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Farm Bureau touchscreen tablets introduce children to agriculture

MITCHELL, S.D. -- Area children will soon be more exposed to agriculture in South Dakota. The Davison-Hanson County Farm Bureau awarded officials with $6,000 Tuesday morning at The World's Only Corn Palace, providing three 18.4-inch touchscreen t...

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Nick Bakhtiari, tourism enterprise director for the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce, talks about the new tablets added to the Corn Palace Education Center while Linda Bannwarth, of the Davison-Hanson County Farm Bureau, listens Tuesday morning at the Corn Palace. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)

MITCHELL, S.D. - Area children will soon be more exposed to agriculture in South Dakota.

The Davison-Hanson County Farm Bureau awarded officials with $6,000 Tuesday morning at The World's Only Corn Palace, providing three 18.4-inch touchscreen tablets with agriculture-related games.

The tablets were purchased with the South Dakota Farm Bureau's Centennial Community Initiative grant, which awarded the Davison-Hanson County Farm Bureau with $5,000 to make a difference in the community. The county bureau then donated an additional $1,000 to purchase the tablets. Each tablet has six downloaded games focusing on various aspects of agriculture, all while instilling educational skills such as math or geography, according to Cindy Foster with the Davison-Hanson County Farm Bureau.

"These games are a fun way for people to learn something, and have fun doing it. It's all about ag," Foster said Tuesday. " ... This is a fun way to learn, be aware of the food they are eating and what's happening in agriculture."

The three tablets were installed into the Corn Palace Education Center in mid-May, Foster said, and even though the education center is closed until next summer, the tablets will still see some use. The bureau also purchased an additional two tablets to be transported to various schools in Davison and Hanson counties during the year, allowing for even more students to interactively learn about agriculture.

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Foster added that the tablets are the beginning of a larger project that will make ag information available allround.

And so far, so good. Since three of the tablets were installed into the center, children from all over have been utilizing the new technology, including adults.

"This was helpful this year simply because it brings some technology up here that we didn't have before, said Nick Bakhtiari, the tourism enterprise director for the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce. "And it's something fun. We live in a world where you have to have some type of technological stuff."

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Nick Bakhtiari, tourism enterprise director for the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce, plays a game Tuesday on one of three new tablets added to the Corn Palace Education Center from the South Dakota Farm Bureau. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)

Related Topics: EDUCATIONSOUTH DAKOTA
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“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.