TKHS FFA Sets Up Petting Zoo for Students

High school students along with Page and Lee elementary students visited the FFA attraction getting a chance to pet the animals, learn a little about them, and learn a lot more about FFA.

“We really wanted to do something to bring awareness about FFA to younger students and to help educate them about agriculture and how cool it is,” said FFA advisor Alyssa Hamlin. 

Several FFA members brought animals and were eager to tell other students about them. “We just want to show younger students what it’s like to be in FFA. We get to do a lot of fun things. This is one way to help educate our community and make people aware of how important agriculture is,” said Alexa Hoeskma with her pen of sheep.

All day, FFA members helped guide different groups of elementary students around the different exhibits and answered questions about the animals they saw and about what FFA is all about. 

TK FFA president Case Shellenbarger said he likes being able to share the importance of agriculture with younger students especially. “It just brings more awareness and education to kids on why and how we raise animals and makes them aware of what FFA is about. We are an agricultural area. Farms are all around us and it’s important people understand why that’s important to everyone and why we need to keep farms,” he said. 

Shellenbarger said he’s always been around agriculture. “I was a baby riding in the tractor or in a pickup truck hauling livestock. I grew up around agriculture. It’s always been part of my life and always been a passion of mine,” he said. 

Emma Reil, FFA secretary, said it was important to showcase agriculture and make people aware of what FFA is all about.  “FFA is a kind of a new program here at TK and we want to showcase to the community and to teach younger kids about animals and agriculture,” said Reil.

Reil reiterated that anyone can be in FFA and that they don't have to have any agricultural background. “Quite a few of our members have no agricultural experience. In FFA you learn a lot about leadership skills and how to be a better person. It’s a very welcoming club.”

Addison Petersen kept busy all day holding a baby goat and letting throngs of students get the chance to pet the animal. Emily Stevens and her pet rabbit were also crowded by students eager to get a feel of the rabbit’s soft fur.

Noelle Smith and Charlotte Dykstra shared information about a cow and calf, and Annabelle Pennington showed off the miniature horse named “Lil’ Bo.” Lydia Slagel brought two soft, fluffy black and white yaks and spent a lot of time answering questions about how yaks are different from cows. 

“It’s just fun to share all this with the younger students,” Slagel said. 

Hoeksma said it was a good day and just another thing she enjoys about being in FFA. “There are so many different things you get to do in FFA. This is a lot of fun.”