Animal educators: Teaching children about ag
The Krebs family includes, from left, BreeAnn, Alan, Lilah, Emma, Jamie, Victor, Kyle and Brittney.
“Being around animals has provided me with so many life skills,” says Brittney Krebs.
Growing up on her family’s dairy farm near Dickinson, N.D., Krebs got an early education on animals. As she and two of her five siblings, BreeAnn and Kyle, got involved in the farm and their menagerie grew to include llamas, goats, sheep, alpacas and other animals, the family realized that many youngsters in their community didn’t know much about where their food came from.
“We found that kids don’t think about the important role of the animal and the farmer,” she says. “They think their food comes from the grocery store.” So Krebs and her family began taking their animals around the community to educate children about animals and their food supply.
“We teach kids, many who have never even touched an animal, about things like the types of goats and uses for chickens,” she says.
The learning happens through informal setups like petting zoos and more formal events like the Dickinson State University Kids Day on the Farm, which welcomes about 2,000 kids from the area to learn about agriculture. The university’s 30th anniversary farm day was cancelled because of COVID-19, so Brittney and BreeAnn continued the education virtually through daily videos on the family’s Facebook page, Krebs Family Pumpkin Patch. The videos show a behind-the-scenes look at farming and animal care.
“We still wanted people to learn about the animals, and it worked because we could show the animals in their homes on the farm,” she says.
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