about agriculture and the benefits farmers add to the economy, the environment and the community.

Orangeburg County Farm Bureau plans to visit other schools with similar efforts in the future, Collier said.

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