Bruce Schultz, Page, Helen V.
LAKE CHARLES, La. – More than 800 children learned about animals and the origins of their food recently (Feb. 3-4) at Ag Adventures held in conjunction with the LSU AgCenter’s Southwest Regional Livestock Show.
LSU AgCenter personnel and 4-H Club members staffed the presentation. During the 90-minute walk through different exhibits, students learned about wetlands ecology, crawfish, proper diet, the importance of hand washing and horseback riding and experienced throwing a lariat while in a saddle.
They had the chance to see and touch a calf, goats, a horse, chicks, chickens, rabbits and sheep and put their hands into several containers of different grains such as rice and corn.
Debra Shamsie, a kindergarten teacher at Prien Lake Elementary, brought her class to Ag Adventures. She said her lessons in the days before attending the event focused on agricultural products.
“But seeing it in pictures is nothing like seeing it in real life,” Shamsie said. “That’s what they get here. They get to see the actual size of the animals. This is fantastic.”
Megan Riley, also a kindergarten teacher at Prien Lake Elementary, said the outing reinforced what she has been teaching. “We’ve been talking about the different things that come from animals,” she said.
Riley said lesson plans provided by the LSU AgCenter prepared her pupils for what they would experience at Ag Adventures.
The children “were really excited about coming here,” she said. “For the last two weeks, this is all they have talked about.”
Helen Page, LSU AgCenter 4-H agent in Calcasieu Parish, said students from 18 schools came to the event.
Children who live in cities and have never been on a farm get the most out of it, Page said. But even children who live on a farm benefit from the program.
“It’s just a lot of things rolled up into one venue,” she said. “The intent is to have hands-on experience where they were actually doing things.”
Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said the Lake Charles event is one of several across the state.
“Helping young people appreciate how agriculture – including both animal and plant products – improve their quality of life each and every day is the overall goal of this initiative,” Coreil said. “Knowing where our abundant, safe and healthy food, clothing and lumber for homes come from is important to all Louisiana citizens, especially young people that will be the future leaders of Louisiana,” Coreil said.