Area Students Attend Agricultural Field Trip, “Gate to Plate”


ALGONA, IA – Over 300 Kossuth County 4th and 5th graders attended “Gate to Plate”, an agricultural themed field trip, at the Kossuth County Fairgrounds on May 5th and 6th.
Gate to Plate was hosted as an alternative to the Educational Partners, Agriculture, and Kids (EPAK) program, which area 4th grade students typically attend in May at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds.  Due to varying COVID-19 restrictions in Emmet, Palo Alto, and Kossuth Counties, EPAK was cancelled.
“Before making the tough decision to cancel EPAK, we surveyed area schools.  All Kossuth County schools expressed they were able to attend EPAK, but the other participating county schools had different COVID-19 restrictions, leading us to cancel,” says Meredith Nelson, Program Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach in Kossuth County.  “Having this feedback, we knew we wanted to provide something for Kossuth County students - they have missed out on a lot.  We were so excited to host this field trip, and we could tell students and teachers were excited to be learning outside of the classroom.”
The goal of the Gate to Plate program was to help students develop an understanding of the impact of agriculture on their everyday lives.  Students learned about different segments of the agricultural industry by traveling around to four different stations: More Than Meat (pork & beef animal by-products), Muddy Boots and Cleanin’ Coops (chores on the farm), More Than Just a Seed (corn and soy by-products), Why Water (importance of water and keeping it clean).  Each session offered something interactive for the students to see or do.
The Gate to Plate field trip wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local sponsors and partners, who included: Iowa State University Extension & Outreach (4-H), Kossuth County Farm Bureau, Kossuth County Conservation, Iowa Corn, Iowa Soybean Association, Smithfield, Farm Credit Services of America, and the Algona FFA Chapter.

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