Memory Lane Farm Hosts AgriVenture, Helps Teach Agriculture

Kids and volunteers alike play a team-building exercise at AgriVenture. Courtesy of Beth Zarnke.

Marshfield (OnFocus) – Just outside of Marshfield, Memory Lane Farm serves as a beacon of light in the agriculture industry. Martin Wolf and his late wife Lucille carry on their vision of providing dairy products to Wisconsinites through programs such as AgriVenture.

AgriVenture is a six-evening camp where kids in grades 3-6 can participate in countless activities provided by the farm. This year, the farm hosted 60 kids with about 65 volunteers from around the Marshfield area helping out.

Beth Zarnke, executive director and co-founder of the farm, said AgriVenture is more than just a summer camp.

“We give them a taste of farm life but they get to look at it from a little different vantage point,” Zarnke said.

Campers learn about the water cycle and how it helps crops grow, forestry, gardening, farm animals, woodworking and arts and crafts. Parents are also given a special treat as their kids learn a fun song that is performed on the final day of the camp.

Zarnke said times have changed and kids don’t get the in-person experience that she was afforded when she was a child but that doesn’t stop kids from showing up and enjoying the camp.

“As a farm family, we recognize that what we grew up with [small family farms], is pretty much no longer in existence,” Zarnke said. “We recognize that, especially with COVID, many many children are attached to their phones and iPads which in itself isn’t all bad but their access to hands-on experience isn’t always there.”

Campers go through one of the stations while volunteers assist. Courtesy of Beth Zarnke.

The camp is in its fourth year and in addition to teaching kids about agriculture, the camp touches on subjects like faith, pollution and respect for others.

Scholarships are available at times for kids to attend the camp for free thanks to donors and sponsors.

The farm was built in 1908 by Martin’s grandparents and father built the farm. To keep passing the memory of the farm and agriculture down, he was more than open to the idea of inviting kids to the farm to learn about farm life.

Other programs that the farm provides are the Chick-A-Doodle Doo and the Acres of Fun Foster Care Camp. Keep an eye out on Memory Lane Farm’s Facebook Page and website for upcoming programs or opportunities to help volunteer or donate to keep these programs up and running.

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Neal Hogden
Author: Neal Hogden