Springfest Offers Ag Connections


Feeling a lamb's wool might not seem like a lot to some, but Prairie Loft's director says it's exactly the kind of experience they want to deliver at Springfest.

"That up close encounter with farm animals is so rare for so many people, adults and kids," says Amy Sandeen.

Cordell Jeffcoat brought his sheep from Wood Lake down to Hastings for shearing demonstrations at Springfest on Sunday.

"Showing mostly how the shearing works, that it's not harmful to the animal, it's as humane as we can get it," says Jeffcoat.

Jeffcoat says with many anti-ag messages out there, helping kids connect the animal they're seeing to the clothes they're wearing is crucial to his livelihood.

"I'm the future of ag industry, and they're the future consumer, so the more that they know, the easier it is for me in the long run," he says.

Sandeen says Prairie Loft's mission involved place-based education, because they believe hands-on experience is an effective teacher.

"It's experiential education -- when we experience something we remember it, we're familiar with it, we want to find out more -- that's what we hope to do," she says.

Sandeen also says ag education is driven home more when families share in the learning.

"Grandparents I'm hearing talking about their time on the farm as kids with their grandkids today who are maybe seeing farm animals for the first time," she says.

Last year Springfest drew around 750 people, and more than 400 were already on the grounds in the first few hours on Sunday.

Click HERE to learn more about the Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor and Agricultural Learning.