How much milk does a cow produce? Why do sheep need to have their fleece sheared?
Those are some of the questions Minneapolis and St. Paul third-graders are pondering at Urban Ag Day at the Minnesota state fairgrounds Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the students streamed past the shuttered All You Can Drink Milk stand and headed indoors to learn about the water cycle, pollinators and common Minnesota crops like soybeans.
Minneapolis third-graders Annabel Raney and Emma Jacobson-Dunlop leaned in close to the sheep pen. They've both been to the State Fair, and Annabel said her grandpa has a farm, so they aren't total strangers to animals. Still — "I didn't know that a sheep might have bugs living in it if they didn't shear it," Jacobson-Dunlop said.
Students from Minnesota FFA chapters helped teach the lessons. Morris eighth-grader Grace Mortenson said the event is a small step toward overcoming the divide between urban and rural young people.
"The kids in urban areas, they don't really know what happens in rural areas because they haven't experienced it, and they don't really go visit smaller towns," Mortenson said. She said there's a lot to learn about the sources of the food, clothing and other products city-dwellers use every day.
Correction (May 9, 2018): This story has been updated to correct the day these students participated in Urban Ag Day.
Correction (May 9, 2018): The location of the fairgrounds was incorrect in some captions in an earlier version of this story.
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