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3rd graders heading to school farm Thursday
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The Manteca Unified school farm will welcome another Ag Venture experience on Thursday.

That’s the San Joaquin County program that informs and educates youngsters about agriculture, healthy living, and locally grown products.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., third-grade students from Manteca, Escalon, Ripon, Tracy, Banta, Jefferson, Lammersville, and New Jerusalem school districts will converge at the ag facility at the MUSD complex.

“The Ag Venture program really gives kids a look at agriculture. They get to see, hear, smell and touch ag – some for the first time,” said Program Coordinator Krista McCoon.

This is the second year that she’s spearheaded the event, consisting of two educational hours broken down in four 10-minute presentations on soil and water conservation, health and nutrition, and different agricultural commodities.

“Many of these students live in an urban environment, and most have never seen the true size of a tractor, touched a horse, or experienced how a cow is milked,” McCoon added. “That will change for the Ag Venture field day.”

Each class will have a choice of visiting close to 90 booths and displays hosted by the various businesses and organizations in the county. Featured will be everything, from fruits and vegetables to livestock and farm machinery.

Look for volunteers to distribute nutritious, locally produced samples such as almonds and fruits made possible by the donation of area businesses.

“Improving the awareness of agriculture helps local students increase their appreciation for the agricultural industry and also encourages them to maintain healthy and active lifestyles,” Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican said.

An estimated 500 volunteers are expected to fill a variety of roles – timekeepers, orchard supervisors, presenters and people movers, etc.

“The volunteers are ones who really make this experience a memorable one for both teachers and students,” said Pelican.

For more information, call McCoon at 209.402.5734.