Good morning Neosho, what a beautiful day it is in the Ozarks.
The longer I am in Neosho the more I learn about the school and community and the wonderful opportunities that are provided for our students.
Shortly after arriving in Neosho I found out that the school has a large farm that is used and maintained by our Agriculture Education Department. Mr. Crawley took me out to where the farm is located and we drove around the perimeter but being an old farm boy myself I was really intrigued and wanted to know more.
So, I asked Mr. Mike Aldrich, one of our instructors, if he would be willing to give me a tour of the school farm. Mr. Aldrich responded back that he was going to take one of his classes out to the school farm a couple of days later and would be happy for me to go with them and I accepted.
On what seemed to be one of the hottest afternoons of the summer I climbed aboard the good ole yellow tour bus with the students and Mr. Aldrich and we headed to the farm. Little did I know that I was going to be taught by Mr. Aldrich and the students very important information not only about the school farm but also about Neosho.
As we made our way through town, headed to the farm, Mr. Aldrich pointed out several important facts about the community and also asked students questions to get them involved in the conversation.
As we moved through the community Mr. Aldrich talked about all the types of trees located in Neosho and explained how one of his judging teams used the community to practice for their contests.
As we got closer to the school farm my history lesson began. Mr. Aldrich pointed out many important facts about the school farm and asked the students questions that allowed them to teach me as well. When we arrived at the school farm I realized that this was not only a trip for the students to develop a work list it was also used as an opportunity for the students to teach the Superintendent.
As we made our way through the farm, students were assigned sections to educate me on. The knowledge the students have about not only the history but also the operation of the farm is amazing. They explained the corn that is grown on shares and why it is necessary to plant the corn for the soil, etc.
From that point Mr. Aldrich began the discussion with them concerning what should be planted there next and why. He was allowing them to be a part of the decision just like it was their own place and would ask questions to lead them in a direction to make a wise decision.
Page 2 of 2 - Various students explained the different cattle herds they had on the farm and the direction they were going to go with the herds. I learned how the school came to have the farm, how it is considered a wildlife preserve, the compost station that is on the farm and how that helped them get the skid steer they have to use along with many other things.
The farm is also utilized for the Food Across America program that the Ag. Education program puts on for all of our elementary students each year.
I would encourage you to be a part of this experience with your student if you have the opportunity to do so.
As the trip continued I became more and more amazed with the opportunity the farm brings to the students of Neosho, and also the knowledge the students have not only of the history but also the operation.
I want to applaud Mr. Aldrich for all of his hard work, we are very fortunate to have someone who has been a part educating and pouring into the students of our district for as long as Mr. Aldrich has. I also want to thank the students who took the time to teach the Superintendent.
If you want to learn more about the school farm and what it provides our students I am sure if you call the Ag. Education Department at Neosho High School they will be happy to answer your questions.
Have a GREAT week!
Dan Decker is superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District.