Wilson 2nd graders learn about farm life

{phocagallery view=category|categoryid=36|imageid=208|displayname=0|float=left}The cow, named Giggles, weighs about 1,400 pounds and produces roughly 10 gallons of milk a day.

After meeting Giggles, the class excitedly ran over to the cage of a small Holstein calf. Kayla Graff, a sophomore at Mt. Juliet High School, explained to the class how calves receive nutrients from their mom. The calf will eventually become a dairy cow when it is full-grown, Graff said.

Further back in the barn, Jacob Harrison from Watertown High School stood in a pen with a cow and her calf while talking to students from Lakeview Elementary School. He taught them the difference between a male and female cow.

Local high school student Holdon Guy, whose family owns more than 50 chickens, taught students how to hypnotize a chicken, which had the students quite amazed.

Guy gently held the black and white bird on its side and placed a piece of paper by its head. He drew several straight black lines from the chickens eyes, moving away from its head and after a couple seconds, the chicken stopped moving.

A couple people walking by thought it was dead, Guy said.

Guy explained the purpose is to make the chicken docile so it can be handled easily for vaccinations and other tasks. He said the chicken would stay still for about 30 minutes and you can wake it by rubbing its neck.

Wilson County Co-op Manager and local sheep farmer Mark Powell showed students how to shear a sheep and the various uses for wool. While he held the sheep down during the sheering, he was clear the sheep isnt hurt during the process.

Does it hurt when you get your hair cut? Powell asked the students, adding, This is just like that, it doesnt hurt them.{phocagallery view=category|categoryid=36|imageid=210|displayname=0|float=right}

In a separate barn, beekeeper Jim Murff pulled slides from a beehive containing pictures of what one would look like if there were actually bees living inside. He showed the kids how to spot the eggs, find the queen and extract honey.

Murff explained if the queen bee dies, the bees will make a new queen and if the queen leaves the hive, the bees have a special way to bring her back.

If you take the queen out, the bees will start fanning this scent to let her know where the hive is, he said. So if you smell the bees fanning, you know youve got the queen.

Major, who helps organize the event each year, said local farmers, high school students and other organizations help greatly with supplying volunteers needed to educate students on the value and purpose of farming in America.

We get help from a lot of other people, the local 4-H organization and the Future Farmers of America at all local high schools, Major said, noting the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Agricultural Extension Agency helps as well.

She said it takes 150 volunteers to hold the event each year.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com

Staff Writer Nichole Manna may be contacted at nichole@wilsonpost.com.

{pgslideshow id=36|width=640|height=480|delay=3000|image=L}