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Morning Sun
  • Having a Hay Day

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  • GIRARD -- As story time made its way into a book about tractors, one excitable child stood up, walked to the reader and pointed at the tractor.
    "That's what my daddy does!" the child exclaimed.
    That sort of connection is what organizers were hoping for when they planned the inaugural Ag Day at Girard Public Library. The event brought area children to the library to participate in games, make crafts and see horses and equipment all related to an active farm.
    "The Kansas Department of Agriculture secretary sent out a booklet about Ag Week," said Barb Bailey, Girard adult cataloguing librarian and event organizer. "With us as a farming community, we thought it'd be great to bring that to the library. I knew someone with draft horses. I thought we'd bring them. [Another staffer]'s husband brought their old tractors."
    That person that Barb Bailey knew with draft horses happened to be her husband, Judd. He showed the horses off to any children who wanted to get close, and also walked the horses around in a field next to the library.
    There were a number of activities that the children took part in as part of Ag Day. Of course, there is the traditional library activity of story time, but that wasn't all. Children were able to make either a pig or a cow out of a paper bag as a craft. They also participated in farm-themed games, like "Feed the Pig" (bean bag toss) and a "corraling" game in which kids used a stick to direct balloons representing various farm animals into their taped-off "pens."
    But the main attraction was getting outside and seeing the old tractors and watching the horses in action.
    Bailey said that there were some important lessons being taught during the event.
    "I think the majority don't currently get to see this kind of thing every day. It shows them, also through story time, that we have to have farming to get our food," Bailey said. "They learn where food starts from the hard-working farmers who provide so they can have food on the table."
    Terri Harley, Girard Public Library director, said that because of the city's location and relation to the agriculture community, the event was a huge success.
    "A lot, even though they live in an agricultural area, they live in town. They're not used to seeing horses and seeing tractors. We're trying to show them the importance of that, and why it's important to have the farmers that we have," Harley said.
    There was also an art contest associated with the Ag Day event, which asked "What does agriculture in Kansas look like to you?" The grand prize winner was Hanna Bailey, 8. The other top winners were Shylah Harley, 8; Lance Gideon, 9; and Shyanne Puffinbarger, 13.
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