Students as Farm Hands

Last fall, four Harper’s Choice Middle School students became farm hands for a day at Hensing’s Hilltop Acres Farm in Dayton. The visit is an annual highlight of the Farm-City Celebration, a series of fall events that promote understanding and appreciation between urban citizens and agriculture in Howard County.

For 6th-grader Bailey Hudgens, who dreams of becoming a veterinarian, this meant an opportunity to learn more about animal care. And though 8th-grade student Christopher Bispels is frequently active outside, he saw this as a chance to step on a farm for his first time.

Students started the day by touring the farm and learning its history. They received an overview of safe and healthy animal care requirements including feeding and watering, living environment, and examination for illness and injury. Then the students actively participated in daily farm activities by feeding pigs, watering calves, milking cows, making butter, collecting eggs, and cleaning pens and stalls. In the process, they learned how to responsibly and safely care for farm animals.

The students later shared highlights of their farm day with guests at the annual Farm-City Job Exchange Luncheon. The day confirmed Hudgens’ veterinary aspirations, as she explained, “I’ve learned that working on a farm is really hard, but it’s worth it in the end because you’re helping out the animals.”

Bispels appreciated learning how local farms operate—the very mission behind the event.

Learn more about the Student Day on the Farm event.