Third-graders attending an agricultural event at Mississippi State University Nov. 10-15 will be able to tell their parents about the sources of food, clothing and other common products.

Oktibbeha County Extension agent Julie White will conduct the third annual FARMtastic, sponsored by the MSU Extension Service. Weekday activities begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. at the Mississippi Horse Park on Poorhouse Road. The educational program is primarily designed to help children learn the sources of their food, clothing and other necessities, but it also will teach them about wildlife and health issues.

“FARMtastic is a hands-on agriculture education activity that promotes locally produced agricultural products in a fun learning environment,” White said.

White expects almost 2,000 children from Oktibbeha and surrounding counties. School groups will visit the exhibits the first five days, and the general public is invited to attend from 9 a.m. until noon the final day, which is a Saturday.

Nelda Starks, program coordinator, said FARMtastic offers a great way to promote agriculture and lifelong knowledge.

“The younger children are when they learn where food and fiber come from, the better off we will be,” she said. “Hopefully, by reaching the children, we will reach their parents, too.”

Guests will visit event stations for 15 minutes of hands-on activities and experiential learning. There are seven stations:

  • The Barnyard Bonanza will teach lessons about farm animals. Students will see a milking demonstration and learn how to make butter. They will also see a variety of animals, including cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, horses and chickens.
  • The Mighty Crops station will highlight area agronomy, including cotton, corn, soybeans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, rice and wheat.
  • The Wonder Plants stop offers lessons in horticulture. Visitors will make a garden in a glove and see vegetable gardens, fruit orchards and worms.
  • The Something Fishy station will focus on aquaculture. Visitors will get to fish and learn about different production methods used in the aquaculture industry.
  • The Enchanted Forest will teach lessons in forestry and wildlife. Children will make leaf rubbings, learn about bubble blowers, examine forest products, count tree rings, and see wildlife habitats and animal prints.
  • The Farm Toys exhibit will show the origins of products that contribute to athletic entertainment. Children will learn about football, baseball, basketball, golf and rodeo events.
  • The Farm Village will offer a scavenger hunt for agricultural products. This exhibit will include a department store, bank, grocery store, school, cinema, pizza shop and other establishments.

For more information about this event, call the Oktibbeha County Extension office at 662-323-5916.