What are vegetables? Where do they come from? And how do they grow? It all starts with the seed, and that was the focus of HM.CLAUSE’s booth at the Solano County Youth Ag Day.
HM.CLAUSE, a global vegetable seed company with US headquarters in Davis, California, sent an enthusiastic team to participate in the agriculture-focused children’s event, which was held on March 17th, 2015 in nearby Vallejo. Now in its thirteenth year, the Youth Ag Day event is a collaborative effort between the Solano County Fair and the region’s ag-related businesses to educate youth about the daily role that agriculture plays in all our lives. The event was a great opportunity for HM.CLAUSE to act on its commitment to support the communities in which it operates and to help develop the next generation of ag leaders.
Amelia Gatto, a representative from HR & Organizational Development, served as the team leader and helped to organize the booth activities. “I’m so glad that HM.CLAUSE decided to take part in this event,” said Gatto. “Our team of interns and experts were very excited to share their enthusiasm for seed science with the children.”
Around 3,500 third-graders gained hands-on experience through a diverse range of agricultural activities at the HM.CLAUSE booth. Company volunteers presented the “Life Cycle of Seeds,” an instructive yet fun exhibit that offered schoolchildren the opportunity to learn more about vegetable seeds and plants.
The HM.CLAUSE Life Cycle of Seeds booth consisted of five interactive stations, each representing a key phase in the development of a seed into a vegetable.
Ana Fraisse, Communications & Sales Intern, explained the first step in the cycle with a seed planting activity. Children shouted out their questions as she explained how to plant and when to harvest the vegetables.
Costumed as a mad scientist, Gideon Dollarhide, Seedsmanship & Sales Trainee, then revealed all the scientific nuance hidden inside the veggies by cutting them open to examine their composition. Kids were given the opportunity to learn more about cells and diseases.
The dissected veggies were later used as stamps to create original works of art that the kids could take home with them.
Under the artisitc direction of Laura Eveno, Human Resources Intern, the third-graders showed off their creativity by inventing and illustrating their own new species of vegetable.
After having racked their brains, the kids moved onto a veggie toss game led by Amelia, where they competed against each other to win carrot candies, lollipops and other prizes.
Kristin Brady, Human Resources Generalist, completed the Cycle of the Seed by handing out over 3,000 watermelon, tomato and pepper seedlings from our farm in Davis, CA. The children were taught how to water and care for their plants and committed to looking after them carefully. To help them monitor the growth of their seedlings, the children were also given a plant observation journal.
After the event, Laura commented, “I was pleasantly surprised by the lively interest and creativity of the students throughout the day, and I was happy they could leave with knowledge as well as something tangible. I’m also glad that we could extend the lessons beyond today by sending each child home with a plant that they can nurture.”