“Ag in the Classroom” Program 2/20/13

The Plumas-Sierra Cattlewomen are dedicated in bringing knowledge of the importance about agriculture to the young students in our communities with Ag in the Classroom.  Presenting accurate and up to date materials the Cattlewomen also go into classrooms to read and cook healthy beef dishes.
One of the main projects this year is a short DVD called “Life on a Cattle Ranch” (a child’s perspective.) It depicts five youngsters and how they live on a real working cattle ranch, their responsibilities and what they do with their free time. Following the viewing of the DVD, the kids receive a magazine discussing all the events in the movie. Cattlewomen then discuss and offer hands on with the props that they bring, such as a saddle, spurs, cowboy hat, leather gloves, jackets and belts, boots. All leather goods made from a cow. They  talk about the nutritional value of eating beef as beef has ZIP, zinc, iron and protein and how important all those are to maintain a healthy mind and body. Another section of the magazine is beef vocabulary and the types of feed used, and the importance and care of horses on a ranch.
In Plumas County, Cattlewomen presented the program to ninety 4th and 5th graders at C. Roy Carmichael School in Portola. Twelve Cattlewomen participated in this new adventure. The Principal, teachers and students were extremely receptive to this innovative program. Beef and cheese burrito were served to the students, teachers, office staff and Principal.  A packet containing an agricultural magazine with puzzles, word searches and other activities for the students to do on their own was given to each teacher.
In Sierra County we presented the same program to a 3rd grade class at Loyalton Elementary School. We had 15 students and 3 stations. They were able to make their own beef tacos. Each student had the opportunity to grate cheese, cut up lettuce, tomatoes and onions. They all wanted seconds, saying “these really taste yummy.”
Our second program is taking “Annie Oakley”, famous wild west sharpshooter and exhibition shooter of the late 1800’s early 1900’s into the classroomn where she gives a short biography of her fascinating life. A book, “Cowboys and Cowgirls Yippee-Yay!” is read which talks about famous cowboys and cowgirls of the Old West including the clothing, gear they used, and the food they ate when on a cattle drive. Props that follow the story line are used and the students are able to touch the leather chaps, vest, gloves, boots, hat, saddle, bridle while learning the name of the items. Branding irons are displayed teaching them the importance of branding cattle. A cast iron pot like the cowboys used for cooking is there to pick up and see just how heavy it is. Review how long of a journey it was for these cowboys and the routes they took to sell the beef for market. All in all it is a wonderful experience for these young students and a rewarding one for the Cattlewomen. Happy trails to all. Flinda France is the Co-chair of “Ag in the Classroom”.

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