With wide-eyed wonder and amazement, students in grades five and six from Riverview Elementary School in Brandon learned that it takes one cow hide to make 18 soccer balls or 144 baseballs! They also realized that the cattle industry helps with grassland areas assisting with keeping a lower level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And by the end of the class, they were able to assemble a side of beef.
This hands-on instruction is all part of MooMania, a school-based program that is offered by the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba in conjunction with Manitoba AG EX for students in grades three to five in Southwest Manitoba. “I love going to schools to educate the students, bringing rural farm life to urban communities that’s what MooMania is all about!”. Kristen Laing Breemersch is the Program and Volunteer Manager with the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba and the key instructor.
Riverview School is just one of many schools she has visited so far this month, including Oak Lake. By the time Manitoba AG EX kicks off on October 26, she’ll have reached more than 175 students. “MooMania instruction starts in the school classroom. I chat with the students about benefits of beef, the business of the cattle industry and how the cattle industry benefits the environment and wetlands. But the real excitement is when they come to Manitoba AG EX on the morning of opening day to see the different breeds of beef cattle for themselves and have a hands-on experience within the cattle industry.
One of the cornerstones and mandate of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba is to educate, and to bring awareness about agriculture. MooMania has been a vital part of that mission and mandate for more than 10 years.
“It’s wonderful to see that flicker of understanding and appreciation on students’ faces. When they realize the hard work it takes for cattle producers to maintain a healthy herd — that’s our reward.”
Also, tor the first time this year, the Manitoba Sheep Association is hosting its Jackpot Market Lamb Show. As part of that event, the Manitoba Sheep Association will partner with the Provincial Exhibition to educate students in grades six to eight through Ewe Mania Thursday, October 27 in Barn 3 at 9:00am. They will also present sheep shearing demonstrations on Saturday morning, October 29.
Manitoba AG EX is October 26 to 29 in Brandon. It is a true family-friendly event and there is no charge for admission.