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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

State Fair Tours Teach Kids Importance of Agriculture

The idea is to educate urban youth about agriculture by showing them a part of the state fair that they may never have gone past the midway to see," said tour coordinator Cheryl Butterfield, state 4-H activities specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. Tour sponsors are Extension, the New Mexico Beef Council and New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau.

Highlights of the tours include watching 4-H exhibitors working with their show steers, lambs and pigs; visiting the the milking demonstration and "Sheep to Shawl" exhibits in the dairy barn; learning about horses; eating a snack at the Beef Council booth in the commercial building; looking at a roomful of cattle brand designs; and viewing the prize-winning 4-H entries in Leon Harms Youth Hall.

The tours are fun for third-graders and good practice for 4-H leadership team members, Butterfield said. "At this age, the younger kids really look up to the 4-H members and have lots of questions. It's an opportunity to explain that no, chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows."

The tours are so popular in their seventh year that the Albuquerque Public Schools hold a lottery to decide which classes will attend. About eight tours run daily.

For more information about the tours, call the New Mexico State 4-H office at 888-646-5204.