History of DeKalb Expo educates students on agriculture
SYCAMORE – Agriculture is deeply “rooted” within DeKalb County’s history, and the county’s farm bureau decided DeKalb District 428 grade schoolers should be made aware.
The bureau partnered with the Ellwood House, DeKalb Public Library, Sycamore Joiner Room, DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and the Future Farmers of America to host the History of DeKalb Expo, which began Thursday and will showcase the agricultural history of the county to DeKalb third-graders over four school days.
Emily Weller, an instructional coach with Brooks and Littlejohn Elementary schools, said the event was started because there is a lot of history and artifacts related to DeKalb County agriculture that can be incorporated into the new social studies curriculum in schools.
“It’s difficult to get all that history to eight different schools so the farm bureau decided to get everything centralized,” Weller said.
Founders Elementary students came to the bureau during the Thursday morning expo, and Littlejohn students came in for Thursday’s afternoon expo. Students were broken up for different sessions, which included dissecting kernels of corn, exploring different soil samples, learning about DeKalb’s iconic “winged ear” logo and seeing a combine up close.
“I liked the dirt part,” said Littlejohn third-grader Layla Birdsell.
Third-grader Jayden McCollum also said the soil samples were his favorite part.
After each session, students placed stickers with important dates in DeKalb’s history on a timeline to document important agricultural events.
Anna Schelkopf, DeKalb County Farm Bureau communications specialist, said she hopes this becomes a yearly event to incorporate local agricultural influences into the school district’s curriculum.
“This started entirely as a history lesson but the bureau really wanted to show how history has influenced modern agriculture,” Schelkopf said.