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Help prepare your family's Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving dinner is fun, and helping get everything ready for the big meal can be a lot of fun too. Here are a few things you can do to help out.
Plan the menu. Talk with your family about what you want to have for Thanksgiving dinner. Pick a couple side dishes to go with turkey, like vegetables, potatoes and salad. Then pick something for dessert.
Set the table. While your parents are busy carving the turkey, offer to set the table. Fold the napkins and then place the forks on the left side of the plate and the knives on the right side.
Lend a hand in the kitchen. There are lots of dishes to get ready for Thanksgiving, so ask your parents what you can help with. Maybe you can mash the potatoes or slice the cranberry sauce. Make sure to ask your parents if you’re not sure about certain kitchen tools, like knives.
Clean up. Give your parents a break when dinner is over and help with clean up. Sweep the floor or load the dishwasher so your parents don’t have to.
Your parents will be so happy to have your help. After a full day of cooking, eating and cleaning up, you can all enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert.
4-H plants business and science roots
If you don’t know by now, 4-H is more than just a club; it’s a way of life. And the life lessons learned by millions of youth across the country and globally are taking center stage to many in the money-making market. According to a recent article in The Economist, 4-Hers are contributing to more than just well-raised livestock and perfectly packaged preserves; they’re contributing to America’s future.
During a recent visit to the Nebraska State Fair, the popular editorial magazine took notice to a “striking emphasis on science and business,” noting the presence of robot demonstrations and statistical analysis presentations. 4-H youth with dreams of farming are thinking bigger and expanding their aspirations into engineering, technology and commerce. One 4-Her and fair participant laughed off the idea that people think farmers are uneducated, acknowledging her father who “has an economics degree and uses it to track market trends.”
So what makes these revelations so important to America’s agriculture society? It’s the knowledge of business, science and technology instilled in today’s 4-H youth that present greater possibilities to fulfill higher demands in food supply and expanding job opportunities. With such a wide range of innovative projects offered in 4-H, The Economist states, “America set
Kids, Kows and More program teaches students about agriculture
Do you know how many gallons of water a milk cow drinks in a day? Or, how long should you wash your hands to remove hidden germs? Or, how fast can a honeybee fly?
These and many more questions were answered for Albuquerque third-grade students during the annual Kids, Kows and More program hosted by New Mexico State University’s Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service at the Expo New Mexico horse arena Oct. 22 to 23.
The 730 students from 12 elementary schools watched a cow being milked by a machine and a blacksmith making a spoon from a red-hot metal rod. They looked at talcum powder “germs” under a black light, and then saw how many remained after washing their hands. They learned about ranching and how important bees are to agriculture.
“What better way to experience agriculture than to see, smell and hear it,” said Elliot Sachse, Bernalillo County Extension 4-H agent. “Kids, Kows and More is a fun, entertaining, educational, learning field trip.”
Each year across New Mexico, 7,540 third-graders in 13 counties participate in similar free field trips that are sponsored by the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ 4-H youth development program and the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center, New Mexico Beef Council, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Creamland Dairy and other agribusinesses.
Cooperative Extension offices in Chaves, Colfax, Dona Ana, Guadalupe, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Socorro, Torrance and Union counties also host Kids, Kows and More programs for elementary school children. Dona Ana County and Sandoval County have the largest participation with 1,344 and 1,035 students attending, respectively.
“Because we don’t live in a rural area, it’s really helpful to show the students where milk comes from and how bees make honey because they don’t see that where we live,” said Amanda Standridge, third-grade teacher at Sunset View Elementary, who brings her class annually to the event.
This was the first year Angela McBride’s Hodgin Elementary third-grade class attended the field trip.
“I think the kids really enjoyed it,” McBride said. “The activities gave the kids a lot of information about something they are probably not exposed to while living in a city like Albuquerque.”
Amanda Gonzales of Cross of Hope Elementary said she could tell her students were listening and engaged and thought they were able to get a lot out of the demonstrations.
“The kids were taking notes and paying attention to what was going on,” she said.
This year in Albuquerque, the students learned about honeybees from a representative of the Albuquerque Beekeeper Association. They learned that honeybees can fly approximately 15 miles per hour, honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, and the typical beehive makes more than 400 pounds of honey per year.
“I really liked the hand-washing demonstration. It was a really good visual for them,” Standridge said.
During the Germ Detective session, the students learned the best way to ensure their hands are not harboring germs is to sing the alphabet song while washing their hands so that it takes 20 seconds, which is how long it takes to kill germs.
While watching representatives of the Southwest Association of Blacksmith Artisans hammering red hot metal into a spoon, the students learned about the long history of “smithing” and how it relates to the agriculture industry today.
The students learned about two aspects of the cattle industry—ranching and dairy.
“The students always love the dairy cow. Afterward, I hear them talk about milking the cow. One year there was a sheep-shearing exhibit that the kids really thought was great,” Standridge said.
Cody Lightfoot of the Southwest Dairy Farmers talked about the importance of milk in the students’ diet and told the students many interesting facts about dairy cows, including that they drink the equivalent of a bathtub full of water each day. He also demonstrated the electric milking machine. The students watched as milk traveled from the live cow to a clear holding tank.
A representative of the New Mexico Beef Council talked about the business of ranching, both its traditions and its use of technology. The students gained an appreciation and understanding of those devoted to feeding the nation and being stewards of the land and its resources.
“I thought it was great for them to learn about the different aspects of living in New Mexico,” McBride said.
'Power Up' with new online game
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game called “Power Up” that helps young learners discover the importance of energy in agriculture.
In this comic book-style game, players will visit regions facing energy crises, review each situation and fire up the “Energy Expert 5,000” to keep Energy Land running. The game offers a whole new experience for My American Farm users, as they adjust a virtual energy meter to designate energy sources for a region in need. After playing the game, learners will understand the importance of having a balanced energy plan and discover energy as an important sector in the agriculture industry.
Accompanying the game is a new eComic, “Lights Out,” which invites learners to join Benjamin P. Farmington as he travels in time with his great-grandfather to learn how energy has changed. The new game and resources can be found at www.myamericanfarm.org/games/power_up.
This game and related resources were developed through a special partnership with Tri State Generation and Transmission Association. The game release kicks off a three-year partnership between Tri State and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. State Farm Bureau leaders will have the opportunity to nominate state representatives to attend an energy-focused agricultural literacy symposium in Denver to be held in late Spring 2014.
My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth-grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Today the free site offers 18 agriculturally themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics. One additional game will be released later this year.
The My American Farm educational resource is a special project of the Foundation. To take advantage of free My American Farm resources, games and activities, visit www.myamericanfarm.org.