Giovette Cassinelli (top left) and her helpers taught students about chickens and eggs. The computer shows how a light can be held behind an egg to see whether there is a baby chick growing inside.
Giovette Cassinelli (top left) and her helpers taught students about chickens and eggs. The computer shows how a light can be held behind an egg to see whether there is a baby chick growing inside.
There is a whole generation of area young people who can remember their trip, as third-graders, to the Winnemucca Indoor Events Center to participate in a program called Ag in the Classroom. They may not remember all the specific facts they learned but they’re likely to hang on to a lasting impression that agricultural and agricultural products are vitally important to their lives. They also remember how much fun they had.

Ag in the Classroom 2017, held April 13, marked the 16th year that scores of people have put multiple hours into preparing and presenting about their particular field of expertise in agriculture. They’ve created displays and hauled animals, farm equipment, and teaching materials to a dozen teaching stations in the enormous “classroom” of the Events Center. They’ve prepared and served many hundreds of lunches to students, featuring food for which the young people may now have a greater appreciation.

A love of farming and ranching is evident in each presentation and the students respond with attention and questions. Everyone behind all the work that goes into Ag in the Classroom hopes to create a lasting impression on students and teachers that will inform the way students think and teachers teach about agriculture.

There were 12 separate stations this year for Ag in the Classroom. Students were split up into smaller groups which rotated from station to station whenever a cow bell rang. Humboldt County Cattlewomen, FFA youth and 4-H Ambassadors help throughout the day at the stations and in preparing and serving the lunch provided by the Cattlewomen.

Station #1: Sheep — the Shier family taught about sheep production and showed how wool was carded and spun into yarn. They showed items made from goat’s wool, milk, and horns.

Station #2: Dairy — Students enjoyed meeting Nevada Department of Ag’s mechanical dairy cow, “Moolissa.” In addition to learning all about dairy cattle, the students actually got to try their hand at “milking” the cow.

Station #3: Poultry — 4-H member Marquette Cassinelli, Gianni Giordano and Giovette Cassinelli taught about the poultry industry from chicks to eggs. The interactive station allowed students to see and handle the birds, eggs, and watch a video of the egg laying cycle.

Station #4: Rabbits — Bill Conn taught about all aspects of the rabbit industry from raising to products. The students enjoyed petting the soft, calm rabbits.

Station #5: Tractors and Farm Equipment — Walt and Sheryl Curtis, Dan Thompson and Tom Lawler showed the students tractors and other farm equipment and taught how they are used.

Station #6: Horses — Chantelle Nielson brought a full-size horse and a mini Amish horse the students could see and pet. She taught about the importance of horses to the Agriculture industry throughout history and how they are still used today in the livestock industry.

Station #7: Dairy Goats — Randi Fretwell and Bonnie Perino taught the students about dairy goats and the goat industry.

Station #8: Beef — Vance Vesco gave an overview of the beef and ranching industry. The kids got to see a cow and her twin calves.

Station #9: Beef By-Products — Beth Thompson and Hayley Hall covered beef by-products. "We eat the steaks and hamburger, but every aspect of the animal is used in some way — from medicines to gummy bears" said Beth.

Station #10: Bees — Leonard Joy gave a wonderful talk about bees and the important part they play in our food system.

Station #11: Veterinary medicine — Local vet Bonnie Dory taught about her job working to keep agricultural animals healthy.

Station #12: More than just Food — Humboldt County Extension Educator Brad Schultz showed the students that agriculture is more than just growing food. The by-products from ag-related industries make items we use every day. Example: a baseball: the cork and wool inside it come from agriculture.