Piglets ‘oinky’ at Forreston FFA’s Ag Day

Addison Wilken, a first grade student at Forreston Grade School, pets a donkey at the Forreston FFA's Ag Day on Friday, April 12, 2024. In addition to the petting zoo, the event included farm tractors, and lessons from Forreston High School  FFA members.

FORRESTON – A Forreston first grader ran up the ramp to the piglet trailer, eager to see Dawson Heslop’s 2-month-old little hogs as part of Forreston FFA’s Ag Day on Friday.

She stopped briefly to pet two little chicks and then walked briskly to the pig pens.

“They are oinky,” she declared as she exited the trailer.

A classmate behind her stopped to comment on one of the piglet’s nipped ears.

“They look like antlers,” she said while laughing before she and her friend skipped over to the see the lambs and goats.

The piglet trailer was only one stop to see farm animals during the Forreston FFA’s Ag Day, held on the front lawn of Forreston Grade School on a sunny, warm and windy morning.

Students ventured out from their classrooms in 25-minute intervals to pet the animals and climb on three farm tractors that also were part of the event – all in an effort to learn more about agriculture.

They were greeted by Forreston High School FFA students who manned each of the stations and talked about their animals and equipment.

“No yelling or running,” Heslop instructed students before they started their rounds. “The animals’ ears are more sensitive than ours. You need to treat them how you’d like to be treated because they have feelings too.”

Jenny, a 4-year-old burro, was the most cooperative, standing at attention near one of the rails of her cage, allowing kids to stroke her forehead. Two lambs and a nanny goat and her 2-week-old kid opted to stand in the middle of their pens, sounding off with occasional bleats to the delight of their audience.

Justin Myer of Adeline brought Jenny and his two goats and lambs to the event in addition to a John Deere tractor and tedder – a rake used in haymaking after cutting and before windrowing. It uses moving forks to aerate or “wuffle” the hay and, thus, speed-dry it before baling or rolling, Myer said.

“We use this to drive in the middle of the rows to help with drying,” Myer said.

Referring to the students, Myer said: “One of them asked me the weight of the tractor. I wasn’t sure because I haven’t ran it across the scale to weigh it.”

Darin Greenfield of Forreston brought his family’s John Deere tractor to the event, and he willingly answered questions and helped kids climb up to the cab of the tractor. Some kids opted to curl up inside or stand by one of the machine’s big wheels for a photo op.

Forreston High School ag teacher and FFA advisor Kelley Parks organized the event as a way to help showcase agriculture.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

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