Field Day events offer fun for learners of all ages

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, April 22, 2010

Children from all over Lawrence County had a chance to see bitsand pieces of farming and agriculture up close during the county’sannual Field Day event this week.

Every year since 2001, Henry “Bubba” and Hortense Bass havehosted a Natural Resource Field Day for Lawrence County studentsenrolled in gifted programs, and officials said 2010’s was a greatsuccess.

“Well it was great as usual, and I think the adults who attendget as much or more out of it as the school children do,” saidLawrence County Community Development Association Director BobSmira.

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Field Day was held over two days and involved more than 200Lawrence County students in grades 2-8.

The children learned about all sorts of agricultural issues suchas gun safety, bee keeping, livestock care, pond management,forestry, paper production, and Indian heritage, among othertopics. It is made possible through partnerships with the USDANatural Resource Conservation Service, Soil and Water ConservationDistrict, MSU Extension Service, Lawrence County ForestryAssociation and others, officials said.

At one booth, children from New Hebron did a three-legged racewith one half of the team blindfolded to illustrate the diminishedmotor skills involved with alcohol. At another, Gerald Sumrallshowed a group of children how to stay safe around a protectivemother cow. And at yet another booth, D.L. Wesley answeredquestions about why honeycomb is perfectly symmetrical, and how thebees create their honey.

“I think the Indian station was really good,” Smira said. “Therewas a full-blooded Cherokee Indian from North Carolina who gavesome background and folklore, and showed them several differentkinds of flutes that Indians had made and played.”

And there were life lessons to be learned from that too, hesaid. The students listen to a story relating a snake to thedangers of things like drugs and alcohol, and pointed out thatthey’ll come back to bite people who put their trust in them.

“I think that drove home a point,” he said.

Officials from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheriesand Parks were also on scene to show off the baby alligators thathad just been born to a large mother gator that lives in a pond onthe property.

“The kids got to see a couple of baby alligators,” he said.

And Georgia Pacific was there to walk students through theprocess of making paper, and each student was able to take home apiece of homemade paper.

“It’s just an excellent event,” Smira said. “I can’t say enoughabout Bubba and Hortense Bass. It’s their love for children andeducation that has made this possible.”