Monday 19 June 2017

We are having a party! A Harvest Party that is!
We're having a party! A harvest Party that is!

Posted by at 5:02 PM

Digging up potatoes with classes of fourth graders, having potato sack races and playing hot potato in the school yard,

sampling Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies with the kids, giving tours of the Spudmobile and seeing the young faces light up

when they know the answer to the questions we ask…

This is a fabulous way to spend a week day!

Our Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary offers an interactive teaching program utilizing math, writing, social studies and science to teach fourth grade students about our Wisconsin potato industry. We provide the schools with the materials they need to grow their own potatoes in their classrooms and offer teachers the learning material, study guides, and videos to help students understand each stage of their potato plants growth and how that relates to the potatoes we all see growing in the fields throughout the state.

We have just brought our latest round of school visits to a close and what a SUCCESSFUL and FUN year it has been!

This year 92 schools throughout Wisconsin signed up for the program! Out of those schools we as an Auxiliary hold a drawing and offer a few lucky schools the opportunity to host a Harvest Party for their classes. Members of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary and other volunteers from the industry arrive at the schools with cookies and potato chips in hand, games to play, and fun items to give a way. We help the class dig up the potatoes they had grown and have a lot of fun while celebrating all that they learned as they nurtured their potato seeds into full fledged potatoes.

This is one of the creative ways the potato industry remains involved in the community and shares with the students exactly what it is that Wisconsin growers do. And, it is personally one of my favorite programs to be a part of. While I am pleased to have been a part of the committee organizing and planning, this year schedules and other obligations dictated that I remain behind for the actual school visits. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photos and hearing the stories from those who were a part of this year's events!

A visit from "The Big Spud"

Over the past few years we have been able to feature the Spudmobile during our school visits at the Harvest Parties.

The Spudmobile is kind of a cool traveling classroom/ science museum with interactive games and videos that allow kids (and adults) to see the journey of the potato… from seed in the farmer's field to their family dinner table. This is a unique and fun way for them to experience the vast aspects of agriculture.

As a group we pack SO much into these days and the smiles we are surrounded with show us that what we are doing is worthwhile.

These events are so worthwhile but like anything they also take a lot of planning and require "all hands on deck"! Without the industry volunteers, the dedication of the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary members, and the crew manning the Spudmobile these fun and educational events would not be possible. Not to mention all of the parents and teachers who attend and keep the schedules in place and the children attentive!

By the end of the day my head is spinning and I am always very ready for a nap!

Where all of these kiddos get their energy I am not sure. And witnessing the way their teachers keep up with them day after day amazes me.

After the school visits have been a part of I tend to slide into my car seat to begin the long drive home and have always been filled with a sense of accomplishment and purpose after these school visits. I know that my fellow board members and volunteers feel exactly that same way.

This young generation is eager to learn and so few of them truly understand where their food comes from. Our Wisconsin growers are hard working and dedicated. They take the responsibility of keeping us all fed very seriously. I enjoy having these opportunities to show this to the kids.

Want to learn more about the Kids Dig Wisconsin Potatoes program? Take a look HERE

Interested in seeing what this Spudmobile is all about? Check it out HERE