By Doug Schroder


ROCKFORD – The Stillman Valley High Future Farmers of America Club (FFA) volunteered their time on Friday, May 6, at the Indian Hill Farm in Rockford for the second annual Winnebago County Ag Day. The Stillman FFA Club worked in conjunction with the Winnebago-Boone County Farm Bureau to put on the event the drew second grade students from schools all over Winnebago County which included Simon Elementary School from Winnebago, and then from Rockford, Kishwaukee Elementary School, King Elementary School, Beyer Elementary School, Walker Elementary School, Carlson Elementary School, Rock-Cut Elementary, and Rockford Christian School.

Stillman FFA students have been volunteering on the farm for some time now, with many students completing projects there. One group is currently working on building a shelter for the horses. That being said, the FFA students were quite knowledgeable of the Indian Hill farm, and they did a fantastic job of giving the presentations at each stop along the tour for the second graders who received hands-on learning about plants and animals, with stops on the tour explaining about topics such as crops, soil, farm machinery, horses, poultry, goats, and beef cattle. They also learned how agriculture provides food for their families.

Indian Hill Manor and Farm is quite a hidden jewel. It has a Rockford address, but sits way south of the city on Kishwaukee Road. It’s actually closer to the village of Stillman Valley, hence the participation by the Stillman FFA Club. The farm is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and it features a Jamesway Barn. Jamesway was a company in Fort Atkinson, WI that established it’s self as a leader in the building and outfitting a new era of dairy farming back in the early 1900’s.

“It was one of the first barns around here to have electricity,” said FFA member Lucas Johnson.

The barn also featured a revolutionary-for-the-time manure removal system that made it much easier for the farmer to clean up after the cows.

The barn also has a unique ventilation system the kept the temperature down in the barn and helped to keep the hay in the hay mound dry.

Speaking of the hay mound, this barn had the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It’s way taller than the usual. FFA members Lucas Johnson and Paige Adams led me up the ladder to see it. It was a really neat sight.

“I try to come up here every time I come to the farm,” said Paige, who is the Stillman FFA President and NJHA Ambassador for the State.

Overall it was a good educational experience and the second graders asked a lot of questions during the tour.

“I love seeing the wheels turn in their heads,” said Hannah Miller, a coordinator of the event.

This is an excellent event that teaches kids about farms and where food comes from.

SVHS FFA Winnebago Co 2016 Ag Day 1

Stillman Valley High FFA members (L-R) Instructor Lauren Worley, Matt Alexander, Harrison Miller, Jacob Frost and Lucas Johnson pose for a picture during the 2016 Winnebago County Ag Day on Friday, May 6.

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