Kids revel in barnyard atmosphere, learn rural ways

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By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Believe it or not, some local children have never smelled a goat or felt the wool of a lamb.

Teacher Maureen Jahn provided that experience to Bess Maxwell students yesterday. She, in cooperation with the Future Farmers of America students at Del Norte High School, brought goats, sheep, cows, ducks and a variety of other farm animals to get up close and personal with the whole school.

Its just to give them a foundation for what goes on in the rural communities they live in, Jahn said.

This is the third year Jahn and Del Norte High Schools Agriculture program director Seth Stoddard have put on the event.

Each class, from pre-school to sixth grade got 20-minute sessions with the animals. Jahn said it was an opportunity for the children to see how farm animals are kept and raised, but not necessarily what their spot is on the food chain.

It was weird. Some of the kids felt the sheeps wool and said it didnt feel real, but like some acrylic material or something, she said.

Helping the lesson go smoothly, the FFA students were there answering the childrens questions.

They were really great. I was very impressed with their patience, because they had to answer the same questions over and over again as each group came through and they were very nice, said Jahn.

The lesson is called Springtime Down on the Farm and Jahn said she hopes it will be an annual event.

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