POMEROY — A journey into food production designed to make children more aware of the connection between the soil where food gets its start to the dinner table where it’s eaten was an emphasis of the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District’s poster contest held during the past school year.
“Soil to Spoon” was the theme of the contest directed by MSWCD Education Coordinator Jenny Ridenour.
Meigs SWCD is a member of the National Association of Conservation Districts, which oversees the Stewardship Week program. Stewardship Week is one of the largest national annual programs to promote conservation. NACD represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, which were established to encourage resource conservation across the country.
“Making the connection back to the soil, where our food gets its start is so important,” said Gene Schmidt, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts. “The next time you sit down to a meal, take a minute to think about where your food came from, and the farmers and ranchers who helped produce it. As they work to produce food for the growing population, today’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to using responsible land-management practices to ensure a sustainable food supply and healthy land and soil for future generations.”
As a part of the poster contest in the schools, Ridenour challenged fourth grade students to name a food, that the students would eat, that does not start with soil. Students quickly realized that everything they eat has to begin with soil. Then it was discussed that there are about seven billion people in the world.
Ridenour asked, “Who feeds all those people? Farmers do.”
A demonstration using an apple showed that only about three percent of the earth is actually used by farmers to grow all the food people eat. That made the students better understand that soil is the starting foundation of all the food we eat and that it is important to protect it.
Fourth grade students made a poster on brown paper bags supplied by TNT Pit Stop. These bags were returned to TNT Pit Stop for distribution to its customers. The bags are to serve as a reminder to the residents of Meigs County of the importance of good soil to the farmers who grow our food.
Saelym Larson of Southern Elementary was selected as the overall county champion in the poster contest and received $25. Saelym was also chosen to represent Meigs County at the State Poster Competition.
A total of $235 was awarded to 14 fourth grade classes in the Poster contest. First place winners in each class received $10 and second place received $5. Each student in the class received a ” It all starts with Soil” magazine and a pencil. Winners in each class, listed first and second place respectively, are as follows:
Meigs: Gillilan classroom, Abby Hubbard and Taylor Bass; Hill classroom, Alexis Taylor and Hannah Holman; King classroom, Bailey Swatzel and and Breanna Zirkle; Korn classroom, Autumn Jones and Bobby Musser; and Ramey classroom, Danielle Wilson and Kalyn Qualls; and Perko classroom, Cameron Burnem and Ashley Schartiger.
Southern: Barr classroom, Gage Carleton and Cheyenne Wehrung; Hoback classroom, Saelym Larson and Savannah Mills; and Barr classroom, Rylee Lee and Madison Klein
Eastern: Lisle-Matthew Clingenpeel and Brandon Baer; Weber-Faith Bauerbach and Derick Matheney; Jewell-Bonnie Miller and Megan Ross;and Otto-Haley Burton and Chase King
Mid Valley Christian: Pauley-Abram Pauley and Olivia Muller.