The Blaine County Conservation District sponsored and organized the Farm Safety Day again this year at the fairgrounds on April 30. The areas addressed were ATV, Fire, Chemical, Animal, First Aid and Tractor Safety.
Brandon and I taught about the importance of “Animal Safety” on the farm to over 130 4th grade students from Canton, Geary, Okeene and Watonga schools. Since we have been doing this for the past seven years, our farm animals have become quite popular, namely Sparky, Wade’s 140-pound golden retriever. You might say he is the star of the show on Farm Safety Day. This past year, he has become rather slow and arthritic and I was concerned that he would be fatigued by having to “perform” all day for seven groups of kiddos. Therefore, I requested he be allowed to stay home and rest and we bring another one of our canine family members. My request was denied. However, a compromise was reached that he go and be allowed to sit where he pleased and allow the students to go up to him versus me taking him by his leash and leading him along the line where the kids stand. Our first class came in that morning and remarkably, as if on cue, when Brandon started talking about farm dogs, Sparky arose from where he had been resting, ambled over to the kids and started making his way right down the line, just like he had done for the past seven years. Once again proving, he was the star of the show.
Another fun thing we were able to do this year was have the students name the bottle calf we had brought along with us. Brandon and Clayton were checking cattle in the helicopter one day prior to Safety Day, and had seen him in one of the pastures all alone. When they went to check on him, they deduced he was a twin and that his momma had gone off with her other calf, thus leaving this little guy to fend for himself.
Throughout the course of the day, we had the students give us names for the calf and at the end of the day there was a two-way tie between the names “Midnight” and “Hank.” While the students were all gathered to take photos before they left to go back home, we had a tie breaker by show of hands and hollers. Midnight prevailed.
He has now been joined by another orphaned twin. Her name has yet to be decided. Any suggestions?