I recently had the privilege to take a group of 3rd graders to the Kings County Farm Day at the Fair Grounds in Hanford, California. This annual event is sponsored by the Kings County Farm Bureau. These terrific people deserve a standing ovation for putting on a great event. Third grade students from Kings County are invited to come and meet some of the many people who are involved in the field of agriculture. Even though these children live in a rural county, many do not know the process of bringing food from the farm to the table. Our group visited some bee keepers, learned how walnuts are shaken from the trees and processed, and had first hand encounters with pigs, goats, and cows. One of the highlights was watching border collie herd a flock of sheep.
We always find a book to go along with our field trips. There’s a number of books available that tell about field trips to farms.One of our favorites is The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Though written in 1980, it is a perennial favorite. This outlandish story is told in first person as a girl describes what began as a rather dull field trip but quickly became exciting due to the boa constrictor that Jimmy brought along on the field trip. The illustrations provide much of the detail. This is a good choice for helping children to understand cause and effect.