Agripalooza 2023 featured 370 fifth grade students
CHATHAM, Mich. (WLUC) - On Friday morning, 370 fifth graders from Marquette and Alger counties were at the Michigan State University (MSU) Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham to learn about agriculture, natural resources and conservation for the 13th annual Marquette and Alger Conservation District Agripalooza.
Marquette County Conservation District manager Maddie O’Donnell said this event had 50 volunteers with 31 different hands-on activities.
“Each station is a different organization teaching about a topic,” O’Donnell said. “We will be covering everything from farm equipment and seed-saving to forestry, invasive species, water quality, anything you can think of regarding natural resources is going to be talked about today.”
O’Donnell said over the years, they have noticed students are becoming more and more attentive because it gives them a break from a traditional classroom setting. She also said students are learning about the differences between local produce and produce that’s not sourced locally.
“How the quality of those two things can differ in both nutrients and taste,” O’Donnell said. “The students get to understand about providing to your local food system.”
With the U.P. in such a rural area, Alger Conservation District manager Matt Watkeys said this learning experience is showing them just how beneficial the MSU research farm really is.
“They are doing research and forage production and of course beef production here too at this south farm,” Watkeys said. “The north farm is a whole other story where they are doing produce production and cold storage up there.”
Watkeys said he wants to thank all 50 volunteers for donating their time.
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