Pupils experience life on the farm

Helping hand . . . Eryn Grace (10), of St Mary’s School, gives Crash the dog a pat.


MILTON youngsters had a taste of rural life last Friday.

The Tokomairiro A&P Society had its second agriculture day for primary school pupils in Milton at the society’s grounds.

Pupils from Milton Primary School, Tokoiti School and St Mary’s School arrived at the grounds throughout the day to experience a taste of rural living with various demonstrative stalls of petting zoos, education and craft areas.

Tokomairiro A&P Society committee member Paula McLeod said the day aimed to educate young minds in rural towns.

‘‘We’re just exposing them to farm life with the animals and farm practices so they can be further educated,’’ Mrs McLeod said.

‘‘Many of the kids here have likely never touched or seen a farm animal up close, so it’s good to get them experiencing different parts of farming through the modules.’’

The day of education included wool handling and knitting, water care and safety, working dog mustering demonstrations, Clutha District Council dog control and safety, and more.

‘‘It’s great to get them out of the classroom. I know I’d be loving it if I got to play with animals like chickens, donkeys and calves and drink flavoured milk if I were in primary school,’’ Mrs McLeod joked.

‘‘We try to gauge an interest in farming while giving them the opportunity to have fun.’’

The day was originally created to give local pupils an opportunity to have ‘‘something along the lines of a pet day’’ that may have been too difficult to host due to Risk Assessment Management (RAM) requirements, she said.

Pupils had 10 minutes at each module to learn further about the different displayed topics.

No wool over his ears . . . Adam Woodhead (8), of St Mary’s School, gets familiar with some wool fresh off a sheep. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH

Off the back . . . Robert Tai (right) shears a sheep helped by Richard McElrea, both of Milton, while Ruby Maber (6), of St Mary’s School, looks on.