Ag is “cool” says Red Lodge FFA as it hosts day of education

Photo by Alastair Baker

 

The children look on as Lane Ternan shoes a horse. Ternan is a 4-year apprentice for Tony Yost, seen to the right of the horse, who runs a Farrier service for Carbon County. Both men travel a large area, including covering Lovell, carrying out corrective work on lame horses.

In a bid to encourage younger generations of kids to take up agriculture the Red Lodge FFA held a Count on Agriculture Day, May 9, at the Fair Grounds. The idea was two-fold, an attempt to instill passion into the kids about farming and ranching as a career and also to build up an industry that has been in decline.

“I go back to when my dad was in high school here, at least half his class were ranch kids now in my class there is only 3 or 4. It is slowly disappearing and not just in Red Lodge but nationally. So it’s very important, especially with FFA members, we do everything we can to expose these kids to this industry,” said Abbey Nordstrom, Vice President of Red Lodge FFA.

“We’re seeing an epidemic in agriculture right now. A lot of the Ag community is over 50, so in the upcoming generation, there is not a lot of people in agriculture whether it’s having a ranch or being in the industry,” said Nordstrom. “There is a national shortage of Ag teachers, so we figured that as we are passionate about it, we will try to get that passion into these kids so by the time they go off to college there is an amazing career for them to go into.”

“It is to introduce the young generation to agriculture and show how cool it can be, and how diverse it is. We want to show them that no matter what your interest is there is something in agriculture that you can do that is cool and fun,” she said.

On the day an assortment of ages from pre schoolers to middle school students enjoyed a mystery tour that presented the many differing aspects of the ranching and farming industry. They visited with rabbits, llamas, pigs, and horseshoers and even got to milk a goat. There was a horticultural station, a germination station, and even a library station to show them how they could can incorporate agriculture with books.

Every student had their passport stamped at each station and there was an Agricultural Olympics where kids could try some hands-on fun and competitive events.

All in all the day took their breath away and perhaps inspired a few new ranchers, farmers or Ag teachers for the future.

Attending the Ag day were Bella Sager and her llamas, 4-H Club, Beartooth Humane Alliance, Grizzly Peak Animal Hospital, and RMS Exploratory Agriculture Class.

To find out more contact the FFA through the Red Lodge High School at 446-1903.