posted on Thursday, May 9, 2019 in West Region News
As the school year winds down, the third-grade classes at West Elementary had their annual piglet program. Every spring, AMVC provides an hour-long educational program and brings in two piglets to share with the students. This tradition started in 2017 and continues to be a highlight and capstone for the concepts they have been learning throughout the past year.
The pig presentation covered concepts related to animal care, pig housing and nutrition. The students watched several short video clips, so they could visually see the inside of a sow farm and a finishing farm. The presentation concluded with the class identifying pork comes from pigs and discovering the many pork products they consume with their families.
The third graders have focused on their community including the role of consumers and producers and jobs in their social studies curriculum. Throughout the AMVC presentation, the students were able to identify themselves as the consumers of bacon and the pig farmers as the producers. In addition, the class connected the role of other jobs in the community that support the swine industry; including mentions of crop farmers, feed mill workers, veterinarians, meat processors and livestock truck drivers.
The school day ended with each third-grade class having an opportunity to touch the three-week old piglets and ask questions in a smaller group setting. The students were surprised to learn the colors and pattern markings pigs can be, how farmers keep pigs healthy and how pig farmers keep their hands clean.
Paula Johnson, third grade teacher at West Elementary, believes this program is great addition to her classroom saying, “My students enjoy learning about the pork production process. Many of them do not come from a farm or have seen a live pig.”
The students were very excited to learn about pigs and asked numerous questions throughout the fun-filled and educational afternoon.
“It’s important for our students to be aware of what the community has to offer. There are pig farms and jobs for them here in the community,” added Johnson.
Mary Budd, an AMVC employee, has been helping with this project since its inception. She continues to spearhead this effort because she enjoys bringing new light into the classrooms and educating the students about the world around them.
“My favorite part of the day is watching the children around the piglets. Some have never seen a pig in real life or had the opportunity to touch one. It’s nice to let them know about the pig farms in the area and have the students share their experience at home with their family.”
AMVC enjoys giving back to area students and helping them have a hands-on experience with modern pig farming. After the program, the two piglets were donated to a Platte County family to raise for their 4-H project for the county fair this summer.
AMVC owns and manages the pig farms in Wheatland and employs around 35 people in the community. AMVC is headquartered in Audubon, Iowa, and manages 143,000 sows across eight states.
- ag education