A Whiff of Farm Life

Posted: June 13, 2019

“I smell something!” It’s a common reaction when non-farm kids disembark their school bus on a farm field trip.

Unaccustomed to the aromas of livestock, many students initially cover their noses when they first arrive at the farm. Soon the newness of the odors is forgotten as students eagerly accompany their tour guides around the operation.

“Can we pet it?” Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich FFA member McKenna Dayhuff explains how she cares for and shows her beef cattle to fourth graders.

For the third spring in a row, Alan and JoAnn Adams welcomed to their farm six classes of fourth graders and their teachers. The visitors traveled from Herman E. Dummer School in Sandwich to learn how the local farm is connected to their own lives.

Alan and JoAnn had ample help guiding their young visitors. Sons Ross and Jeremiah, daughter-in-law Jessie, and employee David Meyer also assisted in teaching students about the farm. The classes rotated through sessions exploring the beef lifecycle, crop science, Illinois ag products, the importance of soil, and farm machinery.

Several members of the Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich FFA, Rhodora Collins from DeKalb County Farm Bureau, and LaSalle County SWCD Resource Conservationist Vicki Heath were also on hand to work with the students.

“Why are they in pens?” Ross Adams answers questions about feeder cattle at the Adams Farm in rural Sandwich.

The Adams’ beef cattle weren’t the only sources of intriguing odors that the fourth grade students experienced during their visit. Pit silos full of feed ingredients, freshly dug soil, the smell of approaching rain, and the tasty aromas of the beef sticks and apples served as a snack were also part of the day’s sensory adventure.

By the end of the event, roughly 140 students and teachers had toured the farm.