Maybe you’re a longtime Farm Animal Days expert. Maybe you’ve already picked your date and registered online (though you don’t have to register in order to attend), and all that’s left is to decide whether you’ll try roping a cow right away, or go straight for the free Howling Cow ice cream.
No matter how many times you’ve attended the longtime spring tradition at NC State University’s Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory, here’s what you absolutely need to know for your 2018 visit.
- Where do you go and when? This year’s Farm Animal Days is from Wednesday, March 21, through Friday, March 23, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., in the Beef Educational Unit located at 4505 Mid Pines Road. If we experience a significant rain, we’ll probably need to cancel.
- How much will you pay? Trick question: as always, the event is free.
- What should you watch for this year? Kids can try their hand at being cowpokes with some practice roping, then over to gently touch animals from goats to turkeys – and be on the lookout for Molly the Cow and Porky the Pig.
- Will there be presentations? At 10, 11, 12 and 1 each day, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences employees and students will give short, informal talks about animal agriculture for kids, about 15-20 minutes long.
- How long should you plan be there? One hour is sufficient to see all exhibits.
Farm Animal Days is hosted by the departments of Animal Science, Poultry Science and Food Science.
With most of the United States’ population at least two generations removed from farm work, Farm Animal Days provides a unique opportunity – and one that’s fun to watch even if you work with livestock every day, said Billy Flowers, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Animal Science and longtime Farm Animal Days participant.
“Every time I come out … I’m just amazed at how the people interact with the animals,” Flowers said. “Most people understand the animal-human bond because they have a cat or dog at home, but then they come out and see these large livestock … It’s the same kind of bond, and I think a lot of people have never experienced that.”