Friday, March 25, 2011

Marin County Farm Day

Yesterday, I attended Marin County Farm Day, an annual agricultural education event that is geared towards elementary students. It is a great opportunity for the children to get their "hands on" agriculture.
The local dairy industry was well represented, by Clo the Cow and District 3 Dairy Princess Emilie Strand. Emilie spoke to the children about the milking process and dairy products, she asked them to choose the dairy products from her basket and handed out Real CA Cheese bags, coloring books and pencils.

Photo by Nancy Grossi
The North Bay Dairy Women were on hand to assist Emilie and greet teachers with teacher packets. 
Members of various local 4-H Clubs were on hand to share their project animals and educate their peers. There were bunnies, chickens, sheep, a goat, calves and even saddle exhibits for horseback riding.  

It's such a great learning experience when students are able to teach other students, both sides learn something. I am so proud to have been a 4-H member! The members at Farm Day were excellent with their animals, very informative and eager to share what they know. They even fielded questions like, "is that a dog?" when one student asked about a 4-H exhibitors' bunny rabbit. It is amazing what we truly take for granted in the agriculture industry, it's Always time to Share Our Story! 

And... don't forget to wash your hands after visiting the livestock!
Children from the various elementary schools are eligible to enter the quilt squares and essay contests to win cash prizes. There were some excellent entries in both categories! The essays and murals will be on display during the Marin County Fair.

One of the exhibits that I really enjoyed, was the hands on activities presented by the Master Gardners. Students were given large round discs and colored ink with stamps and were able to create their own flowers. Add a popsicle stick and a litttle flower pot and you have yourself a beautiful center piece! 
The Master Gardners also let each student create a lady bug environment! They were given mini-Chinese food containers into which they put a few sticks and some cut grass. The Gardners then gave their environment a squirt of water and put some lady bugs in the box. Taped up tight with a note that says to "Release into your garden within 2 days",  and the kids were on their way! Such a cute idea! I wanted one! :)

The final activity, and one of the Master Gardner favorites, was the worm and bug digging station! Finding different worms and bugs in a pile of soil and learning how they can help your garden! Such a great day to learn so much about the environment around you and where your food and fiber comes from! 
I was impressed with the turnout, despite the Downpour of rain and hail that continued the entire morning! We are so glad that the teachers and parents braved the weather to come out and visit us!

For more photos on Marin County Farm Day 2011, visit:

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