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3,700 3rd graders learn about agriculture
Golden West School students got a chance to play on farm equipment at the AgVenture Thursday at the Manteca Unified school farm. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Can a chicken fly?
That was one of many questions Manteca High sophomore Diego Rodriguez fielded from third-grade students of his Rhode Island Red at Thursday’s AgVenture.
“They asked a lot of questions like that,” said Rodriguez, who allowed youngsters to see the domestic chicken up close.
As member of the Manteca High Future Farmers of America chapter, he was one of 534 AgVenture volunteers at the Manteca Unified school farm.
“Volunteers and sponsors are what makes AgVenture possible,” said coordinator Krista McCoon.
She’s been in charge of the event that covers California history — a requirement for the third-grade curriculum — for the past three years.
“Ag is a big part of this area’s rich history,” McCoon said.
This was the first of three AgVentures, as sponsored by the San Joaquin County Ag Commission, planned for this school year.
Blue Diamond Growers are the title sponsor, McCoon said.
An estimated 3,700 youngsters from south SJC enjoyed cool overcast condition at this one-day event, coming via bus from Manteca Unified, Ripon Unified, Escalon Unified, Tracy Unified, and the Jefferson, Banta and New Jerusalem school districts.
They spent just over two hours, listening to four 10-minute presentations at AgVenture, learning about soil, water conservation, and health and nutrition, to name a few.
“They also learned about (local) fruits and vegetables, square dancing and met with the (San Joaquin County) Sheriff’s Department,” said McCoon, who indicated that this year’s AgVenture featured over 80 booths and displays.