MUSCATINE, Iowa–A highlight of the spring, children in Muscatine and FFA students at Muscatine High School have looked forward to the Kiddie Barnyard every year for more than 30 years. After the event paused for a year due to the COVID-19 school closures, Muscatine FFA hoped to bring it back, with adjustments to make it safe for all. On May 7, Muscatine FFA students and organizers welcomed students from across the district to come to the Muscatine Agricultural Learning Center to learn about all different kinds of farm animals.
Smaller than in the past, this years Kiddie Barnyard welcomed kindergarten students from each of Muscatine’s elementary schools. To further promote social distancing, each school came at its own scheduled time and students toured five different stations with their own classes.
While at the Kiddie Barnyard, students saw a sheep sheering demonstration where they learned about where wool comes from and how sheering sheep keeps them from overheating in the summer. They then got to meet a variety of large and small animals and find out from the FFA students caring for them what they have to do to raise them. Outside behind the Ag Center, kids got to enjoy a hayrack or horse cart ride and see a riding demonstration from several Riding for Success volunteers.
Dailyn Garrett, a senior at Muscatine High School and Muscatine FFA president, who remembers attending the barnyard herself as a kindergartner, felt pleased to bring the signature spring event back. “I love just seeing all the kids get excited about the animals,” she said. “Hopefully, we can get them excited about it early.”