Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ag Day

Last weekend (not this past weekend, the one before that) was Ag Day. Ag Day is a big deal at my Alma Mater, the University of Maryland. Ag Day is a spring festival the last weekend in April. There are livestock shows, horse shows, activities, and fun all around. The whole university finally caught on what a big deal Ag Day was, so they started Maryland Day. Of course we Animal Science/Ag kids from UM know it as Ag Day.

David woke up sick that Saturday, so I decided to take the kids and let him have some quiet rest time. Plus, I really wanted to go to Ag Day to see my friends and I thought the kids would really like it. The first thing we did when we got to campus was go to the farm. The University of Maryland is a land grant university, and it used to have a huge farm and be largely agriculturally based. Unfortunately, the times they are a'changin and now the farm on campus is only about 4 acres. I worked on the farm all three years I was at Maryland. It was my passion. I practically lived there sometimes, and I met a great group of friends that all had similar interests. We all keep in touch, and it's like not a day has gone by when we're together!

First we stopped by to say hello to Chai the Brown Swiss, one of the farm's fistulated* cows.


She's a sweet cow but she wouldn't quite get close enough for Kylee to pet. She was more interested in the goings-on.


Then we went to my favorite place...the sheep barn. The farm has a flock of Katahdins and Dorpers and crosses.


Kylee got up close and personal with the lambs.


Devin pretended to be bored.


You can't stop by a put-your-face-in-the-hole-mural and not put your face in the hole!


Then we went to explore some other areas of campus, like the science area where the kids got to do an archaeological dig for shark teeth.


They each found a tooth and they had to identify it with the help of some archaeological students.


We got a picture with some large fuzzy cat. Not quite sure what he was the mascot for, but it was fun anyways!


Then the kids got to take turns putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher.


And they got to try on some fire gear.




We had a blast! It's always nice going back to UM for a nice visit. Part of me misses the good old days. It sure was nice having all my friends around and only having to worry about things like exams.

*A fistulated cow is a cow that has had a "window" (called a cannula) surgically installed (that sounds weird) in her rumen, one of the four stomach compartments. It doesn't hurt the cow, and the surgery is done under local anesthetic. The cow can fully function afterwards. The lid to the cannula can be removed to access the rumen for research on all sorts of things like digestion, proper diet, etc. Many universities have fistulated cows, and even some dairies have their own fistulated cows.

4 comments:

Patrick said...

This made me miss college and our awesome group of friends.

Allison at Novice Life said...

Wow - how interesting about the cow!

Becky said...

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! They have so many great kids activities there!

BTW, your banner picture is AMAZING!! The focus is wonderful and the colors are so beautiful!

Deb said...

What a great day you had with the kids!! How wonderful that you take them to things such as this to expand their world! I know you were remembering the college life and the joy being a part of the Ag Dept. gave you! It was a very special time in your life! I will never forget riding in the cattle trailer to the Grad. Ceremony! Love your wheat banner! Love, Momma

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