Most Viewed Stories
300 students attend annual Farm Day
The classroom went to the farm on Wednesday as fourth-graders from around Glenn County attended Farm Day at the Glenn County Fairgrounds in Orland.
This annual event is sponsored by the Glenn County Farm Bureau's Young Farmers and Ranchers group to educate children about farm life and agriculture.
Close to 300 students from Plaza, Capay, Lake, Fairview and Oak Tree Christian schools attended the program, along with a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class from Waldon Academy in Willows.
Waldon Academy teacher Cari Provost said a lot of students were familiar with agriculture since they live near Willows.
"This just enhances their lives and gives them a chance to connect to the community around them." Provost said.
Betsy Karle with the Young Farmers and Ranchers group said six demonstrations were offered on topics such as almonds, agriculture education, dairy cattle, beef cattle, rice and wildlife.
Orland FFA members also taught the youngsters how to make beaded bracelets representing agricultural elements such as corn.
And a petting zoo proved very popular with the children as well. It was manned by local 4-H Club members.
Capay School student Collette Chamberlin petted rabbits.
She said she was going to get a bunny soon from friends of her grandmother.
Emma Zimmerman, with Stoney Creek 4-H, held a Polish dwarf rabbit named "Lilac" for the children.
"I'm enjoying it," she said. "I enjoy being with the animals. It's fun."
However, Zimmerman said she does get a lot of scratches from the rabbits.
Lilac is from a breed used for pets and showing, she said, not for meat or fur.
Gina Amaro of Clover 4-H Club showed students a Dutch rabbit called Onyx for his black and white color.
At the Brawley Show ring, Orland veterinarian Mike Karle talked about the Zuppan Dairy quadruplets born earlier this year.
Normally, a cow has one calf a year, he said, but the Zuppan cow released three eggs with one splitting in two.
As a result, she had four calves with two identical twins, Karle said.
The odds of having four healthy, living calves is one in 700,000, he added, and the odds of having four heifers at the same time is one in 179 million.
Author Kathy Coatney also spoke about her book on the quadruplet calves and writing for agricultural publications.
Ranchers Ann Butler, from Orland, and Sherry Maltby, from the Williams area, shared information on beef cattle as part of the Colusa-Glenn Cattlewomen's Association.
Their talk included a video prepared by children and teens involved in cattle ranching near Granite Station in Kern County.
The video described the daily life of ranch youth who must get out of bed by 6 a.m. and feed their cattle and horses before getting breakfast themselves.
It touched on branding, vaccinations, herding cattle to summer pasture and more.
Afterward, Maltby asked the children what types of careers the young people in the video might have when they are grown.
Choices included farming and ranching, becoming veterinarians, rodeo rider and butcher, the audience said.
Butler said she also works for the US Bureau of Reclamation, which works with water sources cattle ranchers use to irrigate their pastures.
She noted careers in biology, rangeland management and water conservation could be available too to people interested in those fields.
Almond grower Darin Titus explained that while almonds are described as nuts, they really are seeds — related to peaches.
They also include a hull, shell and the seed that people eat, Titus said.
Almonds are put into candy bars, cereal, salads and other foods, he said, while the shells can be used for compost, animal bedding or burned to produce energy. The hulls also are fed to cattle.
High school agriculture teacher Alyssa Schager taught children how to use stethoscopes on a calf while her husband, Wes, a California State University, Chico instructor talked about the use of plastic pipe in irrigation programs.
This was the couple's first time at the event.
"It is great," Wes Schager said. "Anytime you can give kids more of an idea of what goes on in agriculture — it's great."
Brandon Thompson brought his son to Farm Day as part of the Waldon Academy group.
"It is nice to get them out of the classroom and to do some hands-on activities," Thompson said.