Adopt A Farmer School Visits

Posted: 2/8/2016

To you February in South Dakota might mean Valentines Day, snowstorms, and wishing for spring. At South Dakota Farm Families, February means Adopted Farmer Visits!


Since last fall, South Dakota farmers have been sending monthly videos to their adopted classrooms about what’s happening on the farm. Now it’s time for the farmers and students to meet in person. Even in South Dakota, many students may have never had the opportunity to visit a farm. Having a farmer visit the classroom is the next best thing! This is an opportunity for part of the farm to come to classroom. Farmers bring in samples of what they feed their animals and the crops they harvest, then they talk about how the products from their farm eventually end up on the dinner table.


Last week Jim Petrik and Bruce Burkhart were the first farmers to visit their classrooms for the year. Jim visited with over 100 students at Valley View Elementary in Rapid City. Jim spoke about his pigs, cattle, and the crops he plants on his farm near Gayville. Jim also introduced his friend Cole Briggs to talk about his ranch on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. Cole talked about the differences between his farm and Jim’s, which led to a good discussion about the different types of farming in the state.


Bruce gave his presentation to the Jane Addams Immersion School in Sioux Falls. Jane Addams is a school for students that are new to the United States. Most of these students are learning a second language and have very different experiences than those of us that grew up in the United States. Bruce spoke with students about his pig farm. Even though the students may not know much about farming in the US, some of them have taken care of animals in their home county. This is a surprising common ground between the students and South Dakota farmers, like Bruce.


After the formal presentation the farmers answer student questions. Almost every student has a different question they wanted answered.

  1. How did you decide to be farmer?
  2. Why can cows eat grass and pigs can’t?
  3. What’s your favorite animal?
  4. What do your animals eat?
  5. What is that machine called that harvests grain?
  6. What’s the difference between boy pigs and girl pigs?
  7. How are baby animals born?


And many, many more… 


Soon students in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre and Brookings will have met their farmers in person. You can keep up with all of our visits at South Dakota Farm Families on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram



A few pictures from the Valley View elementary school visit.
thumb_DSC_0025_1024.jpg thumb_DSC_0032_1024.jpg thumb_DSC_0036_1024.jpg
Jim telling students about his farm. Jim showing the students what he feeds his pigs. Cole (L) and Jim (R) sharing about farming and ranching in South Dakota.


blog comments powered by Disqus