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AgVenture draws 3,792 students to school farm
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Third-grade students enjoyed petting the calf during AgVenture. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
AgVenture continues to grow.

Some 3,792 youngsters – mostly third-grade students – converged on the Manteca Unified school farm Wednesday to learn about the variety, quality, availability and health benefits of locally grown produce and the economic opportunities of agriculture in San Joaquin County.

“They learned that milk doesn’t just come from the grocery store,” said Jessica Sweet, an Ag student from Modesto Junior College.

She and Lauren Bragg and Brooke Phillips serve as ambassadors to the dairy business, promoting to students of all ages on milk and anything ag related.

“We enjoy spending the day answering a lot of fun-filled question,” Bragg said.

Students were shuffled in and out of the various AgVenture stations throughout the morning.  They spent the morning learning about water, soil, produce, farm animals, seeds, making butter, roping, and horse-back riding, to name a few.

 They came from the various school districts, including Tracy, Banta, Jefferson, Lammarsville, Ripon and Manteca.

Some came from religious-based schools such as St. Anthony’s, St. Bernard’s, and Ripon Christian.

Students also learned about nutrition.

“I like to eat and I now know what’s good for me,” said Phillip Brooks of Joseph Widmer School.

The special guests at AgVenture included Greg Aghazarian and Scott Hudson.

Aghazarian was recently appointed as deputy secretary for legislature and special assistant to the secretary for the Department of Food and Agriculture. Before that, he was a three-term state assemblyman representing the 26th district.

“This is my first-ever AgVenture,” said Aghazarian, who enjoyed touring the district facility.

He added, “This is the place where people get their boots muddy and their hands dirty.”

 Hudson is the San Joaquin County Ag Commissioner.

He said what makes this AgVenture different from that of the others – another is planned for later in the school year at Lodi and Stockton – is the MUSD farm.

“It’s on an actual farm,” he said. “That’s what makes it extra special.”

AgVenture is coordinated annually by Janet Dyk, who also relies on the hard work and dedication of 400 volunteers.

This year’s event was also blessed with sunny skies and warm conditions.