Fourth graders converged on the Fairgrounds on Friday for the Fourth Grade Farm Fair. Jay Meyer of Stevensville originated the farm fair in his classroom in Stevensville many years ago. About 18 years ago, he and his wife Colleen, and a few other people expanded the event to a ranch east of Corvallis to include students from Corvallis and Victor. In 1999, the event was moved to the Meyer’s ranch on the Burnt Fork east of Stevensville. At that time the event expanded to include the rest of the schools in the valley.
These days, the Farm Fair is headquartered at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. There is ample room for the 450 students, 200 plus volunteers plus bus drivers, parents and others that show up. Fairgrounds manager Deborah Rogala said this event is the official opening of the Fairgrounds for the year.
Each group of students will visit 16 stations. These stations range from learning how to rope with Boone Jones to making tin can ice cream. There are rabbits, pigs, sheep, apple trees, and much more. FFA and 4H members bring their animals and serve as instructors during the day. Victor Ag Ed teacher Kristi Rothe said this is a great chance for the older students to teach what they have learned. They are all treated to a barbeque lunch too.
For Boone Jones, the event offers him a chance to tell youngsters about how his job includes roping cows and horses to check ownership. The Montana State Livestock Investigator tells how many animals are stolen in the state and then stress the importance of branding cattle and horses to prove ownership. Jones has been volunteering at the Farm Fair for about 14 years.