Craig Sheep Wagon Days provides hands-on learning for all | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Sheep Wagon Days provides hands-on learning for all

Ridgeview Elementary School second-grader Justin Haskins gets ready to lasso Lane White, seated, during the 16th annual Craig Sheep Wagon Days on Friday at the Wyman Living History Museum. Local students learned about multiple aspects of the agriculture industry at the event, which is open to the public this weekend.

— Whether you've felt wool only in the lining of your coat or firsthand on the animal that provides the material, there's something for everyone this weekend at Craig Sheep Wagon Days.

If you go…

16th annual Craig Sheep Wagon Days

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Wyman Living History Museum, 94350 U.S. Highway 40

— The free event includes displays and activities about agriculture for all ages, as well as many food and crafts vendors. For more information, visit http://www.sheepwagondays.com.

The 16th annual event is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the Wyman Living History Museum, giving all who come a glimpse into the many facets of the agriculture industry.

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Area students got first crack at the offerings Thursday and Friday, partaking in the multiple informational booths and learning about making butter, leather craft and the use of a loom, as well as the kind of work that goes into items that many people only see in a store.

"It's all part of their habitats unit, and they're learning about the things in their area," Ridgeview Elementary School teacher Jennifer Stagner said. "Our goal is to get them to learn about their community."

As part of the curriculum on the businesses that one might see in a rural town, students also went on a field trip to Yampa Valley Fiberworks, where they saw wool being spun into yarn.

"It looked like a lot of fuzz," Ridgeview second-grader Justin Haskins said.

Sheep Wagon Days let kids see and touch the creatures that are responsible for the making of many items, with a petting zoo filled with a variety of sheep, alongside goats, llamas, ponies and donkeys.

Organizer Melody Villard said students get a quick crash course on which types of sheep are used for fleece and which will provide meat, though kids are usually more interested in the hands-on approach.

"They love anything with the animals," she said.

East Elementary second-graders Jacqueline Villa, Fantasia Jowell, Bella Short and Danaka Miller traveled to the different stations but kept finding their way back to the pen to gaze at their new hooved friends.

"They're just so cute," Jowell said.

The quartet also explored the several wagons that were on display, vehicles that have been used for decades by local sheep ranchers like the Villards as they work with their animals. With all these and more in plain sight, the idea is to show children or even adults removed from the country way of life that agriculture is alive and well in Northwest Colorado.

Moffat County High School student and Future Farmers of America member Dalton Greenwood was among those showing younger kids the care and handling of the woolly charges.

"Some of them know a lot about them, and some don't know anything, so you get a good mix," he said. "Hopefully one day I'll be seeing them in FFA."

The docket will be even bigger Saturday with the same displays scheduled, as well as tractor pulls, blacksmith demonstrations and the new feature of a sheep-hooking contest that was originally going to be part of Memorial Day's Wild West Weekend.

"We just hope that everyone comes out and has fun," Villard said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

If you go…

16th annual Craig Sheep Wagon Days

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Wyman Living History Museum, 94350 U.S. Highway 40

— The free event includes displays and activities about agriculture for all ages, as well as many food and crafts vendors. For more information, visit http://www.sheepwagondays.com.