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East Helena students participate in 'Ag Day'

East Helena students participate in 'Ag Day'
Posted at 3:47 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 10:45:37-04

HELENA — The Prickly Pear Simmental Ranch on York Rd. hosted dozens of East Helena fourth-grade students on Tuesday.

The students visited the ranch as part of the Lewis and Clark Co. Farm Bureau's annual Ag Day.

During the tour of the ranch, students learned about different aspects of farming and ranching. The ranch set up more than a dozen stations to teach the students about everything from branding to water and soil management.


The Lewis and Clark Co. Farm Bureau started the Ag Day event in 2017 to help show youth where their food comes from and what a career in agriculture might look like.

Radley Elementary student Hazel Brandt thanked the ranch for welcoming the student and told MTN her favorite station showed the farm machinery.

"Because it told us a lot about how you use the farm tools," Brandt said, "In the future, I want to start my own farm someday. So it really helped me learn a lot."

Loretta Burnham and her husband own the Prickly Pear Ranch Simmental Ranch. Burnham also serves as the Secretary of the Lewis and Clark Co. Farm Bureau Board of Directors.


Burnham told MTN that one of the most rewarding parts of hosting the students is seeing how the time on the ranch opens their eyes to agriculture.

"Every once in a while we get [a student] that comes up and says I'm going to raise cows someday, or I want to have my own sheep or my own pig."

According to the Montana Department of Agriculture, there are more than 58 million acres of farm and ranch land in Montana, putting Montana second behind only Texas for agricultural land.

The Department of Agriculture adds that in 2022 farms and ranches in the state produced $4.3 billion in goods.