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Farm Bureau holds 20th annual Ag Day

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Bandera County Farm Bureau hosted over 200 local fourth graders at their 20th annual Ag Day, Friday, April 12. Mansfield Park accommodated youngsters from Bandera, Medina and Utopia schools as they learned about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.

As always, the day proved to be an educational success thanks in large part to a group of willing volunteers, some of whom have been attending Ag Day for as long as this writer.

Among the volunteer presenters were Juanea Rucker demonstrating sheep herding, Clyde Holekamp with his always popular milking machine and Deborah Wardlaw talking about beef and beef by-products. Bonnie Naumann and Elias Carabajal demonstrated sheep shearing and wool products; Emilee Trlica extolled the value of cotton and demonstrated how a cotton gin works; Larry Stark from NRCS discussed soil conservation; and Terry Rucker hammered and shaped horseshoes for a couple of patient equines.

Bandera Electric Cooperative shared safety and conservation tips along with bright yellow "hard hats." The Texas Farm Bureau held center stage with their mobile barn that told the students about a multitude of Texas ag products and their uses. Laura Klinksiek and a crew of 4-Hers shared the fun and value of 4-H membership.

Outside, woodworker Lee Haile displayed his handcrafted wood products and sliced a few fragrant planks off a large cedar log on his saw mill, while nearby Robert Mazurek and Kevin Meier talked about farm equipment and big tractors.
Also helping supervise, assist, teach, clean up and more, were representatives from Bandera and Medina FFA. Farm bureau insurance agent David Immel manned the pit all night, and agent Booker Young and board member Buddy Sandidge sliced up deliciously tender brisket for the volunteers' lunch.

Pictured: Photos by Carolyn B. Edwards

Lee Haile talks about the importance of trees as a source of building material at Ag Day.

Utopia 4th graders share their interest in 4-H projects.

Bandera students pay close attention at a demonstration.

The milk comes out here and goes in here, and ends up on your macaroni and cheese, explains Clyde Holekamp and his generous cow.

Kevin Meier explains the workings of a hay baler.

Members of Bandera County 4-H tell 4th graders about the many things they can do if they join 4-H.

Students always enjoy the roar of the forge and its blast of heat during the horseshoeing demo.

Anton Haner and Buddy Sandidge kept everyone on schedule with the big cow bell at Ag Day.