When Keith Oellig handed away unexpectedly in March 2021, his absence still left a hole in the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, farming group.
In addition to running the family’s dairy farm in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County, Oellig was a Decrease Dauphin College board member and Dauphin County Technological Faculty Board member. He also was a member of the Dauphin County Farm Bureau and Dauphin County Arranging Fee.
“I know sharing the tale of agriculture and producing many others is the legacy my uncle needed to depart behind,” claimed his niece, Christine Bashore. “He was active in Farm Bureau for a long time and impressed me to be involved.”
“(Keith) believed really deeply in educating the public about agriculture as well as advocating for agriculture,” mentioned Kathy Barry, of the Kathy Barry Company. “Beyond that, we truly feel that providing kids and other men and women accessibility to instruction is essential.”
It is how Barry and other people rallied all-around an idea — what if the funds could be lifted to carry the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab to all 5 Lower Dauphin School District elementary schools in Oellig’s memory?
Bashore claimed her uncle’s passion for farming and college students is really hard to set into words. Whilst he did not have kids of his own, he was normally investing in the lives of pupils, in particular at the technological school.
“He wished children to have the prospect to find out abilities and know that there is a lot more to career accomplishment than a faculty degree,” Bashore explained, adding that her uncle, who was a very long-time Nationwide consumer of Barry’s, would locate this tribute fitting.
In addition to the help from the Kathy Barry Company, the Dauphin County Farm Bureau and a donor-supported faculty check out sponsorship grant supplied the check out at no price to these five educational institutions. Far more than 1,700 pupils frequented the ag lab in late September and October. 4 of the 5 elementary faculties had never ever had a visit ahead of this thirty day period.
“The ag lab application provides serious world agriculture to young ones in a fashion that is academic and protected,” Barry explained. “One of the most significant issues dealing with agriculture is that the standard community generally does not comprehend just what it is farmers and ranchers do or why they do it. Educating youngsters by means of the ag lab is 1 stage in getting the general public to fully grasp what we do in agriculture, but, a lot more importantly, why it is essential.”
The college students created a miniature hydroponics technique, made crayons from soybeans, and uncovered how farmers care for their land and animals.
“Thank you for instructing us about farms. It was tremendous exciting,” said 1st grader Austin from Conewago Elementary. His sentiment is repeated through quite a few of the thank you playing cards the foundation been given from these ag lab visits.
Reduced Dauphin school principals are in search of thoughts to keep on the ag lab visits for future decades based mostly on student responses to what they uncovered.
The Cell Ag Ed Science Lab method will join with extra than 100,000 pupils this 12 months. Donors enable to hold these visits reasonably priced for universities and supply a important option for students to discover how agriculture is vital to their daily life and their community.
“It is definitely an honor to be able to sponsor the Ag Lab in this method and give a reward in memory of our late shopper. We have been incredibly blessed as a company. Our consumers have constantly been excellent to us and we have continued to grow in spite of the difficulties all enterprises are presently struggling with. This is just a tiny way of offering a minor back to the neighborhood that has normally given to us,” Barry claimed.