We had a great time at the BCHE Homeschool Open House, where we talked about all the nifty educational options for kids in Abilene. Today, we’re adding another nifty option: an Agriculture class, taught by Samantha Saldivar. Samantha’s family has a small farm and ranch south of Abilene. She has a degree in agriculture from ACU and has been doing agricultural and wildlife education for the last six years.
This is our newest science class for middle- and high-school students. I asked Samantha to tell me more about why she wanted to teach ag and what she would like all of you to know about the class. Here’s her response.
As I am planning out the flow of the agriculture class for fall I am thinking back to all of the things that made me fall in love with ranching as a young person. First it was mohair goats with their beautiful locks of hair that we would shear every year; kids had the important job of jumping in giant sacks of the hair to pack it down, so it was like having your own trampoline of fluff. As mohair changed into Spanish and Boer goats it became all the adorable baby goats who seemed to be part rabbit and part clown, always hopping on everything, they seemed to be dancing and smiling always. Goats and sheep are the things of my childhood, the part of ranching that I remember being fun and carefree. Cows, cows are where the real work and my true love began.
My family’s ranching operation went to primarily cattle about the time that I began to be aware that ranching was not what everyone did. I learned some of my most important life lessons and problem solving skills at the back end of a cow or the top side of a horse (while working cows!). As an adult I still love cows; their soft eyes and personalities speak to me like magic. On our ranch, against most norms, all of our cattle have names and I know each of their quirks. I hope to introduce some of this “cow magic” to the students of our agriculture class. I hope you will all find a little cow magic when you meet Lefty, who I purchased three years ago from a woman who hand raised her after she was attacked by a pack of dogs and left to die. Lefty is a longhorn cow and her injuries left her with a deformed left horn, but she has learned to trust humans and allows back scratches and likes to be fed by hand.
I cannot wait to meet the students of the new ag class this fall and introduce them to the hard work, the magic, and the life lessons of agriculture. I think everyone should understand the economics and the science of how their food gets from the field to their plate. That is the ultimate goal of the class, and I hope you will join us.
– Mrs. Saldivar
If you’d like to read more about the class or sign up, the class page is here.
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