Fort Worth Stock Show

January 23, 2013

From the schoolyard to the barnyard

From the milking parlor to the petting zoo, elementary school students from Fort Worth learn the ways of the Stock Show.

FORT WORTH -- Elementary school students touring the Stock Show on Wednesday tiptoed around cow patties and held their noses near the horse stalls.

But it was a misunderstanding over swag that caused a little kerfuffle.

Some boys objected to wearing paper hats with pink cow ears.

"They are too girlie," said Mohommed Ghazi, 9, a second-grader at Briscoe Elementary School in Fort Worth. "These are too pink. I'm a bull."

Tour guides quickly dug around for dark-colored hats with horns before setting off on a two-hour tour of the grounds.

A limited number of livestock were around Wednesday while the barns were prepared for cattle arriving today. But about 800 Fort Worth school district second-graders visited on a field trip, guided by high school students from FFA chapters in North Texas.

Members of the Arlington Heights High School FFA led students in small groups and pointed out different animals.

The teens are mostly from the campus's agriculture and horticulture program. It is one of the district's Gold Seal Programs of Choice, specialized courses that are open to students from across the district.

Several teens will show beef heifers, dairy cattle, steers, poultry, and lambs and goats at the Stock Show.

The second-graders learned about the role that agriculture plays in their daily lives, making the connection between animals and plants and the food and products they use at home.

Brush your teeth today? Toothpaste is made with cottonseed oil. Sodas are sweetened with corn. And footballs, they're made with leather, not pigskin.

"A lot of them think that milk comes from Mom's fridge. They think clothes come from the store. There are a lot of misconceptions. This teaches them it all comes from farmers," said Sam James, 18, a senior at Arlington Heights.

Children and their teachers from Briscoe Elementary saw a demonstration in the milking parlor, visited the petting zoo, and walked through barns with cattle, horses and rows of chickens.

"Don't put your fingers in the cages," said Ned Kemble, 18, an Arlington Heights senior. "Touch with your eyes."

Senior Kelsie Smith, 17, reassured children that the puddles on the floor in a horse building were from washing. And Sarah Linan, a 16-year-old junior, explained to a boy that the Stock Show is different from the zoo.

"I told him that, no, tigers don't necessarily live here," Linan said.

Back at school, the students will connect the field trip with classroom lessons in science, health, reading and math, said Doris Tinner, a Briscoe Elementary teacher.

"They're going to have to write about all of this, so it definitely falls into the curriculum," she said. "This is totally new for these kids. These are little city kids."

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

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