It is that time of year again. Some of you may have already started thinking about a lamb or goat for our annual Ag and Flower Show day. This traditional New Zealand rural school event offers a unique experience that will be remembered for life.
For new families to our school, we have had lambs and sometimes goats at school during the day throughout Term three and into Term 4. Lambs, calves and goats born after 1st July are raised at home, with many families bringing the lambs and goats to school to enjoy and be fed multiple times throughout the day. The lambs and goats arrive in all sorts of interesting ways (mostly inside cars) and are housed in special fencing on the school grounds, then go home at night. The children then feed them with a rotating friend, so that many children get to enjoy the special experience these animals provide. Calves stay at home until the Ag and Flower Show Day. Unfortunately, mycoplasma bovis disease has stopped the calves entering in school and Area Agricultural Days for the last 2 years. At this stage we have not been advised if Central Day is allowing calves. With Northland having 5 active properties, 20 cleared and 25 confirmed properties with the disease, I seriously doubt calves will be involved in our school event.
The children gain valuable lessons about life through raising a baby animal. These animals usually have a grassed, fenced paddock to live in and a shelter of some sort or a animal cover for calves. A lamb or goat can use a small shelter such as a dog kennel or an A frame shelter. There is a lot to know about keeping an animal and we offer some resources and advice. If you’re thinking about it, come and talk to Terry.
Last year we had some high intensity animal farming lessons here at school. Due to the larger numbers of animals on site being housed in close quarters (the old chook house), an animal disease was spread (scabby mouth). The area was treated last year and we finished the term with no animals on site. In 2020, we will insist on vaccinated and drenched animals on site with no runny poo, or illnesses, to keep the flock disease free. We will also, house them in open spaces with movable shelter covers.
Vaccination and drenching forms will be provided to all animal prior to being allowed on site.
A bit about the day…
On the day, we start at 9am with the roll call, then the classes rotate around the school visiting all classrooms to view each class’s exhibits. Sand saucers, vaseline plates, flowers, handwriting samples, sprouting grass heads, miniature scenes etc. The teachers will have prejudged these the afternoon before Ag Day. All children with a lamb or goat look after their animals during this time. We normally have 3 animal rings running, to judge on leading, rearing and calling for lambs/goats. Ribbons are given out during judging while the school watches on. We normally have trailer rides behind a quad bike, horse rides and a few Ag themed games on the field.
The PTA (Parent/Teacher Association) run a food tent as a fundraiser and fun treat for the children, with a bit of sometimes food. Our strong group of parents put a lot of work behind the scenes to make this day a success.
Registration packs will be sent home on request.
An enthusiastic principal who loves Ag & Flower Show Day