Zwolle Tamale Fiesta includes ag activities for kids

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Campbell, Karen S., Moon, Jr., Walter D., Chesser, Vicky, Kilpatrick, Ricky L.  |  10/15/2009 12:03:34 AM

News Release Distributed 10/14/09

ZWOLLE, La. – AgCellent Expo, an educational event held at the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta Oct. 9, taught students about wildlife and furs, dairy products, nutrition and forestry.

Approximately 300 Sabine Parish third-graders participated in several activities presented by the LSU AgCenter.

Ricky Kilpatrick, LSU AgCenter forester, conducted an activity where children mimicked the actions in the life of a tree. He told them it is possible to hear nutrients going through a tree during certain times of the year if they listened with a stethoscope.

Students played the roles of the roots, bark, leaves and other tree parts using motions and sounds he taught them.

“I was the heart of the tree,” said Jasey Johnston of Converse Elementary School.

“We made a tree, fished and are growing lima beans and sunflowers in a cup,” added Taylor Hill, her classmate.

“The volunteers, Master Gardeners and agents put together exciting activities for the students to participate in – from fishing to planting seeds, from making a wetland and petting baby alligators, to sewing,” said LSU AgCenter agent Julia Campbell.

Campbell brought baby alligators named Pierre and Lafitte to the event.

“Students got to experience 4-H activities at hands-on learning stations and learn about 4-H Clover Buds, an exciting new club that the third-graders are eligible to join now,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, this event will encourage students to join Clover Buds now and 4-H next year to start a lifelong learning experience through 4-H.”

Donny Moon, an LSU AgCenter agent, had pelts and skulls on display. He talked about what each animal eats and its habitat. He explained that possums can hang by their tails and play dead to defend themselves, skunks spray to defend themselves and raccoons wash their food before eating to aid in digestion.

A nutrition lesson from LSU AgCenter agent Vicky Chesser showed how many teaspoons of sugar are in a soda. Students played a game that matched the amounts of sugars and fats with various snack products.

Haley Parker, a DeSoto Parish 4-H’er, demonstrated how to make butter with whipping cream and an agitator.

At a Master Gardeners exhibit, students planted seeds in cups they took home to watch for growth.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

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