Farm bureau brings ag to the classroom |

Farm bureau brings ag to the classroom

by Caryn Haller

Elyssia Iguado, 12, smiled as she cranked the large wheel on the sheller machine and watched corn kernals fall off the cob into a metal bin.

The corn display was one of 10 educational and hands-on stations at Jacks Valley Elementary School's Ag in the Classroom event Friday.

"This one is fun because my grandpa has chickens, and it teaches me how chicken feed is made. Most people don't know where most chicken feed comes from," the sixth grader said. "I'm really interested in history, and I like to know how everything is made, so ag in the classroom is a really good experience."

Fallon resident Marshall Brown brought the sheller machines, grist mills and a ropemaking machine to the event.

"I like teaching history, where we've been and how hard their great-granparents had to work," Brown said. "Somebody has to teach these children. They're only as smart as you want to teach them."

Ethan McKinney, 13, has brought his sheep to ag in the classroom for four years.

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On Friday, he fielded questions from a fifth-grade class that included how many babies sheep have, how long they live and what happens when you scream at them?

"If you scream at a sheep, they usually just look at you funny," Ethan answered.

Rylee Wyman, 9, said the ewe's wool felt like carpet, and classmate Clark Burns agreed.

"I like petting the sheep. I like that they are fuzzy," Clark said. "I like that I get to be outside and see the animals."

Fifth-grade teacher Stacey Chambers said it's important for children to know where their food and clothing comes from.

"Many of them buy it at the store and don't realize the process that goes into it," she added. "Much of it comes from here in the Valley, so it helps them connect to the community and realize they are a small part of the whole cycle."

Fourth-grade teacher Linda Rogers served as secretary in her 4-H club growing up, and her three children are active in 4-H now.

"This is my favorite day of the year because it's fun for the kids and educational," she said of Ag in the Classroom. "Agriculture is what the world is all about. I love this."

Tonja Dressler has organized Ag in the Classroom for nine years. She has brought the event to schools in Carson City, Tonopah, Fernley and Carson Valley.

"I like being around the kids and the agriculture part," she said. "A lot of these kids don't get to see animals, and it's exciting for me to see the kids experience all of this."

The Douglas County Farm Bureau sponsored Ag in the Classroom.

Other presentations included plants by Hungry Mother Organics, nutrition, goats, spinning, weaving, mosquito abatement, tractors and beef by the Nevada Beef Council.

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