CENTRE WELLINGTON – “Farmer for a Day,” a unique series of agricultural education stations developed by volunteers and directed towards children aged two to 10, will be returning to the Fergus Fall Fair this year.
The 2023 fair, which runs Sept. 15 to 17, will mark the 10th time the Fergus Agricultural Society has offered this program.
“Each station is a different, hands-on kind of interactive activity,” society director Rebecca Hannam told the Advertiser.
She gave examples of kids being able to pick an apple from a wooden apple tree, collecting an egg, and milking a wooden cow.
“So, each station teaches them where their food comes from in a different way,” Hannam explained.
At the beginning of the event, which runs both Saturday and Sunday at the shed on the fairgrounds, children are given a little basket.
When they go through each station, they will be adding something to that basket based on the activity.
“At the end, they hand in their basket at a station that we call the farmers market,” said Hannam.
The kids then get a prize, which is free due to a sponsorship that helps support the event.
Hannam added youngsters also get to make their own button that they can wear and also get a tote bag and a colouring book.
“I originally started [the event] in 2012. I was inspired by a larger setup that they have at the CNE that does something kind of similar,” she explained.
“I started it here on a smaller scale and it was pretty humble to begin with the first couple of years. But then people kind of got interested in it and we had a lot of positive feedback.”
The director explained the Fergus Agricultural Society received sponsorships from the agriculture industry, which have helped the event grow.
“This year, we have seven stations and we’re preparing supplies for 800 kids,” Hannam stated.
The event used to be run solely by agricultural society volunteers, but as it grew additional manpower was required.
“It was hard to find enough volunteers to run it, so we now actually partner with the Girl Guides in Alma,” Hannam said.
“They come in and volunteer and help us run the stations because it needs a volunteer at every station to help the kids. So, it does end up being a pretty big initiative now.”
This year, some new stations will be added to the “Farmer for a Day” event, so make sure to check it out at the fair.
For information on where to find the event, visit fergusfallfair.ca.