Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Math in Ag!

I missed these guys!!  Our class was jam packed!  First, we had a lot of Farm News to catch up on.  Yesterday, I loaded up the steer into the trailer and drove the two hours to my favorite processor.  I estimate that he weight around 1100-1200lbs, and I'm excited to see what the hanging weight will be.  I explained to the class the weird abbreviation for pounds: lbs.  We calculated up the amount of feed that I was giving to the steer per day, and multiplied it up to see how much total grain was fed.  Then, we took the price of 50lb feed bags and figured out the total feed cost.  They then added that to the cost of the steer itself (or an average cattle price), and the cost of processing.  They all realize now why beef costs so much!  I love sneaking in math!  We will be doing a lot more math next week!

Next, the class learned about toxins and why it is super important to keep dangerous things (such as moldy hay) away from livestock.  We talked about the use of activated charcoal to bind to chemicals in the stomach.  Activated charcoal is used in animals and in humans!  If someone consumes a poison and has to go to the emergency room, they are often given a lot of activated charcoal.  I explained how messy this is to administer to livestock!  They then learned about different types of injections and how to lines on a syringe represent mls.  We talked about the metric system, and the meanings of deci-, centi-, and milli.  They used syringes of different diameters/sizes and sucked up 1ml of colored water.  I explained to the class why the skinny syringes had to be almost full, but the fatter syringes barely had to move to suck up the same amount.  Volume lesson for the WIN!

Next week, we will be talking about cc's and ml's, weight vs. volume measurements, etc!  I told you... I love sneaking math into agriculture lessons!  Both classes learned about the need for wormers.  Parasites in the grass cause problems with livestock in most every pasture.  Most of the time, the worm load is light, and the animals' bodies can handle it.  Sometimes, the worm load is too much for the animals and they need to be given a wormer.  The classes learned about wormers that are given as liquid, paste, and by injection.  This led to an awesome lesson about the three states of matter: liquid, solid, and gas!  We were able to give our donkey her paste wormer and the goats their oral liquid wormer.  The kids learned a lot AND were a big help!   

As always, we have a constant come and go of animals on the farm.  Animals are born, animals are sold, new animals are brought in!  During their break, the older class helped me to take pictures of the new bucklings to post on the website's sale page!  Later on this year we will talk about animal registration, pet quality animal sales, lineage, and why some animals are more expensive than others.

In art, Ms. Gina taught the class about the CowParade, an international public art exhibit that is features in major cities throughout the world.  Fiberglass cow sculptures are given to local artists to paint in their own special way.  Then, they are displayed around cities in public spaces such as train stations, important avenues, city squares, and parks for all to enjoy!  These sculptures are also auctioned off for charity.  They are cows for a cause!  Next, the class watched a slideshow of some of the sculptures around the world.  The group worked on putting their own spin on a cow.  They definitely let their creativity flow!

The younger group read their stories, which could be any farm story at all.  As always, they did great, and enjoyed sharing their stories with the class!  The older group learned about prepositions before the break, and they worked on a preposition book involving one of our adventurous goats!  In their booklet, they used different prepositions to express the funny places that the goat could go!  "Ester is on the car."  "Tootsie is under the bed."  "Lily is walking along the fence."  "Blossom got into the feed bag."  Those pesky goats get into everything.... perfect for prepositions!

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