KDE Farms Gives Hands-On Tour to St. Paul High School Students
What do you get when students step off a bus onto a farm for the first time ever?
Questions. Lots of really great questions!
On a warm day in May, 20 St. Paul students and their teacher, Kyra Warner, from Gordon Parks High School walked onto the property of KDE Farms. Brian Ehret, owner, was waiting for them while music played through his outdoor speakers. He was ready to answer any and all questions and give students a behind-the-scenes tour of life on the farm.
AgHost: KDE Farms
KDE Farms is a fourth generation family owned business. Started in the early 1920’s by Leo and Anna Ehret in Woodbury, MN, the farm has passed from generation to generation and is now located in Hugo, MN. Brian and Roberta (with their children Kaitlin and Daniel) Ehret took the reins and created KDE Farms in 2004.
Pigs, Chicken Tractors, Baby Chicks Oh My
Students were welcomed onto the KDE property by a large flock of egg-laying chickens. These chickens roamed and pecked while Brian delivered his introduction to the farm.
Besides raising livestock, Brian also taps his maple trees and boils the sap down to make his own maple syrup. Students were able to walk into his "syrup shack" and learn about the equipment and process it takes to make syrup.
Petting and feeding the pigs was next. Brian housed many questions about pigs, why he raises them, and how he sells them for meat. A few students were astonished that he would sell his own "pets" and then eat them. When students can understand the purpose of raising livestock, they begin to see the cycle of agriculture more clearly.
"Who knows what a chicken tractor is?" Brian asked the group.
"We don't have a clue," one student shouted.
Brian explained the chicken tractor and turned the questions to the students about its purpose and functionality. They, of course, thought it would have been a vehicle. Students were impressed at the ingenuity and efficiency of the chicken tractor.
The tour had to culminate with checking out the baby chicks. Students "ohh-ed" and "ahh-ed" over these adorable, fuzzy chicks. Brian explained how he received the chicks, what they needed to survive and why he gets them at this stage. Then it was time for photo ops.
The tour wrapped up with students getting a peek inside the air-conditioned trailer with multiple freezers that Brian and his wife use to transport their products to local Farmer's Markets. Before departing, students asked many questions about Brian's small business and owning a small farm.
The value and perspective shift that being present on a farm with a passionate AgHost is something you cannot replicate in the classroom. If getting your students out on a farm to learn and experience something new is something you're interested in, please contact our Program Director!
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