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This week Farm Credit of Central Florida volunteered at Ag-Venture held at the Florida State Fair Grounds.

Ag-Venture is a hands-on learning experience designed to teach Hillsborough County third graders about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from. Ag-Venture was started in 1994 by local agriculture commodity groups. The groups include Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, Florida State Fair and Hillsborough County Extension Service. Between fall and spring Ag-Venture educated over 6,000 students each year.

Students visit a total of five different stations focused on different aspects of the agriculture industry with a "hand’s-on" activity. Farm Credit employees volunteered throughout the week of April 22nd to support the workshop. By Friday, over 450 third graders went through the Ag-Venture program.

Farm Credit of Central Florida volunteered at the Environmental Horticulture station with Sun City Tree Farm, sponsored by FNGLA. The station covered the basics of environmental horticulture by explaining what it is, what it means, how to grow plants, the different between seeds, what plants need to thrive, what clippings are and how plants grow. Students then planted a marigold, and were allowed to take it home and watch it grow. By the end of the day each student became an "environmental horticulturist."

The other stations taught students about strawberries, the cattle industry, gardening and one of the students’ favorites, the "pizza garden" station gave an example of how pizza is made from food grown in a garden. It was great to see kids get involved in the sessions and really want to learn about the agriculture industry. Seeing that light bulb go off and knowing they understood the importance of the industry was a wonderful thing.

Farm Credit of Central Florida is dedicated to promoting the agriculture industry and lending a helping hand in our community. Ag-Venture and youth programs like it inspire the next generation of agriculture and Farm Credit is proud to support the great work they do.

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