Craig students teach, learn about agriculture |

Craig students teach, learn about agriculture

Moffat County High School junior Jerica DeLong holds up a lamb for the students of Ridgeview Elementary School to feel its fleece. DeLong and other members of FFA showed local kindergarten students many parts of agriculture Wednesday for Barnyard Day as part of National FFA Week.
Andy Bockelman

As part of National FFA Week, the members of the local chapter of the National FFA Organization took some time this week to impart their wisdom to the kindergarten students of Craig.

The Wednesday event Barnyard Day let younger students get a look at the various activities that go along with working on a farm, including taking care of the furry and feathered denizens that reside in such a place.

The Moffat County High School vocational agriculture building resembled something out of Old MacDonald with sheep, a goat, a horse, chickens, a border collie puppy and a rabbit among the animals available for kids to see, pet and learn about their proper handling.

Next to a pair of docile live cows were a small herd of tiny bovines that moved even less — mannequins that kids could use to practice a basic skill on a ranch: lassoing.

MCHS senior Casey Barnes was one of the instructors for taking kindergartners from the initial stage of getting tangled up in rope to tossing the lariat like a real buckaroo.

As part of the rodeo team, it’s something he’s known how to do for awhile.

“It takes some time, but they’re really trying hard,” he said.

Other activities included a model river intended to display how water and irrigation affect the soil of farms and a project that allowed students to plant and grow their own sunflowers.

A massive piece of John Deere equipment right in the middle of the floor showed what kind of heavy-duty machinery is involved in farming.

Ridgeview Elementary School kindergartner CJ Berkey was one of the students waiting for a turn in the driver’s seat.

“I like the tires,” Berkey said while standing next to a wheel that towered over him and his friends.

Berkey added that out of all the animals, he liked the sheep best because of their wool.

Berkey’s teacher, Lauren Padon, said learning about farms in the classroom is brand new to some students, and seeing animals right in front of them can be a shock. Still, others already know the agriculture lifestyle well.

“They’re very familiar with it,” she said.

MCHS sophomore Kearn Gerber said he enjoyed hearing the younger students tell their own experiences with farm animals.

“A lot of them have stories about their horse or their dog or things like that,” he said.

Barnes said he hoped the lessons kindergartners learned this week are ones that will stick, perhaps leading them to also join FFA.

“It’s good to pass this stuff down because maybe they’ll use it later in life,” Barnes said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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