Children gathered in the grass at the feet of Nicole Karstedt, who stood in front of a mobile classroom. Inside that classroom was a massive dairy cow.
Karstedt was one of many representing North Georgia’s agriculture industries Friday at Lula Elementary School, which the ninth annual agriculture day was held.
The Hall County Extension Service has coordinated this “ag day” every year at a different school, typically in the county, according to Tabitha Brinson.
“We’ve been to nine different schools in nine years,” Brinson said. “We’ve yet to repeat a school. We’ve pretty much stuck to county schools so far, but I’d love to branch out to the city as well. Schools actually pretty much call and request it each year, and that’s where we go.”
Brinson said they have used almost the same vendors each time, who are always willing to help with the event.
More than a dozen entities were on hand Friday at vendor stations to educate nearly 500 children. The children were separated into groups by class and rotated to the different stations throughout the morning.
Vendors included Karstedt and the Mobile Dairy Classroom, which brought a dairy cow from Glo Crest Dairy in Clermont. She showed students how dairy is collected from the cows and spoke to them about the importance of dairy in their diets.
Meanwhile, Brinson represented the Hall County Cattlemen’s Association and taught students about all the daily products they use made from cow byproducts. Students screamed and groaned when she told them their toothpaste includes tallows, or fats derived from cow parts.
Pony Perfect Party out of Gainesville brought chickens, ducks, miniature horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, cows and a miniature pig named Penelope for kids to pet and brush.
Finally, Jessie Kimbrell from the Georgia Poultry Laboratory in Gainesville was on hand for the event.
“We wanted to bring a few different types of birds for the kids to look at and see,” she said.
The event was held Friday morning on the baseball fields at the elementary school. Brinson said the purpose of the event each year is to educate future generations about “the importance of agriculture in their community and where our food and resources come from.”