Ag Day offers glimpse of agriculture to Quincy’s youngest students
It’s not pet-the-bunny day, it’s not baby-animal day, it’s Ag Day. Except of course, for all the baby animals there.
A one-day event, described by Quincy FFA adviser Mike Wallace as an opportunity for Quincy’s grade-schoolers to come to the high school and learn about agriculture, will return April 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Quincy High School.
Mountain View, Pioneer and George elementary schools bring their kindergartners, first-graders and second-graders to QHS, with buses arriving around 8:30 a.m. Monument and Quincy Valley School as well as several daycares also bring students to the event.
“It’s pretty cool,” Wallace said of the event, which is free. “Only thing they are required to do is wash their hands before they leave, or put some Purell on ’em.”
The children, chaperoned by a QHS student, visit the FFA shop in groups of four, touring the green-house, visiting the salmon tank, planting greens and, of course, petting the kids (as in baby goats, not each other), chicks and other critters. The older students serve as instructors for the younger students, teaching about animals and plants.
Many times, Wallace said, these young grade-schoolers go on to become FFA members who teach another batch of rugrats about the agro life.
“I hear it all the time (from FFA students),” Wallace said. “’I remember when I came to this,’ and I’m like ‘Good. What was your favorite part? Let’s make that better.’”
When students visit Ag Day, though, they are so young that the last thing on their minds is a high school club or a career path, Wallace said. At that age, the big attraction is getting to pet the bunnies.
This is Wallace’s 24th year of involvement with the event and one of the few in the last quarter-century that he will not attend. Wallace is in the interview committee that seeks to hire the next QHS principal, so he will miss Ag Day.
Or baby-animal day, or whatever you prefer to call it. Wallace doesn’t mind anymore.
“Before I got here, they called it the baby animal fair, so we started calling it Ag Day because we teach the kids about everything agriculture,” Wallace said. “But everybody kept on calling it the baby animal fair so I was like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to fight the tide anymore. Sure, come to the baby animal fair.’”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org