East Helena students get firsthand ranching experience with 'Ag Day'

Posted at 5:56 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 11:17:04-04

HELENA — About 150 East Helena students participated in AG Day at the Prickly Pear Simmental Ranch on Tuesday to better understand the inner workings of Montana ranches.

AG Days began in 2017 and was mirrored after Gallatin County’s AG Days. The day is meant to give young kids an inside look at what it takes to maintain a ranch.

Loretta Burnham, owner of Prickly Pear Simmental Ranch, says that this day helps to open kids’ eyes to the work it takes to put food on the table.

“So, a lot of times kids just don't understand where their food is coming from. So, basically, this just gives them a chance to come out here and explore some of these stations. We've got everything from bees and sheep and cattle, and just tells them where their food comes from, not that you just run into a grocery store and find your food,” says Burnham.

Burnham says that she loves doing this to see what kids will find out for the first time.

“It’s so fun to find out what is their favorite station, what are they learning, and the things that they take away from today. It’s stuff that you wouldn't even guess,” says Burnham.

For example, 4th grader Emmett McGillivray learned how cattle and basketball are related.

“They have a lot of different parts in their bodies and most of them are used. And that their skin’s made into basketballs, and baseballs and baseball gloves,” says McGillivray.

In addition to learning about cattle, students got an inside look into multiple aspects of a ranch such as beekeeping, horses, sheep, pigs, branding, ATV safety, and more.