Snake River ag students share knowledge with youngsters

THOMAS — During two days this week, Wednesday and today, some of the 1,000 elementary students visiting the Ag Expo at Snake River High School (SRHS) will get their first look and touch of agriculture.
The elementary students are from Irving Kindergarten Center in Blackfoot and kindergartners and first graders from Moreland Elementary.
Sponsoring the Ag Expo are SRHS students who are members of Future Farmers of America (FFA).
“The goal of the Ag Expo is to show kids where their food comes from and to show them the agriculture way of life,” said SRHS Ag teacher Justin Patten.
Kimmel Dalley with the Farm Bureau, said, “We want to teach the young people that milk doesn’t come from a store.”
There were 12 stations the grade school students visited. These included farm safety, a mule-drawn hay ride, tractors brought in for the Expo from John Deere and Case and lots of farm animals — ducks, kittens, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, calves, sheep, goats, cows, pigs, a Shire mare and her colt, registered Hereford bull, cow and calf, registered quarter horse and a Hackney/Shetland pony.
The elementary kids got their first lesson in roping.
The FFA students were on hand to answer questions and show them the ropes.
FFA member Kelynn Williams said she has learned leadership skills and how to get along with everyone.
FFA member Mat Fresh was on the hay wagon Wednesday. “I learned how to sing nursery songs,” he said.
Dexton Lake said, “There’s more to FFA than farming. It’s being an asset to the public and being a good farmer, also.
“From FFA I’ve learned about leadership and how to talk in front of people,” said Michaela Bevan. “I’ve learned about being friends and how to have fun.”
SRHS sponsors the expo every other year.
This year, because of budget cuts in the school district, the Central Bingham Conservation District contributed $1,100 to bus the students to the expo, Patten said. The Farm Bureau gave $850 for other expenses. Each kid was charged $1 to attend the expo.
With all the financial help, “we broke even,” said Patten. "This [Ag Expo] works because of the community support and a lot of hard work on the part of everyone involved.”