State fair offers Idaho students some ‘farmtastic’ fun

Fifth graders in the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, are gleaning special insight into one of their favorite meals—the hamburger—through a unique, hands-on ag program called Farm to Table.

What does it take to get a hamburger on a school lunch tray?

Thanks to local agricultural programming in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, a group of fifth graders are getting the chance. Each summer, groups of students are invited to the North Idaho State Fairgrounds to learn exactly what it takes—including all the farming and agricultural processes involved—to get a hamburger from Farm to Table!

"[They learn] all the different pieces that go into our lunch, so we have our wheat station where they get to grind the wheat into flour, and so we see those pieces come together during the lunch,” explained Michaela Woempner, agricultural programming manager for the North Idaho State Fair.

Students go from station to station and learn about each element of a hamburger: the bun, beef, cheese, and even toppings like lettuce and tomatoes. There’s also a livestock petting zoo that Woempner said the students always enjoy.

This year marks the eighth year that the Farm to Table program has offered local students this unique, hands-on learning experience, which Woempner says has been a great success with plenty of learning moments for the students.

“It’s great to see the kids—and even the teachers and chaperones, sometimes—be like, ‘Wow, I never knew that!’” she said. “It’s one whole story, so being able to get them to see front-to-back and all the pieces in-between is a big impact.”

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