Cambridge’s Cultures Collide: agriCulture Day 2017

Smells of authentic homemade cuisine representing different countries and regions of the U.S. create a wonderland of delightful sniffs and whiffs, as visitors walk through the double doors to the cave.  

Students and their parents had prepared these dishes for agriCulture day 2017, which was held in the Agriscience and Veterinary Education building, located behind the school.

The event took place on the morning of Nov. 14 and gave the school’s career tech programs an opportunity to showcase a variety of different cultures, with Colombia, Wisconsin and Italy being just some of these noticeable cultures.   

Students who partook in this special event were ones who were either chosen by their teachers to represent a specific place or ones who were native to their country of choice.

Many of these such students said it was vital that they represent their countries of origin.

“I’m from Germany along with the rest of my family, so it was crucial that I do a place that I hold dear in my heart,” said freshman Jackie Knauss.

Junior Nishu Pawar said he didn’t want to miss a chance at representing his homeland of India, which just so happens to be his favorite country.

“It was an opportunity to represent my favorite country of India,” said junior Nishu Pawar.

Many career tech teachers went out of their way in guaranteeing that students of other countries had a shot at choosing their own homelands.

Law & Justice teacher Thomas Washburn was one of those career tech teachers, as he made sure that these students got first picks at their own counties and regions. Washburn said he did this as he understands the importance of representing one’s birthplace.

Now each one of the 37 countries’ and regions’ presentations had unique elements and features that highlighted what truly made them special.

Authentic foods, native songs dances and one-of-a-kind artifacts were just some of the unique elements and features that were shown throughout the morning. 

The school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) was the main driving force behind agriCulture Day 2017. The event came to fruition as a result of FFA’s ambition to inform the public on agriculture’s global implications.

“We wanted to do an event that shows how agriculture affects all parts of the world,” said junior and FFA member Cailey Doyle. “It doesn’t just revolve around us.”

While the main goal of agriCulture day was to raise the public’s awareness on agriculture’s global impact, Agriscience & Veterinary Education teacher Sarah Nerswick said that an added benefit to the event was that her own students got to learn more about agriculture.

This is due to the fact that the current curriculum only teaches about its impact in the U.S.

“agriCulture day was full of opportunities that allowed my students to go above and beyond in what the curriculum limits them to about agriculture,” said Nerswick in an email.

Nerswick latter said in an interview that she was shell-shocked at this year’s turnout rate of 150 guests, as last year inaugural event had a lower turnout rate, along with only six presentations being on hand to display. 

She credits this feat to the fact that there was better advertising and promoting in all different shapes and forms, such as social media and word-of-mouth.   

Because of that and other factors that contributed to agriCulture day’s massive success, Nerswick said that she and FFA may have to develop even more ways of keeping up with the event’s yearly growth.   

“It would be a good idea to move agriCulture Day into the cafeteria and change the time of it to that of after school,” said Nerswick. “Maybe even get a few parents to help and set up.”

Doyle hopes that agriCulture day’s message is not lost on those who attended.

“agriCulture day 2017 was the chance to learn the impact of agriculture on different places in a small place,” said Doyle.