Rochelle Ag Students Show Farmers Matter

Apr 22, 2016

A tradition continues at Rochelle High School this morning: it’s “Ag Day,” a showcase for the area’s farming heritage.

Non-farmers will get the chance to climb on tractors, check out the school’s greenhouse, and learn which animals you can pet -- and which ones you shouldn’t.

Kara Thomas is a city-girl-turned-country. Born in Joliet, her family moved to Rochelle a few years back. Even though she still doesn’t live on a farm, her new hometown stirred her passion for agriculture – so much that she’s president of her school’s Future Farmers of America chapter. Thomas says getting the community, especially kids, into the school for Ag Day is important. She says it helps them understand the agricultural industry in their area, especially if they are not involved in it. Like her, they can gain an appreciation for where food comes from and the challenges of farm life.

Donna Page teaches at Rochelle High School and is Illinois’s Ag Teacher of the Year. She says allowing her students to show off their animals, their tractors, and their knowledge of the industry benefits other students, too. What seems like a foreign lifestyle becomes more relatable when they understand that fellow basketball player or band member has another life after school: a life that may involve responsibility for caring for crops, livestock, and their family’s land.

The public is welcome to stop by Rochelle High School between 8:30 and 2:30 today.