Illinois farm family hosts 54th ‘Kindergarten Day’

Katrina and Paige VanDyke teaching Kindergartners which animals eat corn.

One Illinois family has a unique tradition of bringing agriculture awareness to their community each year.

Herschel Rose hosted a Kindergarten class at his farm in Salem, Illinois 54 years ago and that was the beginning of the annual Rose Farm Kindergarten Day.

His granddaughter, Katrina VanDyke says it is a great learning experience for the estimated 1,000 kids that come to the event each year.

“We have grain the kids can play in like corn, wheat and soybeans. They can shell ears of corn. There are animals anywhere from baby chicks to a ewe and lambs to horses and a cow to milk. They can also go on a hay ride and sit inside all types of machinery.”

Katrina says the event is completely run by their family and volunteers. Her daughter Paige VanDyke teaches kids at the event.

“So many of them don’t know where their food comes from or have never seen corn, wheat and soybeans. So, it is nice to supply all of this for them in one spot. It is just really teaching them about the importance of agriculture and everything it offers for them as well as them being able to see from the farmers’ perspective what they do every day.”

Paige says she plans to keep the tradition going so she can continue to educate kids in her community about agriculture and where their food comes from.

Interview with Katrina and Paige VanDyke

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