Being an ag reporter is, by all accounts, a pretty interesting job — until you’re talking to a group of six-year-old farm kids who just want to visit the dairy barn already.
Last month, I was invited to give a little presentation about my job to a central Alberta 4-H Cleaver Kids club, a precursor to 4-H that caters to children between the ages of six and eight. Armed only with the tools of my trade — notepad, pen, tape recorder, and camera — I stood in front of a dozen or so kids in an elementary school classroom and gave my spiel on why it’s fun to be an ag reporter.
But bullet points on note cards and a slideshow of photos will only take a person so far when you’re talking to little kids (even as well behaved as these ones were). So in the spirit of 4-H’s slogan — ‘Learn to do by doing‘ — I had the Cleaver Kids help me write a news story about farming and 4-H.
With notepads and pencils in hand, we asked some tough questions (“What’s the most fun thing about farming?”), came up with some newsworthy quotes (“I fell in poop!”), and nailed down the most important part of the job — spelling everyone’s names correctly.
In the end, we wrote a short news story that we wanted to share with the readers of Alberta Farmer. The premise may not be news to you. We all know farming is fun.
But like being an ag reporter, being a farmer is work too, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery that comes with any job. But sometimes all it takes is a group of young people to help you remember that your job is indeed fun, despite it all.
Farming is fun, says central Alberta Cleaver Kids club
The Crestomere-area 4-H Cleaver Kids all agree — farming is fun!
“We don’t have to sit in boring meetings,” said Finn.
“I like riding the combine and tractors,” added Hudson, who lives on a grain farm.
Riding “back and forth into the field” is the most fun part of farming for Cory, too. But for Evie, who has three horses on her farm, the animals are the best thing about living on a farm.
“My mom is going to teach me how to ride a horse,” she said.
The 4-H Cleaver Kids program introduces children between the ages of six and eight to different parts of farming. Soon, they’ll be split into two groups: building and working with sheep.
The boys in Cleavers all agree that building with Lego has been the most fun part of Cleavers so far.
“We get to do a lot of stuff and play with Lego,” said Josiah.
“I’m really curious about Lego,” added Cory, who built a tree fort on his farm this year.
The Cleavers girls, on the other hand, are most excited about the sheep.
“We get to go places and learn stuff about sheep,” said Bailey about her favourite part of Cleavers.
“I’m looking forward to the sheep,” said Addison.
Evangeline has sheep on her farm — and she’s learned already that working with them isn’t all fun and games.
“I was riding the sheep, and I fell in poop!” she said.
But everyone agrees that, whether they’re playing with Lego or working with sheep, Cleavers — like farming — is lots of fun.