Pratt Community College's collegiate Farm Bureau students spent Sunday reaching out to consumers at the Kansas State Fair and teaching them how important agriculture products are in every day life.
Pratt Community College students sought to connect with the average consumer of agriculture products at the Kansas State Fair in Sunday. Eight members of the Pratt Collegiate State Farm Bureau chapter, supervised by co-advisor Jackie Mundt, spent the day helping people find their way through clues in a scavenger hunt display in the Oz Building south of the grandstand at the fairgrounds in Hutchinson.
"Our goal was to promote agriculture and educate those who may or may not have had any connection to how food is grown and where certain products come from," Mundt said. "We did that with a 'Day in the Life' kind of scavenger hunt that explored all the ways and things that are related to agriculture a typical person experiences each day. I think the kids had a great time helping people figure out the clues."
The Pratt college students volunteered their time to welcome visitors to the display, assist with questions and hand-out free ice cream coupons to those who completed the tasks.
"A lot of people come to the fair for the free stuff," Mundt said. "But we meet a lot of people who are proud of their farming or agricultural heritage and make a lot of good connections."
The state Kansas Farm Bureau was responsible for creating and providing all the components of the state fair display, which included the scavenger hunt, a childrens play area complete with live animals and heavy-metal toy trucks, tractors and farm equipment. The booth experienced high traffic throughout the fair, even on Sunday, the last day of the fair when the collegiate students were available to work.
"We have to find creative ways to fit farm bureau activities into our busy students lives," Mundt said. "But they get so much support from our adult division, it is good for us to be able to give back a little and make these connections at the fair."
The Pratt Collegiate chapter meets twice monthly, usually on Sunday afternoons or evenings, but have many special events planned for the coming year.
"We will be hosting Butler Community College's Ag club here on Friday for tours of the cotton gin and ethanol plant. Then we will have a tail-gate supper for any of the Kansas Young Farmers and Ranchers members in the area, as well as our college students," Mundt said.
Membership in the agriculture club is not based on direct ties to the farm and ranch industry.
"We welcome anyone," Mundt said. "There is a misconception that is your goal is not to end up in farming you can't be part of the collegiate farm bureau and that couldn't be more wrong. We need everybody to be part of telling the story of agriculture. We are all connected to farming in some way."
The Kansas Farm Bureau has a three-pronged mission focus of advocation, service and education. The Kansas State Fair provided members the opportunity to help reach those goals and to make valuable connections last week.
Mundt, a former teacher in the PCC agriculture division, is a current member of the Pratt County Board of Directors for Kansas Farm Bureau.