Farm School is giving kids a much-needed break from uncertain times

Digital Originals

MONETA, Va. (WFXR) — The idea for a Farm School at Spring Valley Farm in Moneta started last year during a spring break camp the farm hosted that had more than 300 kids attend.

However, Farm School was held on a much smaller scale this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, keeping the focus on education, but also giving kids something to do this summer.

“It’s really just about bringing kids into agriculture and showing them that there are career paths that can be found outside of an office.”

Michelle Simmons – Manager / Spring Valley Farm

The kids attending the class on Monday, June 29, got to see a newborn baby calf.

“Today, I know the kids got their hands on a mini Zebu calf that was just born last night. They also learned how to milk goats, how to brush goats, and how to brush horses. Also, how to administer vaccinations, and all before lunch.”

Michelle Simmons – Manager / Spring Valley Farm

The first thing the children do at Farm School when they arrive is chores to get ready for the day.

“The thing I really didn’t like is we got to pick up the horse poop … but I’m alright with it. I’m just happy we’re doing chores for the animals so they can stay alive.”

Ashlyn Bushman – Farm School Student

The goats at Spring Valley Farm seem to be a crowd favorite with the kids.

“I got to brush the horses and pick up the goats and pet the goats.”

Kylie Woolard – Farm School Student

“Oh, I love the goats. Well, I got to hold them and pet them and brush them. It was super fun.”

Ashlyn Bushman – Farm School Student

Spring Valley says they want to give children something fun and outdoorsy to do during these uncertain times.

“I can imagine its probably really scary. Everyone is wearing masks and wearing gloves and you can’t do the things you use to do anymore, and summer is ruined, you know. So, we’re just trying to restore just a little bit of that.”

Michelle Simmons – Spring Valley Farm Manager

Classes are held 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the summer. Lunch is provided at an additional cost, but guests are welcome to pack your lunch.

The class works on a weekly enrollment basis for $50 a week.

For more information on Farm School, see Spring Valley Farm’s Facebook event page.

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