By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Cooke County —
More than 600 area fourth grade students got back to basics at Farm City Week activities which began Thursday and continue through today at North Central Texas College.
The agriculture education program is sponsored by North Central Texas College (NCTC) Agriculture Department, Cooke County Farm Bureau and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Students from Gainesville, Lindsay, Muenster, Sacred Heart, Callisburg, Forestburg, St. Mary’s Catholic School and Valley View learned about agriculture through detailed 10-minute presentations and hands-on demonstrations taught by industry experts.
Denton County game wardens, Stormy McCuistion, Daron Blackerby and Cooke County game warden Darla Barr were on hand to discuss how important it is to take care of natural resources including water, plants and wildlife.
“We need to protect what we have been given and poaching is not allowed,” McCuistion said. “For example hunting deer out of season can have fines imposed up to $22,000.”
He also spoke about endangered species.
“There are many species that are now endangered including the great horned owl,” he said. “If we don’t protect them, they will one day be gone.”
Todd Griffin, accompanied by dairy cow Angel, instructed the students on the value of dairy products.
”It is suggested that you get at least three servings of dairy products a day but that doesn’t mean you can have ice cream for breakfast,” he said. “You need a balanced diet with outdoor exercise for a healthy existence.”
Area companies participating in the two-day event include speakers from the Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Southwest Dairy Museum, Cooke County Electric Cooperative, Fischer’s Meat Market, Circle N Dairy, Blue Bell Ice Cream, S&W Tractor, Hi-Way Equipment and North Central Texas College.
“Farm City Week is a great time to bring the youth in and let them learn about agriculture and how it supplies food and fiber in their daily lives,” NCTC Agriculture Department chairman Steve Keith said. “We want to show people that food is not manufactured at the grocery store. Farmers and ranchers are out working before daylight and after dark to produce meat, milk, cheese and cotton for clothing.”
NCTC agriculture students, including Haley Johnson of Alvord, served as guides for the groups of students.
“I think it’s great because some of these kids don’t get to experience the farm life,” Johnson said. “So for them to be able to see where all their food and clothing comes from and every aspect of life coming right back to these basics, I think it’s great.”
For more information about the agriculture program at North Central Texas College, contact the school at 668-7731.