Agriculture in the classroom |

Agriculture in the classroom

by Amy Alonzo
Fourth-grader Suriah Lozano pets Amelia the sheep Thursday morning at Meneley Elementary during "Ag In The Classroom."
Brad Coman |

Students at Meneley Elementary School had the opportunity to learn about the lifeblood of the Carson Valley on Thursday during “Ag in the Classroom.”

Douglas County Farm Bureau, which covers Douglas County and Carson City, strives to educate kids about the basics of agriculture through the program, which is put on in conjunction with Douglas High School FFA students and various state agencies and local businesses.

The program is critical to teaching area students “how important agriculture is in our society and in our area,” said Farm Bureau President Woody Worthington.

Worthington said he is often surprised by how many students don’t know where milk comes from — quite often, the answer is simply “Walmart” or “the grocery store.”

But on Thursday, students not only learned milk comes from cows, they also had the opportunity to “milk” a life-size Holstein fiberglass cow nicknamed Moo-lisa.

“You had to squeeze hard,” said first-grader Ellie Merrithew. “Most people think it’s really easy, but you have to squeeze hard if you want milk to come out.”

“It feels weird,” chimed in classmate Cassidy Sutton. “It feels like you’re milking a real cow.”

In addition to milking Moo-lisa, students rotated through 11 other stations that covered topics including veterinary science and noxious weeds and allowed them to pet live goats.

Last year six programs were put on at area schools, and this year five are scheduled, including the one at Meneley, Worthington said.

“As far as the exposure to the cattle and the rabbits and sheep, a lot of the kids have never seen them,” said third-grade teacher Trich Michitarian. She said the program also allows students to learn more about Douglas High’s FFA program.