KING CITY — Roughly 1,400 third graders from South Monterey County schools attended the 2024 South County Farm Day last Thursday to learn about agriculture and experience animals firsthand.
The annual enrichment program, sponsored by Monterey County Agricultural Education, gives an opportunity for youth to become familiar with food production and farming. The Jan. 25 event was held at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City.
Among this year’s South County Farm Day participants were deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit, who shared with students about their role in helping keep the community safe in rural areas while on horseback.
“We always enjoy meeting the third graders from around the county. We introduce them to our horses, and teach them about trail safety,” stated the Mounted Unit on Facebook afterward. “And of course we gave them a chance to pet our horses before they left. It’s always great to hear them say, ‘This is the first horse I’ve touched!’”
Other Farm Day participants included Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, Monterey County Farm Bureau and many local ag businesses, such as Metzer Farms, a family-owned farm and hatchery in Gonzales.
Metzer Farms staff educated the elementary students and their teachers all about waterfowl. They learned about the differences between duck and chicken eggs — duck eggs are larger! — and even got to carefully handle ducklings through a hands-on experience.
“For many of these children, it was their first time being around ducks,” Metzer Farms posted on social media. “Metzer Farms also got to connect with some of our fantastic customers and committed duck supporters while there. It was a great day had by all!”