The Leadership Clinton Class of 2022 recently put on their boots and took to the fields for a day of adventure and learning.
Their day started at the Cherrybend Pheasant Farm where they were welcomed with made-to-order omelets provided by the volunteers of the Farm Bureau under the leadership of Ashley Rose.
Beth Ellis took the class on a hands-on tour of the farm, giving students the opportunity to see the grounds, understand the ins and outs of running the farm, and get up close with some pheasants.
The class then went to Mayer Ag Equipment where they would climb up in a combine. This tour gave students the opportunity to understand the equipment side of farming and what it takes to prep for the year and to harvest when the time comes.
The next stop was a trip to the Pollinator Plot where the class saw why native bees are important to crop farmers. Pollinator bees can help increase crop yield. The field is located on Prairie Avenue on the corner of Lowe’s Drive.
The World Equestrian Center was buzzing around lunch as the class made their way for the grand tour, quietly walking through the arenas and stalls as shows were going on.
They then had the opportunity to behold the in-house embroidery process that is featured in their store A Sudden Impulse.
As the class made their way through the many buildings they learned about the specialized turf for the facility events. A wonderful feature of the equestrian center is that the stable walkways are connected so you will never have to go outside when moving from place to place. The class also learned the Equestrian Center has the largest indoor show arena in the United States.
The goal of the Equestrian Center is to be a home away from home for families during their stay. They offer amenities such as shopping, dining, salon and spa, and an academy for students. The tour wrapped up when the class broke for lunch and sat upstairs to watch one of the arenas where horses practiced jumps.
Next, the leadership class ventured to the Schappacher Farm. To the public, this farm is most known for their pumpkin patch that is open on the weekends for families to pick their pumpkins straight from the field. The Schappachers work hard during the week maintaining other aspects of the farm such as growing hay, tending to animals, as well as getting the pumpkins ready for the weekend visitors.
The Leadership Class didn’t leave without completing the corn maze and racing to the end.
The day ended at the Wilmington College Farm, where Leadership got to hear first-hand from the professors how they and the students maintain their farm on a daily basis.
The class was given a demonstration on the hug machine invented by Temple Grandin. This equipment is able to get the animal in and squeeze them tight; studies have shown that this makes the animal feel more at ease to work with.
Throughout the semester, students are given a variety of projects, one of which is the challenge of growing all the ingredients to make a salad in a raised garden bed.
The goal of the college is to expand their reach beyond those students studying agriculture by involving all students on campus to enrich them on agriculture in our state.
The day’s adventure was worthwhile as a first-hand introduction to some specific applications and impacts of the remarkable leadership in the community.
To learn more about the Clinton County Institute and the work that the Leadership Clinton Class of 2021-22 is doing, please visit www.leadershipclinton.org .