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Cottage Grove  — Landmark Services Cooperative is proud to be a sponsor of the Deerfield school combine ride field trip.

D&D Olson Farms started the combine rides with Deerfield first-graders 16 years ago. This field trip to the Olson farm provides the children with a real-life, on-farm experience.

Students clambered off the school bus and eagerly awaited their turn to settle into the passenger seat of the combine to get a glimpse into the life of a farmer. For many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Some kids remember this for their whole life,” said David Olson of D&D Olson Farms. “It has a real influence on them. Taking a little time for the students makes it worth it.”

A lot of hard work goes into the harvest time of year. It means long days, but there is something mesmerizing and magical about riding up above the world in a combine, watching the corn stalks drop down right in front of you. Each year, D&D Olson Farms extends an invitation to the Deerfield first graders to see harvesting firsthand.

As Dale and David Olson maneuvered the enormous rigs around the field, the students were captivated with this chance, waving excitedly at their fellow classmates. When the children descended from the massive machine, the smiles that emerged from their pint-sized faces were priceless.

"We have been so fortunate to have many great sponsors help put this trip together and provide this opportunity for our first graders,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Tebon-Moerke, first-grade teacher at Deerfield Elementary School. “A student who went on the trip five years ago said it was her favorite field trip from elementary school. Mr. Dale Olson told me that he saw a former student at a festival, and the student came up to him and told him how much the trip meant to him. This field trip makes a memory. It is a great opportunity for our students to learn and see how plants grow and change, as well as learn about different communities, which ties into our reading series. The smiles on their faces say it all. This is a very memorable experience for them."

It is clear the Olson family likewise looks forward to this special day with the students every year to share their passion, experience and knowledge about farming. “We hope the children get as much enjoyment from the field trip as we do,” said Marlene Olson. “They always brighten our day.” After the combine rides, the Olson’s present each student with a toy combine keepsake to take home with them. The combine rides are a great and heartwarming experience for everyone involved.

For more information on Landmark Services Cooperative’s programs, contact Chrissy Long at chrissy.long@landmark.coop or 608-819-3126. Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative business dedicated to providing both rural and urban customers the highest quality products and services.

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