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Children Get a 'Taste, Touch of Ag' in Warsaw

by Jerry Goshert

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017

The Kosciusko County Taste of Ag program is always a delight for children. Last Tuesday, hundreds of little ones lined up to pet fuzzy and furry animals, and Terin Hopkins and her rabbits were ready for the onslaught.

"Oh my gosh," gushed one girl as she stroked the thick hair of a rabbit belonging to the Jersey Wooley breed.

"He's really soft, isn't he?" Hopkins said, approvingly.

As a member of the 4-H rabbit committee, Hopkins fielded questions from the many interested youths who passed through the Ag Day exhibits at the fairgrounds in Warsaw. Many people, including parents and grandparents, were curious about rabbits and asked about rabbits' gestation period (28 to 32 days) and the number of different breeds (over 50).

The questions were a part of a scavenger hunt, so Hopkins was prepared with the correct answers every time. Taste of Ag visitors recorded the answers as they moved among the 19 stations promoting beef, pork, duck, dairy, grain and other educational topics. Along the way, farmers and volunteers shared the message of agriculture—and gave away treats like popcorn, ice cream, cheese, boiled eggs, salsa and other food products raised in Kosciusko County.

At the end of their experience, the guests turned in their answer sheet at the welcome center and received prizes.

At the Farm Bureau table, Ross Deatsman invited visitors to participate in a farm trivia contest. Those who answered correctly were rewarded with free T-shirts.

One true-false question asked people to weigh-in on the percentage of the population that is involved in food production. The correct answer is 2 percent, and Deatsman said many people were surprised to learn that the percentage was that low. Many thought farmers were a much higher percentage of the population.

The trivia contest also revealed that there are 497 full-time farmers in Kosciusko County, along with 1,247 farms.

The 19th annual Taste of Ag program saw an attendance of just over 1,000 people. The event was held in concert with a two-day Ag Day event for fourth-grade students in the county. Both events were organized by the Kosciusko County Ag Awareness Committee.

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