Kids, kids bond in Ag. Dept. arena

A group of 1st graders giggle with anticipation as they approach the petting zoo, half amused and half amazed at the array of barnyard animals. One boy, eyes wide with wonder, approaches an animal he has never, before this moment, seen in real life-a goat.

The 14th annual Block and Bridle Children’s Barnyard gives about 1,200 local children the chance to see different animals and learn about agriculture.

“Some of these kids have never even had the chance to see a farm animal. Not only do they get to see them, but they can touch them. It’s really a wonderful experience,” Dr. Marcy Beverly, adviser of the Block and Bridle Club, said.

Booths with different agricultural activities crowd the Indoor Rodeo Arena of SHSU where children, ages 3 to 8, can do anything from holding a baby chick to learning how a cow is milked.

Kids need to understand how agriculture impacts their everyday life. They don’t realize that toothpaste or clothes come from agriculture products,” Beverly said.

SHSU student volunteers wore animal costumes and ran the booths at the 2-day event held yesterday and today. One volunteer, Samantha Cochrum, ran the corn booth where students learned about the vegetable and ate popcorn.

“The kids ask questions and I really enjoy it. They like eating the popcorn, but their favorite activities are usually the petting zoo and getting to sit on the horse,” Cochrum said.

Outside the arena, children participate in Green Thumb Days, where they tour the SHSU Greenhouse and learn about fruits and vegetables. The kids, usually on field trips with school or day care, finish all of the activities in about two hours.

This educational event is a community service project of the Block and Bridle Club and the Agriculture Department.

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