Approximately 2,000 kindergarteners and first-graders were treated to a close-up education in farm life during the two-day annual Fall Harvest Festival hosted at the Ceres Unified School District’s School Farm.
The Central Valley High School Agriculture Department hosted the event Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. Up to 400 students at any given time were at the farm to be shown farm animals and plants and informed about them by the Ag Leadership class as well as 30 student volunteers.
“This required our students to create and facilitate a presentation on some aspect of agriculture, make it little kid friendly and essentially keep a class of kids busy for eight full minutes, which most of us know is not an easy task,” said Clarissa Farinelli of the CVHS Agriculture Department.
She noted that the event was a “success with even with a little rain.”
This year’s event was the first in which every elementary school in the district attended.
“We are super proud of all of our ag kids and very grateful that we have such a great farm facility to host an event like this,” said Farinelli.
The 6.5-acre farm behind Hidahl Elementary School was set up in 2011 to be a farm where students from Ceres High School and Central Valley High School can learn how to grow crops and care for animals. Students are in charge of planting, tending and harvesting row crops, fruits and vegetables for the district’s Child Nutrition school lunch program. Students also learned about such practices as hydroponics and pesticide-free farming.