11th Day on the Farm set for Aug. 19

The 11th annual Day on the Farm event for families is set for Saturday, Aug. 19, at the farm of Carol Duerksen and Maynard Knepp, northeast of Goessel.

Activities, which run continuously from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include pig catching by children, goat tending, horseback riding, tractor wagon rides and a branding iron demonstration.

Other scheduled events include goat milking, pig catching by ministers at 11 a.m. and a children’s story at 12:45 p.m. A meal will be served at 11:30 a.m.

The purpose of Day on the Farm is to build connections between rural and urban families, and in particular to give children a chance to experience some aspects of farm life and perhaps connect with their grandparents.

While the day is free, it is designed to also raise funds for Mennonite Agri-Urban Inc., which sponsors the event, which attracts between 400 and 500 people each year.

Children get to touch farm animals-including pigs, goats, calves, sheep and horses-and see more exotic animals, such as llamas, emus and a buffalo calf. They can also watch rope making and climb through a bale maze.

The Agri-Urban program began in 1972. The idea was for farmers and cattle feeders to donate labor, facilities and feed or pasture to fatten cattle, and for urbanites to give money to buy the animals and possibly some or all of the feed.

Profits from sale of the cattle go to Western District Conference, Mennonite Church USA and Bethel College and are also reinvested in Agri-Urban.

Agri-Urban is implemented by a steering committee from Mennonite Men, a mission and service organization for men in the Mennonite Church.

The Day on the Farm began in 1996 as a way to involve more people from urban areas. Duerksen and Knepp, who also write a series of Amish novels, provide the farm for city folk to visit.

“It’s fun to share our animals with so many people,” Duerksen said.

The Agri-Urban volunteers, she added, “are great at cleaning everything up afterward.”

To find the farm from Goessel, continue north on Kansas Highway 15 to 150th Street. Turn east and drive four miles to Falcon Road. Turn north and drive 3/4 mile to 1582 Falcon.

From Hillsboro, drive four miles south on Indigo Road to 150th. Turn west and drive three miles to Falcon, then turn north and proceed to 1582 Falcon.

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