Friday, April 18, 2014
   
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Kids learn about Ogallala aquifer, safety at Monsanto Learning Center

Gothenburg, Cozad, Brady 6th graders attend

The Monsanto Learning Center was a hub of knowledge last Thursday as sixth graders learned everything from how much a baby calf weighs to how to make an aquifer to how it feels to be blind or disabled.

Students from Gothenburg, Cozad and Brady attended the annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for demonstrations and discussions about groundwater, tool, water, home and fire safety; electrical, disability and meth awareness; first aid and more.

One group spun a wheel that stopped at interesting questions such as how much does a baby calf weigh.

One sixth grader, who guessed around 75 pounds, won a prize.

Nearby, other students created mini aquifers.

As Monsanto Learning Center manager Chandler Mazour explained the different layers, students created edible parfaits, adding gummy candy, soda, water, granola and chocolate sprinklers to simulate sand and gravel, dirt and water.

Red food coloring was then added to show how contamination enters and spreads through groundwater.

Mazour explained that groundwater near the learning center is about 25 feet underground. However some farmers in the area pump water 700 to 1,000 feet under the surface to irrigate their crops.

At another station, kids learned about safety on the farm using tools and tractors and how to keep safe around lawn mowers and other equipment.

Doug Block and Tim McFadden used a drill to simulate how clothing and hair can get tangled in a power take-off (PTO) on a tractor.

PTOs and associated shafts and universal joints are a common cause of injuries and death in the farming industry, they said.

Water safety was also stressed and how ultraviolet rays can cause cancer.

Nancy Workman led the session in which students created bracelets that mimicked the effect of the sun’s rays.

Monsanto customer experience coordinator Khris Jinks said safety day is offered annually to make students aware of how to stay safe.

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