More than 1,500 grade school students from around Wyoming gathered in Cheyenne on Friday to learn more about the state’s agriculture industry.
The students were in Cheyenne for the Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom program’s 25th annual “Bookmark and Beyond” celebration, where student showed off their designs for agriculture-themed bookmarks and learned about different aspects of the industry.
Among the activities for students was a hands-on session with a mapping system that allows users to locate a pasture and count and track the cows in it.
Ala Telck, president of Sheridan’s AgTerra Technologies, said his company donated the money for the software used at the celebration because of the growing importance of technology in agriculture.
“Technology is not going to go away, it’s only going to become more important,” he said. “We want to help our youth embrace and become very good at this technology.”
Many of the students attending the event live on farms and ranches in Wyoming and Doug Miyamoto, the director of the state Department of Agriculture, said such a background instills those children with a sense of responsibility.
“Those kids start working at a very early age and there’s a lot expected and demanded of them and I think they understand that,” he said. “A lot of the kids that come from agricultural backgrounds know what their expectations are and they perform to that level.”
Matt Micheli, an Agriculture in the Classroom board member who grew up on a ranch near Fort Bridger, agreed.
“I think it creates a real work ethic, but also an understanding of responsibility, that when something’s entrusted to you, that you have to follow through,” he said.
The winning bookmark design unveiled during the event came from Dawson George of Cody, whose illustration showed cows, pheasants and oil wells.