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WIU junior Will Taylor shows a baby pig to Macomb second graders Blaze Childs and Carynna Elmore.
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WIU seniors Kade Knapp and Adam Heffelfinger show Lincoln School second grader Jaxson Gossage how to shear a sheep.
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WIU Ag Professor Win Phippen gave students a tour of the WIU greenhouses.
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Lincoln School second graders received a tour of the University's agricultural facilities Tuesday, including a chance to see pigs, cows and sheep.
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WIU Agriculture Students Lead Farm Day Field Trip for Macomb Second Graders

April 26, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – A group of 19 Macomb second graders spent Tuesday at the Western Illinois University Livestock Center learning about farm animals and crops from WIU students and faculty.

The students in Anna Mercer's second grade class from Lincoln School in Macomb spent Tuesday morning shearing sheep, learning about the animals at the farm, touring a campus greenhouse and playing in an agriculture obstacle course designed by WIU ag students.

Ag Instructor Jana Knupp said the WIU School of Agriculture adopted Mercer's classroom this year as part of the Macomb School District's Adopt-A-Classroom program. WIU students and faculty visited Mercer's classroom monthly to do agricultural programming, and the school year culminated with Tuesday's trip to campus.

"Now they all want sheep, pigs and cattle for Christmas," said Knupp.

WIU students who worked with the second graders Tuesday were from Western's Hoof and Horn Club and the livestock merchandising class.

Mercer said the farm visit was an incredible chance for the students to learn more about the lessons they are studying in the classroom.

"This day has been amazing," she said. "They are learning about all of the different animals we have talked about in the classroom, and this ties in perfectly with our plant unit. For a lot of these students, they have never experienced touching an animal like this. Learning is best when they get to experience it firsthand."

Second grader Liley Veney said she enjoyed seeing the baby cows at the farm Tuesday.

"We named it Humphrey," she said of one member of the WIU farm's livestock.

WIU senior agriculture major Rachel Hill, of Dixon, IL, said she enjoyed participating in the event with the Hoof and Horn Club and "getting a chance to advocate for agriculture."

"I enjoy teaching the youth something about livestock that they didn't know before," Hill said.

Knupp said the School of Ag enjoys hosting groups at the farm. Anyone interested in a visit can contact the School of Ag office at (309) 298-1080.

For more information about WIU's School of Agriculture, visit

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing