School Tours at Howell Farms
From 1986 to 2006 we gave conducted school tours on a daily basis during the fall months. We decided in 2017 that we would reintroduce tours to our farm. As the number of farms shrinks throughout the world, the need for the next generation to learn about modern agriculture and how it affects the lives of everyone becomes increasingly important. Our tours offer children and their parents and teachers the opportunity to see production agriculture up close, which we believe will help them understand the vital role that agriculture plays in their lives.
During September and October of 2017 we thoroughly enjoyed visitors from schools in three surrounding counties. In the upstairs great room of our 1857 Homestead Barn, we provided a brief history of the humble beginnings of Howell Farms in 1972 up through the transformation of our farm into a large, commercial 21st century family business spanning two generations. We explain the importance of agriculture to the global economy as well as to each student as an individual. In the lower level of the barn we provided our visitors a hands on connection with three of the crops that we produce, the life cycles of these crops and their daily uses in both food and non-food products. Students also viewed a slide show of year round activities on the farm.
We took each group of visitors on an escorted and narrated wagon ride through the headquarters of our modern farming operations across the road, explaining machinery, grain handling, pumpkin packing and shipping in real time as they rode. The end of the tour included a stop in the Pumpkin House where we taught students about pumpkin production, life cycles of pumpkins, and the role of honey bees on our farm. Each visitor was then able to select a large jack-o-lantern pumpkin to take home. Many of the groups who visited us took time for lunch in our converted corn crib and enjoyed games on the gently sloping, shaded green space behind the barn. We are excited about the upgrades and improvements planned for 2018 tours which will begin in late August – and are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors throughout the season.
If you are interested in knowing more about or scheduling a school tour, you may look for our Facebook page or give us a call at (765) 759-7432.