Farm Field Day aims for Ag-literacy
Having first-hand knowledge of how fun the Elementary Farm Field Day is for kids makes it a fun day for Woodburn FFA member Alexandra Sanarov as well.
Woodburn High School FFA members visited Nellie Muir Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 25, to showcase their bucolic interests and pursuits. The young students had an opportunity to pick out a pumpkin, pet little critters and learn about farms and food.
"The younger kids get the smaller pumpkins so we can save the bigger ones for the older kids," Sanarov said. "This and petting the animals are the most exciting parts for them.
"When I was at Nellie, it (Farm Field Day) was always held at the high school," she recalled. "They had a fake cow and we could milk the udders. And they had a petting zoo. I always loved that day because it was so much fun."
Sanarov and Miguel Sanchez were helping out with the pumpkin patch set up in the play area for the Nellie Muir students, which Sanchez noted were grown by the FFA students. Others FFA members held guinea pigs, chickens and other furry critters to give the youngsters got an up-close look and petting opportunity.
Farm Field Day is a long-standing tradition and beyond fun; it's a prime learning setting for young and older students alike.
"I've been here 12 years and it's been going since then," said Woodburn FFA advisor Seth Stoddard.
"This is very much an ag-literacy event for most students," Stoddard said. "They get connected to their food supply and how much work it takes to feed everybody."
Stoddard said the event helps get a lot of students involved, and it is much more cost effective than, say, taking students on a field trip to an agricultural tourism site.
"That's why we do it," Stoddard added. "And it gets our students out teaching and helping the younger students understand (agriculture).
He said about 25 WHS FFA students ware involved in the process. The students do all the legwork, setup and preparation, right down to growing the pumpkins.
"This is a labor of love for them that they've been working on all summer," Stoddard said. "They just like working with the little kids. And it's also inspiring; several of my students have gone on to become teachers themselves."
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