Some Indian Creek Elementary School students spent Thursday petting and learning about various types of farm animals as part of the district’s annual Animal Day.

Indiana Creek FFA members and the Creek Cattle Company put on the day for the elementary students at the cattle barn near the school in Trafalgar. Students arrived around 7:30 a.m. with their animals to set up for the day and show them off until the end of the school day at 2 p.m.

Despite being rurally located, not all students get the chance to experience different livestock on a daily basis, said Joe Dunn, agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor. Not only do elementary students get a fun day of learning and petting animals, but high school FFA members get to show off their animals while gaining public speaking and leadership skills, he said.

“A lot of these animals are raised by these students and this is their life, this is their sport,” Dunn said. “So they get to kind of showcase what they do after school every day and it really shows a lot of pride in what they do.”

For Animal Day, elementary students are split into small groups and rotate between the animal pens and stations. Animals featured included dairy and beef cows, a calf, goats, pigs, sheep, and both a horse and a pony. New this year was a flower and agriculture drone stations.

Students watched a demonstration of the drone in action and learned about its various uses, including that the drone can spray up to thirty feet of crops at one time.

First-grader Alohna Smith’s favorite part of the day was petting the different animals, she said. Missy, the miniature horse, was her favorite because she was “so soft,” Smith said. One thing Smith learned that surprised her is sunflowers can grow as tall as a giraffe, she said.

The pigs were first-grader Hudson Shaner’s favorite animal because he has some at home. The cows were cool too because he “got to touch one,” Shaner said.

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Sophomore Elliana Cole and her brother bought their dairy cow to teach students the differences between beef and dairy cows and where their food comes from. They also set up a station with various straws and feed that cows eat, allowing students to play in the buckets.

Cole loved seeing the students surprised reactions to crazy cow facts, she said. Cole was proud to see the elementary students knew a lot more about cows than anticipated. Surprisingly, not a lot of students had asked if brown milk comes from brown cows — a question she gets every year when attending the State Fair, she said.

“I love just educating them because sometimes kids don’t know where their food comes from — and sometimes they even say the grocery store,” Cole said. “Doing this, it just helps educate them and tell them more about where their food comes from and what we do as a farmer to help feed the world and everything like that.”

For seniors like Rebekah Legan, Animal Day is an opportunity to advance her future career. Legan hopes to become an agricultural education teacher or do agriculture communication, so Animal Day is an opportunity for her to practice her skills and get a taste of her future.

Legan brought her horse Daisy and her pony Missy to teach students about the different types and species of horses.

“A lot of kids have been scared because horses are kind of seen as dangerous if you don’t grow up with them,” Legan said. “So to be able to show them a sweet horse like Daisy has been really awesome because it opens doors for a lot of kids.”