Falasco Ag Day makes lessons memorable

High school students teach elementary kids

By Corey Pride
cpride@losbanosenterprise.com
April 6, 2012 

Lorena Falasco Elementary students got a lesson in farming from high school students.

Teens from Los Banos and Pacheco high schools answered questions and explained the usefulness of farm animals.

"The hardest thing is trying to get as much information in as we can," said Joyce Smith of Pacheco High FFA. "We only have a little bit of time and we have so much to cover."

Each class at the elementary school rotated from station to station, learning about dairy cows, meat cows, rabbits, pigs, sheep and goats.

Children wanted to know what the animals ate and how long they live. They learned much more and teachers reinforced the lesson later in the classroom.

"When we go back in I'll ask them, what do you call a mama pig and what do you call a baby pig," said second-grade teacher Niki Boyd. "Then when we go to the fair, it helps them because they'll say, 'Oh yeah, we had Ag Day. I remember that.' "

Boyd's students were taken aback that hair from boars were once used to make toothbrushes.

Paul Borba of Los Banos High FFA said when he told youngsters about dairy cows, he tried to emphasize the benefits milk provides to growing bodies. But, he said, the students mainly wanted to know how much the cow weighed and how many babies it could have.

Deborah Atkins, an event organizer, said she thanks the ag community for being very supportive of the elementary school's effort to have Ag Day.

"Even if kids have no desire to wind up in an ag career someday, getting involved with groups like FFA and 4-H are tremendous opportunities for them to learn job skills," she said. "These kids are obviously experts at public speaking, putting together timelines, managing a budget, and those are skills that are transferable anywhere."

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563.

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