Farm City outing gives first-graders down-home fun, education

October 11, 2013 chris
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By Donna Thornton/News Editor   
    First graders from Attalla, Gadsden City and other schools enjoyed a day on the farm — Norris Farms in Hokes Bluff, to be exact — Oct.2 and 3 visiting the Farm-City Outdoor Classroom.
    They learned about cows and got a chance to eat ice cream, learned about cotton, preventing forest fires, got to visit with pigs, rabbits, chickens and other farm animals during what’s become an annual autumn field trips for the students.
    The kids even got to ride in a tractor-pulled train.
    The event is sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation as part of National Farm City Week.
    The Etowah County Soil and Water Conservation District helped organize the event, designed to give children a chance to learn where food, as well as things like the cotton used to make many of the clothes they wear actually comes from.
    Striplin student Zoe Catoe said she enjoyed learning about preventing forest fires.
    Her classmate Sophia Norris said she learned that cotton comes from plants.
    “That was one of my favorite things, too,” Zoe added.
    Bill Boyd had brought a cow from his farm on Fitts Ferry Road and talked to the children about raising beef cattle.
    “I enjoy it,” he said of the Farm-City Outdoor Classroom.
    “I think it’s important that kids learned where food comes from — besides the grocery store.
    “We’ve kind of gotten away from that,” Boyd said.
    Boyd said a couple of children were taking guesses as to just what kind of animal he had in his pen.
    One suggested it was a sheep, Boyd said, when another said, “Maybe it’s a pig.”
    It was, of course, one of his Charolais beef cattle.