Yesterday, Glenn & I had the distinct pleasure of being one of the presenters at the Agricultural Day at the Henry W. Moore School in Candia. Every year this K-8 public school dedicates a whole day to teaching their students about different aspects of agriculture. There were draft horses, sheep, goats, an oxen team, alpacas, gardening displays, as well as a number of lectures to include invasive insects, spinning and beekeeping. There were presenters who talked about hunting and fishing, as well as forest fire prevention.
Maggie Mae Farm presented the poultry display. We brought Captain Thomas our Narragansett tom turkey, a pair of NH Red chickens, a couple of Pekin ducks as well as some chicks and ducklings. Not unexpectedly, the kids seemed to like the baby birds the best, but Tom was a crowd pleaser as well.
We spoke to four 7th grade classes and three groups of 1st graders. We covered the origins of chickens and their nefarious beginnings – many of the kids were surprised that the first domestic chickens were used for fighting, not for food. We talked about some of the physiological differences and similarities between the varying types of fowl, how to care for them and the reasons people raise them.
We had a great time and so did the kids – they were all very engaged and asked a lot of good questions. Admittedly, the most popular questions seemed to be “why is tom’s head so funny looking?” It caused no end of giggles when we explained that his snood, caruncles, wattle and beard were all designed to be attractive to a turkey hen.
It’s always very encouraging to see kids interested in agriculture and we’re glad to have the opportunity to be part of that exposure. Here’s to hoping that we’re helping encourage a new generation of potential farmers!