Urban students experiencing Colorado farm and ranch life first-hand this week
April 13, 2014
Thirty seniors from Lakewood are learning what farm and ranch life is all about while they stay with farmers and ranchers throughout Colorado.
Students from Bear Creek High School will spend one week living and working with a rural host family, as part of the Senior Field Studies Program. The students are living with their farm and ranch families from April 11-18.
"These students are from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of the objectives of the rural live-in experience are to experience rural life first hand, gain knowledge of the problems farmers and ranchers must deal with on a day-to-day basis, participate in the daily chores, understand how politics affect the agricultural industry and to compare and contrast rural lifestyles with urban/suburban lifestyles," said Angela Ryden, Colorado Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee chairman.
During their visit, the students become part of the family.
They help with the daily chores of the farm or ranch, attend any meetings the family might go to and participate in social activities. By participating in the daily operations of a farm or ranch the students will gain first-hand knowledge in production agriculture practices and activities.
Through these activities, the students learn about the family values, business aspects, political issues and community activities that make up rural life in Colorado. Some students will have the opportunity to attend a rural high school for a day in order to appreciate the differences in education throughout the state.
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"The rural portion of Senior Field Studies has been a huge success in past years with many students considering it the highlight of their semester. It has proven to be a great way to improve communications and build understanding between rural and urban communities," said Ryden.
Senior Field Studies is for both college bound and non-college bound students and is designed for seniors who have satisfied all other curriculum requirements for graduation.
Each student must contribute more than $1,000 to participate.
Aside from the rural experience, the students also study urban, suburban and wilderness areas. The program allows them to explore career opportunities in various industries and participate in community service programs. The program provides an opportunity to learn and grow by trying new things in new and challenging environments. It cultivates leadership and problem solving skills, and promotes the values of responsibility and hard work.
The Senior Field Studies program is sponsored by the Colorado Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee. Students are visiting Colorado farms and ranches in Sedgwick, Amherst, Lindon, Center, Salida, Monte Vista, Alamosa, Mosca, Whitewater, Palisade, Norwood, Redvale, Palisade, Gunnison, Olathe, Craig and Pine Bluffs, Wyo. ❖