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Great Valley students learn about ag
Great Valley School sixth grader Rasheed Babalola gets to feed one of the miniature horses on display at Thursdays Ag Day conducted on campus with the theme of Farm to Table dedicated to the memory of Joe Brazil. See additional photos on Page A8 - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

During her days at Great Valley Elementary School, Maggy Mijares looked forward to farm day.

The annual event – otherwise known as Agriculture Education Day – was held Thursday at the Manteca Unified School District campus in Weston Ranch.

This year’s theme was “Farm to Table,” and was open to the entire Great Valley community, from the pre-schoolers to the eighth graders.

“It’s really nice to include the smaller children – they’re the ones who really enjoy seeing all the farm animals,” said long-time farm day organizer Jeannie Pacheco Seward.

Mijares, who was been again a guest presenter, brought her 9-year-old American quarter horse named ‘Chocolate.’

She’s been doing it for the past three years.

“They’ll ask me what he eats,” said the Weston Ranch High senior. “They’re surprise when I mention apples.”

Other farm animals included the Easter egg chicken belonging to Christian Gomez, who like Mijares attended Great Valley and is currently at Weston Ranch High. The sophomore is also a member of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter.

“I remember being a first grader and going to farm days here,” said Gomez, who also raises pigs.

Pigs were nowhere to be seen on this 14th annual of farm day.

“There’s a disease spreading among pigs right now. That’s the reason why (the farmers) kept them away from this year’s farm day,” Seward said.

As always, the event was a collaborative effort consisting of the ag community – Weston Ranch and Lathrop FFA were part of that mix – and a variety of businesses.

Coca Cola representatives, for one, talked about the importance of recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans and Farmington Fresh provided fruit snacks, according to Seward.

She added that both were first-time farm day presenters. “We had every room in use (with presenters),” Seward said.

The district showcased its going-green Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

Honey Pacifica handed out honey samples for both a snack and fighting allergies, among other things.

There were also classroom presentations on bats, reptiles and hawks.

“Each grade level made a basket for the farm day presenters,” said Seward, who added that those classes kicked in for toppings used for the potato bar luncheon.

She’s been in charge of farm day at Great Valley since its inception 14 years ago.

Great Valley is currently the only school in Weston Ranch to provide a special day featuring the ag community, Seward noted.