Children learn about farm animals at festival

Hamburger doesn't just appear in the freezer of the grocery store, and clothes don't grow on hangers.

That was the message at Wednesday's Farm City Festival.

"The purpose is to help kids understand where food and clothing come from," said Marlena Ramirez, organizer of the event. "We want them to understand that it is a process."

The University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension office sponsored the exhibit which featured animals from rabbits to llamas and display booths.

David and Marcia Bernard from Cooperative Extension hosted a booth explaining how compost is made at the Full Circle Compost ranch in Minden.

They operated under the slogan, "Things we can learn from a cow and a worm."

The fair will be open to grades K-3 for two days. Ramirez said she expects about 1,000 students per day from Carson City, Lyon and Storey counties.

She said with the decline of the small farms and a move to large corporate farms, most children are not exposed to agriculture.

"Our ties to the land are being lost," Ramirez said. "We want our kids to be good stewards of the earth and we hope that this will help them do that."

Christy Works, a 10-year-old at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School, is a member of Cooperative Extension's youth program, 4-H.

She raises sheep and had them on display.

"All the kids learn things and they get to know how the sheep feel," Christy said. "It's fun to see the kids get excited."

She said she chose sheep because of their disposition.

"They're friendly and they're easy to work with," she said.

Alicia Tolby, 14, showed her rabbits.

"It's neat," she said. "You get to show off your animals."

Belen Munoz, a third-grader at Mark Twain Elementary, said her favorite part of the tour was the horses but she liked seeing all of the animals.

"Some are soft and some have thick hairs," she said.

Roxanne Linderman, a kindergarten teacher at Bordewich-Bray, had two of her Belgian draft horses there for display.

She was born and raised on a farm but said that many of her students do not understand how food is produced.

"My number one feeling is that they need to know where they're food source is from," Linderman said. "They don't realize that food has to be grown or it comes from an animal."

Northern Nevada Dairymen donated milk to all the students and Northern Nevada Cattle Women provided lunch.

Michele Cowee handed out milk.

"It promotes dairy and it fits in with the farm theme," Cowee said. "Milk is also part of a healthy diet."


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