As president of Fremont Elementary School’s parent-teacher association, Becky McGee shoulders a lot of responsibility. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The kids make it worth it,” she said. “They way they all run up and get excited when they see me because they know something fun is going to happen.”
Rarely are they more excited to see her than on the school’s annual Cow Plop day when a calf is typically brought in as part of a fundraiser. The calf spends the day in a grassy field that has been divided into a grid. Sections of the grid are sold off and the section that receives the calf’s first “plop” wins.
While the adults eagerly await nature to take its course, the children are most enthusiastic about interacting with animals.
“I’m happy because we get to pet them,” said kindergartner Adra Parrish, 5.
Rachel Andersen, 20, who grew up on a ranch in Carson City, has been providing cows and calves for the event since her early teens.
“The kids really get a lot out of this,” Andersen said.
On Friday, she brought Buttercup, a 4-month-old Holstein/Ayrshire mix.
As a bonus, she also brought Piggly Wiggly, a 6-week-old pig she has been bottle feeding.
“I thought I’d just bring her, too,” Andersen said. “I take her with me everywhere I go, really.”
Mia Horvath, 5, was glad Andersen made that decision.
“The pig is so cute,” she said. “It’s so little.”
McGee said the plop coincides with the school’s curriculum, landing right when they are studying animals.
“We don’t bring in a huge amount of funds from this, but the kids love it,” she said. “They get to come see the animals and pet them, interact in a way they normally wouldn’t get to.”
This is McGee’s fourth year in the PTA and second year as president. The PTA uses fundraisers and grants to help teachers buy supplies, fund field trips and science camps and provide yearbooks to every fifth-grader.
“Pretty much every event at the school the PTA is involved with,” McGee said. “It’s instrumental to the success of the school.”