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Holy Kow! Students have firsthand chance to learn about agriculture

Nearly 1,000 students from in and around Las Cruces will have a chance to learn the value of agriculture up close and in person thanks to Kids, Kows & More, a program put on by the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. The event takes place April 1 and 2 at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

"This really helps teach the kids about agriculture," said Rafael Realivasquez, Dona Ana County Extension agent. He said many students never have a chance to see crops and farm animals in person.

"If you can reach students while they are young, it will have a bigger impact on them. This lets them know agriculture isn't some abstract idea. It's the food they eat and the clothes they wear," he said.

The program will focus on fourth grade students from 11 different schools in Las Cruces, Dona Ana and White Sands. Once students arrive, they will rotate through various presentations illustrating the value of New Mexico agricultural products including pecans, beef, dairy, chile, cotton and others.

At one station, students will have an opportunity to milk a dairy cow and ask questions about the process. "That's something important, especially when some kids think milk comes from Wal-Mart," Realivasquez said.

Kids, Kows & More is sponsored by the Dona Ana County Farm and Livestock Bureau, the NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department, the Mesilla Valley Cowbelles, New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom, the New Mexico Beef Council, the NMSU Chile Pepper Institute, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Office of Bio Security, the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Southwest Cotton Ginning Laboratory, Young Pecans, Southwest Dairy Association and Pioneer Seed.