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Stories from the valley

The ABCs of Sacramento Valley Agriculture

Contributed by Steve Beckley

The Yolo County Fairgrounds, located in Woodland, recently became one of the Sacramento Valley’s largest classrooms for a day.  More than 2500 students, ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade, came to the fairgrounds to attend Farm Connection Day.   Sponsored by Yolo County Farm Bureau and 4-H, this event educated the young children on the local agriculture industry.  More than 300 volunteers make it happen, which includes student hosts, 4-H volunteers, parents, and leaders.

Farm Day 1

It was fun to watch the excitement of the groups visiting outdoor exhibits such as the Mobile Dairy Classroom, 4-H Dog Demonstrations, and U.S Customs & Border Canine Demonstrations. It seemed that everybody had to get their picture with a tractor and the haystacks were always covered with climbing children.

Indoor exhibits included flour milling, wool spinning, Yolo County’s top 10 crops, entomology display and several exhibits featuring processing tomato plants.  There were many hands on projects for the attendees to participate in.

Farm Day 2

The Farm Connection Day is just prior to the opening of the 4-H Spring Show and this gives everybody the opportunity to see and in many cases pet the animals that are being shown.  I enjoyed watching the interaction between the youngsters and the livestock.  The 4-H members showing the animals took time to educate the students.

At the end of the day, I’m sure the students went home tired and excited.  Hopefully they will retain some of the knowledge they picked during this experience.  It is important in the Sacramento Valley that everybody has an understanding of agriculture and you can never start too early.

Farm Day 3

I saw more than one youngster wearing T-shirts that said “College Bound.”  I hope next time when I see them the shirts have an additional line “Majoring in Agriculture.”