SHELLEY – Friday started off a little brisk, but farming was in the air. Children from the Shelley elementary schools went on a field trip and greeted by the members of Shelley High School's Future Farmers of America.
The children were separated into manageable groups of about 15 and sent to different stations where they learned about many different things. Roping seemed to be a favorite of the children as they took turns lassoing the calf analog. Little ones threw their ropes at the horns and hind legs of the calf, some wrangling the calf on the first go, others took a few attempts, but all were successful.
Then came the noxious weed trailer brought in by Bonneville County Weed Control, who is headed by a Shelley FFA Alum. Here the children learn about what weeds in the area are considered dangerous to humans or animals.
From the noxious weeds, children were shuffled over to the Shelley Volunteer Fire Department where there was no holding back. The kids were allowed to see all the parts of the truck, hoses, and learn about fire safety, but most importantly, they brought their Dalmatian. The little ones gathered around the dog, ready to show it some love.
Following the fire department, the children made their way over to the petting zoo and tractors. Animals were brought in to allow the kids to enjoy petting, and those who ready to climb up to the cab of one of the tractors were shown all the different levers and buttons used during a day on the farm.
Rounding the corner, the kids learned about soil and water quality. Each of these stations taught the children about how to plant, about quality soil, and the difference between potable and non-potable water. While learning about planting, they were allowed to plant their own seeds in a cup to take home and grow.
As the day went on, different grade levels were brought to Taylor Park, so that the group sizes could be kept manageable.
The Shelley FFA program has continued this event for over 10 years, and plan to keep with tradition. As more and more students join the FFA program at Shelley, the program will continue to flourish. Currently, the program has over 30 extremely active members, with nearly 70 on record. The program is lead by Cody Howells and Vincent Wray, who teach over 20 different courses rotating each year. According to Wray, nearly 62-percent of the student base of Shelley High School attend at least one of the agriculture classes, whether for electives, science, or to learn more about farming and ranching.
The programs' leaders are certified to teach sciences like veterinary courses, zoology and botany related courses, mechanics, welding, some into multiple-year programs.