Nearly 3,500 Solano County third-graders in 124 classes attended the annual Youth Ag Day on March 18, 2014. Through a wide range of hands-on learning stations, the event encourages students to experience agriculture first-hand. For example, Solano County Weights and Measures weighed each third grade on the cattle scales. Children watched a branding demonstration and then made their own brand to take home. They planted seeds, met lambs and llamas, examined animal skulls, saw the Sheriffs’ canine unit in action, and much more.
At the Slow Food booth children created food art by drawing their favorite fruit or vegetable. They also learned how to check the UPC code on fruits and vegetables to determine if they are organic. They handled a variety of vegetables, like fingerling potatoes and red and yellow carrots, in addition to the typical orange ones. Most had not seen the rarer vegetables, and many asked if they were real. Slow Food volunteers explained the school garden display, and conversed with teachers, parent chaperones and students about the advantages of having school gardens.
The event is a collaborative effort of the Solano County Fair and local businesses, organizations, farmers, ranchers and other individuals that are part of the Solano agricultural community. It is free to all third grade classes in the county.