Over 1,000 elementary school children gathered in Sheppard Arena last week to learn about common farm animals such as cows, horses, goats, sheep and baby chicks.
The children gathered as part of North Dakota State’s Saddle and Sirloin club’s Kiddie Days.
Kiddie Days is an event aimed at teaching youth through hands-on learning. The event was held in the main competition area of the arena with multiple showings from April 24-28.
Saddle and Sirloin Kiddie Days Chair, Anna Lemm, was there to show the kids the animals and to tell them what each animal does for us.
“If we can teach them even just a little bit, it’s something and it’s totally worth it,” Lemm said. “You know, agriculture is happening all around us and sometimes these kids would never get to see animals if it weren’t for us.”
Each session was 30 minutes long and was limited to 50 children per session. Each group was split into multiple smaller groups and a volunteer from the club would show each animal individually. Volunteers would tell about what food or product the animal makes and would let the kids pet the animal if they wanted to.
The kids invited were from Fargo area preschools and elementary schools. In total, Kiddie Days showed around 1,600 children the different animals. Over 65 volunteers ran the event.
Kiddie Days has been going on since the 1980s. Lemm said she thinks that it will continue to grow and hopes to see improvement next year.
“This year I think went very smoothly and my Co-Chair Nick Zahler and I are very pleased with how it all turned out,” Lemm said. “The kids absolutely love Kiddie Days and I really think the teachers do too. We have seen over 2,000 kids some years and we hope to keep that number improving.”
Saddle and Sirloin’s goal is “to promote the agricultural industry through participation in educational and social activities while exhibiting Bison pride.”