About 900 third grade students from schools throughout Bexar County attended the recent two-day Kids, Kows and More agricultural expo at the Dairy Barn on the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo grounds.
The educational event, presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Southwest Dairy Farmers Association, brought students, their parents and teachers to the location to learn about agriculture, nutrition and natural resources.
“There were more than 20 interactive education stations students could visit and hear AgriLife Extension and agricultural agency people explain about various agricultural commodities such as chickens, eggs, beef, vegetables, dairy products and cotton,” said Natalie Cervantes, AgriLife Extension 4-H youth development specialist, Bexar County.
She noted there were also hands-on learning stations where attendees could find out more about plants, bees and other insects as well as wildlife and natural resources.
Roylynn Ramos, a third-grader at Knowlton Elementary, was among the expo attendees.
“I really enjoyed learning about plants and how they need sun and water to survive,” Ramos said. “I also enjoyed the display where they showed how all the ingredients used in making a pizza come from plants and animals.”
Ramos and the other students had the opportunity to see and touch the plants, animals and other agricultural items on display.
“They were allowed to handle grubs and other insect decomposers in one display, brush a beef cow, pet a live African spurred tortoise and see the skulls and pelts from a variety of wildlife from throughout the state,” Cervantes said. “They also participated in related arts and crafts activities.”
Cervantes said instead of having structured times when children could see certain displays at specific times as in past years, this year’s event was more free-flowing so the students could choose what displays most interested them and spend whatever length of time they wanted at them.
“The hands-on displays were a great way to get the students interested and involved,” said Klaudia Hidalgo, a teacher at the Advanced Learning Academy – Euclid, while attending the expo.
“These students are primarily urban kids, and some have never seen a cow or watched vegetables grow in a garden,” Hidalgo said. “It’s important they learn how important farmers are and where their food and fiber come from. They also need to know about what resources it takes to grow their food and the need to take care of our more limited resources.”