ELIDA — For one Elida Middle School student, agriculture is definitely cool.
Dylan Bryan, a fifth grade student at the school, was presented with a trophy and a check for $500 Wednesday as part of the “Agriculture is Cool” program.
“The check and trophy were given by the Ohio Expo Center and the Ohio State Fair,” principal Dave Morman said. “Dylan wrote an essay for the program, which was through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.”
During the program, Dylan, along with others in his class, went through various agricultural exhibits at the Ohio State Fair this summer, allowing him to be exposed to not only the basics of the industry, but also advancements in technology and techniques in modern day agriculture.
“This was open to any person who had passed fourth grade,” Chad Bryan, Dylan’s father said. “Any student could take their grade card with them to the fair, and that student and an adult would get free admission. Then there were several stations at the fair they would go to, and each station would have papers with questions they would have to answer.”
Bryan and the other students were able to go to various exhibits at the fair, including the poultry barn and cattle barn.
“The students then had to write an essay and send that, along with their papers, to the Ohio State Fair,” Chad said, “and they draw four finalists from throughout the state of Ohio, and those finalists get the $500 check.”
For Dylan, one of his most memorable momemts from his time at the fair was at the poultry barn.
“They had an incubator there with chicks that had already hatched,” he said, “and right there in front of us, there was a chick hatching. We got to see it stick its beak out.”
Dylan also has an interest in technology, so he was very interested in seeing how technology is impacting today’s farmers.
“He talked about how GPS is used to help plant straight rows on the bigger farms, and how much technology has advanced in farming,” Chad said. “He likes a lot of the technology.”
While Dylan enjoyed the experience, his family noted that he’s not sure if a possible career in agriculture could be in the works.
“He’s still in fifth grade, so it’s still so hard to say what he wants to do,” Chad said. “He’s also involved in Cub Scouts, so he definitely enjoys the outdoors, but we’re not sure.”
While Dylan will enjoy displaying the trophy at home, the $500 will be put towards Dylan’s future college education.
“Everyone was asking me what I was going to buy with that,” Dylan said. “Was I going to buy the PlayStation 4 or the XBox One? I was like, ‘No!’ I barely even use what I’ve got already.”