Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Connecting Farm & City Kids

My family had the opportunity last year to be adopted by a classroom in Sioux Falls, SD our largest city in SD. They wanted to connect with farmers and we jumped at the opportunity to connect with city youth. We send them monthly videos of what we are doing on the farm and they send us a list of questions as long as my arm back.  It's been a cool experience and when they asked if we would like to do it again, we jumped at the chance.

This past week we traveled to Sioux Falls and were able to meet with the now 3 classrooms that have adopted us. We showed them our video on weaning calves. It's a good video (I took most of the footage) of how we transport the calves, process them by giving shots and weighing them. We also show the calves in our backgrounding lot where they are fed through the winter. The short video sparked a ton of questions about our cattle. Like what we do with them when they get sick? We give them medicine to make them better, just like they would get.  We shared that we spend a lot of our day with the cattle making sure they are not sick so when one is we quickly get them medicine.
Smelling the ground hay
The difference between male and female cattle? This question always comes up with groups of youth and we often explain that all mammals, just like humans have male and female 'parts'. What are the things in the cattle ears? We talk about how all of our calves have individual ear tags that have a number assigned to them, which is like having a name.

We also took feed samples of what the cattle are fed.  Everything from silage to ground hay to ground corn.  The kids were able to touch and smell the samples.  This year Kelly from Ag United joined us and brought cotton seeds too. Many kids had no idea that their jeans were made from cotton that is a plant!

Probably the thing I was most proud of was our middle daughter Miss O and her interaction with a small group of students.  She is very shy and usually does not interact with a group well. She had shared her story about her bucket calf she took care of for the last 7 months in front of the large group.  A few students starting asking her questions and she did amazing with answering with detail and enthusiasm. 

Although we only got to spend 45 minutes with the classrooms we made the most of our time and I'm excited we were able to connect with the students on how their food is made. My Cowboy and I love we we do as farmers and my kids are proud to be farmers and that makes me proud. 

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