Meet Winston, Beatrice and Nebraska

Lauren Kloepper, Henley High School FFA member, holds Winston, one of the club’s chickens, so third-graders Sophia Elko and Samuel Age, can touch and pet the bird.

Henley High School FFA hosts agriculture field day for elementary school students

Third-graders crowded around Beatrice and Nebraska, reaching out to touch the two sheep owned by Avery Hirschbock, a Henley High School junior and FFA member.

Hirschbock, who has raised sheep for five years, watched as she shared fun animal facts – “Did you know sheep have four stomachs?” -- with the elementary school youth participating in Agriculture Field Day Wednesday at Henley High School. The annual event, hosted by Henley FFA and agriculture science classes, introduces youth to agriculture and farming.

“It’s fun teaching the kids,” Hirschbock said, “because some of them don’t know about animals, and watching their reactions is fun.”

Dominique Kirkpatrick, ag science teacher and co-advisor of FFA, said the field day also helps FFA members learn to communicate to others the importance of agriculture, especially to youth.

“The hope is that by coming to these field days, (the younger students) will have some knowledge about where their food comes from,” she said. “It doesn’t just come from a grocery store.”

Elementary school classes each had 30 minutes to visit the five stations – garden in a glove, dirt pudding, tater sack commodities, grass, and petting zoo.

Henley Elementary School third-grader Kiera Hayes watches as classmates pet sheep during the Agriculture Field Day Wednesday at Henley High School.

Garden in glove provided students with seeds – peas, beans, carrots, cat grass, and lettuce – wrapped in wet cotton balls and placed in a finger of each glove. Once the seeds sprout in about two weeks, the students are encouraged to plant them and watch them grow.

They learn about soil during the dirt pudding station – and also walk away with a chocolate, graham cracker and gummy worm snack. At the petting zoo, they were able to touch the two sheep as well as Winston, one of the FFA’s chickens. The students were able to say hello to a horse from a short distance away.

Henley High School FFA has a barn, two chicken coops, and a hay barn. Students farm 15 acres of alfalfa each year, and raise sheep, pigs, steer, horses and chickens. Livestock on the property at any time depends on FFA student projects, Kirkpatrick said. The barn also is used by FFA students who are raising animals for county fair but do not have a place at home to keep them.

The club collects eggs from its 70 hens, clean them and put them in cartons for use in the school kitchens. Any leftover eggs are kept in a refrigerator and sold to staff or others for $3 a carton.

Next year, FFA hopes to plant two unused acres with pumpkins and sweet corn.

Press release provided from the Klamath County School District.