Elementary students get to pet animals, sit on farm tractors at Oregon FFA petting zoo

Oregon kindergartners reach out to pet Timmy, an Arabian horse owned by Oregon High School FFA member Molly Ziegler, during the FFA's petting zoo on Thursday, May 5, 2023. FFA members brought their animals and tractors to the event to share with Oregon elementary students. Ziegler is a junior at the high school.

OREGON – Timmy didn’t mind all the extra chow on May 4 or all the attention showered on him. In fact, he encouraged it.

“He works with special needs kids, so he’s used to a lot of attention,” said Molly Ziegler, a junior and FFA member at Oregon Junior-Senior High School. “He’s a rescue, so we’re not sure how old he is, but we think he’s 9.”

Ziegler and Timmy, an Arabian horse, were part of the FFA chapter’s petting zoo that offered elementary students a chance to see, pet and – in Timmy’s case – feed animals owned by FFA students, as well as to climb on some real farm tractors.

A steady stream of kindergartners from Oregon Elementary School made sure Timmy ate well, shoving hay into his mouth as they stroked his mane.

“We had around 605 kids come through today,” said OJSHS Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor Chelsea Eden. “Some of junior high ag kids were here today too.”

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 8 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.