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      Fifth graders tour key Delta County industries

      Almost 500 fifth graders from Delta County recently toured the county to get an up close look at key industries in their community. They included environmental, natural resources, agricultural, and industrial facilities. The tour delighted and educated students.

      A highlight of the day was site number 6: fisheries management at the Escanaba North Shore Boat Launch.

      What did officials hope to share with the kids?

      â??Passion is a good word for it,â?? says Michael Peterson, a Forestry Technician with the U.S. Forest Service. â??For me, coming to work every day, I have a lot of passion for it because I get to spend a lot of time outdoors. And being able to share that with the kids and tie them into the things we do in the natural resource field is almost invaluable."

      The students say they appreciated the special one-on-one education.

      â??I learned that you can go and talk to people that normally other kids can't talk to at my age," says participant Joshua Wegner.

      What else did the kids learn?

      â??I think it's a very critical program because it gives kids the opportunities to have possibilities here locally," explains Dave Radloff, an Extension Educator with 4-H Youth Development.

      He says he hopes kids see the value in working and sustaining their own community.

      The next step was to stop by Delta Manufacturing in Escanaba. It's a business servicing railways, and it was started in 2006. This stop also excited the students about future jobs. They had many questions on industrial employment.

      â??It's pretty interesting because my dad is really good at mechanics and engineering, and I would like to follow after my dad," Wegner says.

      The students had a packed day that also included tours of farms, the Escanaba Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the Delta County Recycling Center and Landfill.