by Paul R. Spitzzeri
This morning I went down to the Fairplex in Pomona to participate, for the second straight year, as a judge for student projects submitted to the 48th District Agricultural Association Fair, being held next week.
Fourth grade students from around the region sent in their work based on the importance of agriculture, under the fair’s theme of “Food Grows Where Water Flows”, at the California missions in four categories: missions built without kits, those with kits, posters, and drawings and paintings. It’s always really interesting to see how 9 and 10 year-olds use their imagination and knowledge from the classroom to come up with their submissions.
The really hard part for me is trying to determine who, especially in the two mission categories, qualify for first, second and third place ribbons. Ultimately, looking at the quality of the design, the execution of the building of the mission, and the information provided, those decisions were made, though it took about 1 1/2 hours to do so.
The reality is that all of the students are to be applauded for taking the time and making the effort to put together their projects. Hopefully, they, their teachers and schools, and their families will be proud of their efforts, regardless of whether they received a ribbon.
The 48th District Agricultural Association, based out of Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, has the vision of “supporting agricultural literacy in the Los Angeles basin” and its mission is to
increase the understanding, appreciation and participation of urban teachers and students in agriculture and nutrition through cooperative involvements of the California agricultural industry, educational institutions and community partners.
The organization, one of 54 in the state operating under the auspices of the Division of Fairs and Expositions, not only holds the fair, but also provides Common Core-based classroom lessons and materials through a teacher resource center, hosts workshops on nutrition, planting mini-gardens and others, and distributes books, hydroponic supplies, and more.
When teachers provide exhibits and submit projects to the annual fair, programs and materials are then free to them. Not only does the district’s work “continue the agricultural heritage of our area and our state,” but it also works to encourage healthy eating habits.
Here is a link to learn more about the association. The Homestead is happy to assist in judging these projects and making a contribution to the important work conducted by the association. We look forward to continuing the relationship!