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Third-graders get an up close and personal look at the barnyard
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Matthew Wells allows a third-grader to pet a baby lamb during Ceres High Schools annual Farm Day held on the campus. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER / The Courier

Many youngsters, even in Ceres which is surrounded by farmland, have little understanding that food comes from someplace other than a store. So to help in their education of agriculture, the Ceres High School chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) put on a special day of Farm Tour demonstrations Friday.

Approximately 600 third graders from elementary schools in Ceres were bused to CHS where they rotated through stations manned by students and adults who told them about crops or animals.

Students saw and heard about beef cattle, chickens, sheep and horses.

Agricultural teacher Mike Patterson said the event was “designed to raise ag awareness at a young age.”

At his station, Dylan Browning educated students about horses, talking about their care. Inside a shed on the campus, Victoria Mendoza explained the differences in meat and egg laying poultry as well as how to detect their gender. Students were especially interested to know that hens lay eggs six times a week.

Students had the chance to put on a welding helmet in the ag shop and hear how farms use welds on equipment. They also got to climb onto a tractor. Ag instructor Brian Mortensen the event was also good for CHS students.