Alexa Coleman, a 7-year-old home-schooler, brought her Nigerian dwarf goats Bartholomew and Gertrude to the annual Capital City Farm Days on Friday.
“I like to show people about new animals,” she said. “I love to show them all about what animals like to eat. It’s very fun to help kids learn.”
Alexa was one of about 30 presenters at the two-day exhibit sponsored by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension at Fuji Park, where about 2,000 local children learned about agriculture in Nevada. Informational booths covered topics including composting, organic farming, water, noxious weeds, bees, rangeland and wildlife. Presenters also demonstrated traditional crafts such as spinning and weaving.
Along with the booths inside the exhibit hall, tractors were on display outside, as well as a variety of ranch and farm animals brought by 4-H and FFA members.
“We’ve seen cows; we saw two pigs. My favorite was the baby cow because it was so soft,” said Addison Hopkins, 6. “And we learned there is a little, miniature ecosystem inside the fish’s tank.”
Bella Soto, 7, liked the rabbit.
“It was soft and sweet and calm,” she explained.
Mireya Martir-Rico, 7, favored the pig.
“Their snout is flat,” she said. “They can push things around like the mud to find some food.”
Liam Ross, 8, said he enjoyed the watching the demonstration in which dogs herded sheep, but he liked the reptiles better.
“My favorite part is the snakes,” he said. “They’re real, but they’re dead.”
Rachel Andersen, 17, has been bringing her 4-H cattle to Farm Days for 10 years. She started with her cow Bessie, and on Friday brought Bessie’s daughter Lodi and her calf.
“There are kids who don’t even know what a cow is,” she said. “It’s awesome letting kids meet the animals.”
Growing up on a ranch herself, Andersen said it’s important to share that with children who have spent their lives in more urban settings.
“People need to know where their food comes from,” she said. “That’s why I think Farm Days is such a good thing, so kids can get exposed.”