Getting the message straight from the horse's mouth, or actually the hog, Grand Island kids learned about farming during National Ag Week, thanks to our farm family of the month.
The 800 or so kids who visited Fonner Park this past week may be more familiar with zoo animals than they are with the farm animals all around them.
Bill Buettner hears all sorts of questions from the kids at the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Ag Day.
"Always interested how old they are, what the name is. Most of the time we don't give them a name," he said. "They're not pets."
Buettner raises corn and alfalfa, along with sheep, goats, and cattle.Every year he brings some animals into town, so Grand Island kids can learn about life on the farm.
Ag Day volunteer Annette Schimmer said, "It gives these kids an opportunity to see live animals, that we do take care of our animals."
Bill's also on the school board at Grand Island Northwest.
Retired Superintendent Bill Mowinkel says Buettner and his wife Nancy have opened their farm to countless kids, giving 4–H and FFA youth a place to work with animals.
Buettner said his mission is simple, 'Promoting agriculture and educating the kids and I'm also part of FFA Alumni State Board."
Friends say Bill suffered health problems this winter. It may have slowed him a little, but couldn't keep him from the annual Ag Day.
Schimmer said, "He's been doing this for almost 15 years and if we didn't have him supplying over half our animals, we would have to outsource to different farmers, find one animal here or there, and he is very nice and generous and is happy to do this so we appreciate Bill's generosity."
The Buettner's have two grown children of their own and a grandchild.
And there are always kids stopping by the farm, caring for animals before and after school and learning valuable life lessons.
Do you know an outstanding Nebraska farm family? Nominate them with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what sets them apart.