Chinese students view Galveston cornfields, learn US farming

(WLFI File Photo)
(WLFI File Photo)

GALVESTON, Ind. (AP) — A little rain Wednesday morning didn’t dampen the spirits of Logansport’s Chinese visitors, who got a glimpse of farming in rural America.

Thirty-six Chinese students and teachers from Jinhua Huancheng Primary School have been visiting Landis Elementary School, their sister school in Logansport, this week. And on Wednesday, they took a trip to a corn and soybean farm in southern Cass County.

Although farms aren’t and oddity in the Asian country, the use of machinery was for one of the students. Zhang Xxyue, who goes by the English name Cissy, said her grandfather grows corn and has a vegetable gardens. But he does the work by hand and not with a machine.

The farm’s owners, Kent and Joyce Rose, said they wanted to show the Chinese kids and adults the equipment they use and that corn and soybeans are used to make many products.

That fact stuck with Cissy, who learned about the array of possibilities from corn and soybeans.

“People there are very kind,” the 10-year-old added. “And the farm is very pretty.”

Kent Rose took them out on a wagon ride into the cornfield to examine the difference between corn before and after a harvest.

“They got to see the contrast right in front of them,” he said, “where trying to tell it to them, it didn’t sink in.”

Landis and the six other schools in Logansport Community School Corp. have sister school relationships in Zhejiang. Students have been visiting Logansport for the past four years, and students and teachers from Columbia elementary and middle schools went to China in April.

Cissy, who speaks the most English out of her classmates and the adults, said she’s so far enjoyed playing with kids in the school and studying during her first trip to the United States. She said her host family has played tennis with her and given her books to read in English, which she enjoys reading in China — a way she’s been able to learn more about the language.

Landis Principal Rita McLochlin, who’s the sister of Joyce Rose, said everything the school has done so far during the visit has been well received by the students and teachers. Kent Rose added he wanted them to take home a trinket or two about local farming.

Once the rain began to pour, the group went inside the farm’s barn, where the students and teachers grabbed the items from area farming organizations, such as Tri-Green Tractor, Beck’s Hybrids, The Andersons and the Wilson Brothers Farm, which sells tomatoes to Red Gold.

Joyce Rose said she could see the enjoyment of the students on their faces.

“They got a little damp,” she said. “But they’re all right. They won’t melt.”