The Trenton Office staff, along with Dyer & Henry County Field Office staff, participated in a two-day, county wide ag day event for all 4th graders in the Gibson County Special School District held at the local fairgrounds in Trenton on September 10th & 11th. A total of 8 different schools which included a home school group participated in the two-day event totaling over 520 students. The Gibson County Ag Day was sponsored by the Gibson County Farm Bureau Women, Gibson Co. SCD, and UT/TSU Extension Service-AgrAbility. The purpose of the festival was to acclimate the students to the Agriculture industry to teach them where our food comes from, and how to manage and take care of what Mother Nature has provided.
The Trenton Field Office presented the Water Quality demonstration for the students. Todd Reynolds, Soil Conservationist Trenton Field Office, Luke Hemby, Gibson Co. SCD County Technician, Emily Pope, Soil Conservationist – Dyersburg Field Office, Ryan Winchester; Soil Conservationist - Paris Field Office & Ryan Blackwood, Soil Conservationist, assisted with this tour over the two-day period. The rainfall simulator was used to demonstrate the raindrop impact, runoff and infiltration that occurs on the different landscapes in the county. Soil pans were taken from a conventional tilled corn crop with no residue present, pasture & a no-till corn crop with heavy residue. The students were involved to let them determine which land use had the greatest runoff and infiltration rates. The clarity and muddiness of the runoff was discussed, and the students learned that soil lost to erosion was the contributor to the muddy water that they might see after a rain event when traveling or maybe even near where they live. The students learned the importance of keeping a cover/residue on the land, especially through the winter months. Additionally, the students were shown how to pace their steps to measure distances in the field. They were also shown a laser level, dumpy level and a survey rod. We demonstrated how we would survey in the field to attain survey shots that might be used to aid in the design of an erosion control structure. The students also got to look through the dumpy instrument to read the correct number on the survey rod.