Synopsis of Weekend Events at the Old Mill
Saturday, September 14, 2 pm, Old Mill Banquet Hall, "Cities of the Dead: A Brief History of American Cemeteries." Dr. Thomas Henthorn, Wyatt Endowed Professor of Public History, University of Michigan-Flint will share how the development of American cemeteries, memorial architecture, and cemetery symbolism reflect changes in American society and culture.
Dr. Thomas Henthorn gave an interesting talk describing how cemeteries have evolved from baron plots to become what they are today and what they will probably become as our population grows and land becomes more valuable.
Dr. Henthorn outlined how as people and time changed, we went from no specific plot placement in towns to family plots with fences and ornate statues and monuments. These were in city type grids that were like village streets, very strict and did not provide a relaxed atmosphere for people to visit their deceased family members.
Town officials decided they needed to make it more friendly and less morbid to visit cemeteries. They started using gardeners to lay out acreage in a country setting outside of town with trees and more natural topography with rolling land and curving paths or roads with trees and flowers. Large monuments and statures were no longer used and less and smaller,more uniform ones made for a more pleasant site experience. This use also resulted in the decline of extravagant use by those wealthier families. These changes continued and addressed issues with growing population and making it more pleasant to visit deceased loved ones.
Dr. Henthorn explained the different types of architecture used during these changes and where they were first used and their symbolism. He also spoke briefly on the symbols and markings on head stones and monuments.
Sunday, September 15, 2 pm, Old Mill Banquet Hall, "Farming in the Future," presented by Andy McCain from the Monroe County Community College. What to expected in future farming and farming opportunities. Use of drones in agriculture with drone demonstrations.
Andy McCain presented interesting changes in farming technology and future opportunities for those looking for jobs in agriculture. Andy also discussed the program Michigan State University has with a two-year agriculture technology degree.
Andy works for MSU and has his office at Monroe County Community College and visits schools to present the opportunities available to high school graduates. He discussed how important farming of the future is and requirements for skilled personnel is to provide food and technology for the Billions of people in the world.
Brandon Kantz, worked for Wilbur-Ellis Fertilizer Co. in Dundee as a 2019 summer intern demonstrating drone use to map farm fields to supply data on plant nutrition requirements, pest control and how with 3 year data they could plan for harvest yield goals. Brandon also gave a drone flight demonstration and talked about how the software could map the fields and provide the data.
During his presentation Brandon stressed the importance of FFA (Future Farmers of America) in high school as valuable to all students, not just farm youth. Brandon believes it should be a required course for all high schoolers so as to understand the necessity to supply food and the opportunities in the agriculture community technologies for those looking for an interesting careers.
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