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Canby students head out to the barn as part of beef unit of ag class

December 10, 2009
By Jodelle Greiner

CANBY - The freshman ag class at Canby High School learned about a lot more than beef when they toured a local farm Dec. 1.

Eighteen students visited the cow-calf farm of Nancy and Roger Longhenry, whose son, Billy, is in the class. The ninth-graders had been studying beef for three weeks.

"It was a way to wrap up our beef unit," said ag instructor Duane Lichy, who tries to take the youngsters every year if a farm's available.

"We let the kids have friends over all the time," Nancy Longhenry said. "It's good for them to see that, get in touch with animals. I wish more kids could see that side of life. A lot of kids go all their lives without knowing where it comes from. We're really old school. We do the feeding by hand. Walk with the cattle and feed the cattle. We don't get into that high tech stuff."

Billy Longhenry said his family's farm has Simmentals, Herefords and Angus. There are about 85 head of cattle on the place, Nancy Longhenry said.

"Simmentals are used a lot as mothers," Lichy said.

"We got to feed them - five pails total," said Lisa Fales.

The kids learned and enjoyed different aspects of the hour-long visit.

"I learned how their cattle set up was different from mine," said John Deslauriers. "They have more; ours is a little smaller."

"I liked feeding them because I got to help him," said Trent Antony, who helped fill the pails full of feed. "I got to open up the lever because he's got a big grain cart."

"That you give them (calves) five five-gallon pails, split it into two-and-a-half and put it in each trough," said Michael Sisk.

Other kids took more notice of the chickens on the farm.

"We learned when they lay eggs because you can fit your two fingers between the pelvic bones," said Kalea DeSmet. "When they're done laying, their legs get whiter."

Matt Gallegos lives in Canby and helps out on the Longhenry farm often, but still learned something during the visit.

"How to tell when they're laying eggs and the color of the eggs (will be)," he said, adding if the earlob is red, the darker the egg color will be.

Broilers sold in stores come from a white-colored breed "because they clean up better," Lichy said.

But sometimes it's the most familiar that commands attention. The favorite part of the visit for Sisk and Kayla Fairchild was the Longhenry's puppy.

"Marley," said Fairchild.

"Five months old," Sisk added.

The kids may know how something is done on their own farm because they've seen it done their whole lives, but it helps them to see how it's done on other farms, too, Lichy said.

"It's an exploration class," he said, "so they get an understanding of what's out there and going on around them."



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