Hands-on learning at Agribition

November 27, 2014 - 7:03am
Kids learn about auctions at Canadian Western Agribition. Photo by CJME's Andrew Shepherd.
Kids learn about auctions at Canadian Western Agribition. Photo by CJME's Andrew Shepherd.

Milking a cow is a lot easier than is used to be.

Today's farmers may have grown up using their hands and a bucket but the new generation of kids are learning a whole new way.

The cow milking demonstration at the Canadian Western Agribition is still extremely popular for children, but it's not a hands-on event. Bob Crowe and his crew with SaskMilk only have to spend seconds attaching a machine to the cow's udders, and within minutes the entire task is over.

He explained it's important to show students where their milk comes from and that it doesn't magically appear in a carton.

"Milking by hand and milking with a machine feels exactly the same for the cows," said Thomas Birchard, who learned the fact after the demonstration.

Some interesting questions are asked from the curious crowd during every demonstration. Crowe often explains chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows, although life would be grand if it did. Some questions are easier to answer than others.

"How can you tell the difference between the boys and the girls and what do you do with the boys milk?" Crowe gave as an example.

He has to dance around the tougher questions like "where do the babies come from?" when he explains milk only comes from female cows after giving birth.

A more hands-on activity came after the milk demonstration in the form of an auction. Students were given cards with a maximum dollar amount in fun money as Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers auctioned off agriculture products.

Kiana Reitmeier bought barley for $3,600 after a wild and sometimes confusing round of auction. The kids didn't fully understand the tongue twister of words spitting out of the auctioneers mouth but still flashed their cards high above their heads in excitement.

"It was really extreme," said Reitmeier.

The winners got a picture taken with their prize but also took home life skills.

"Who knows how many auctioneers might come out of it down the line," said Crowe.

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