Friday, May 20, 2016

Teaching Maine agriculture form a personal prespective - By Michelle Libby

Jaydn Kimball may only be in fourth grade, but she and her sister Kennedy, have already had a first-hand education on Maine agriculture on their farm in Windham. On Beech Haven Ladies Farm, the Kimball family raises show cows as well as other animals. 
Last week, Jaydn brought two cows and a bunny to show to all of the fourth grade classes at Manchester School. 

“They told me I was really lucky and said they were going to ask their parents to get a cow,” Jaydn said. “They really liked them.” 

Jaydn knows all about showing cattle from the type of halter to use to the practice time, 15 minutes a day, to get the cow ready for showing at competitions all over the country and at summer fairs. 

“It’s a lot of work,” she said. She figures they do about eight or nine shows a year, many in the summer. Right now the family farm has 14 dairy cows, 4 Angus beef cows, 11 chickens, 24 chicks, 13 barn cats, 6 house cats, 4 dogs, 2 bunnies, 2 full-sized horses and 2 miniature horses. The animals they raise are award winners and often come home with ribbons and prize money. Jaydn has won some money showing her cows and according to her teacher Stacey Sanborn, when asked what Jaydn wanted to do with the money by her friends, her answer wasn’t to buy an X-Box or a new phone, it was to put the money back into the farm and buy more cows. 
“Her responsibility shows in the classroom. She has a strong work ethic. Anything we’re doing here, she can relate to the farm,” said Sanborn. 

“I love waking up every morning and seeing the animals. I spend a lot of time with my family and doing the work because it’s definitely worth it,” Jaydn said.  

Jaydn’s family does chores four times a day and they wash all the cows every day, she said. 

In addition to farm work, Jaydn also plays basketball and softball. She hopes to one day grow up to be a vet with her sister. “We’d be sister vets,” she joked. 

Her favorite part of living in a farm is the haying in the summer and riding in the hay wagon, she said.

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