TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Malcom DeGraeve, a Grade 4 student from École Harrison, bids on a cow on behalf of his classmates during a fun mock cattle auction at the end of the Manitoba Livestock Expo’s MooMania program at the Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence on Wednesday.
"Going once. Going twice. Sold for $35,000 MooBucks," proclaimed the cattle auctioneer, pointing to one student waving a fistful of pretend money in a sea of young faces.
Grade 3 and 4 students from Alexander School pose for photos with the Limousin calf Orphan Annie they made the winning bid on during a fun mock cattle auction at the end of the fifth annual Manitoba Livestock Expo MooMania program at the Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence on Wednesday. More than 480 Westman students in grades 3 to 5 took part in the event to learn about the cattle industry. The students earned MooBucks by completing stations throughout the day, then used the MooBucks to bid on cattle. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Close to 500 students took part in MooMania yesterday at the Westoba Agricultural Centre of Excellence as part of a kickoff to the province’s biggest all-breeds cattle show and sale: the Manitoba Livestock Expo.
Dylan Cram, a Grade 4 student from George Fitton School, was beaming with new knowledge about cattle and the beef industry.
"We saw cows and it’s been really fun," Cram said after his entire class was photographed with a heifer.
With six educational stations to learn from — Life of a Cow, Benefits of Beef, Origin of Beef Breeds, Inside of a Cow, Business of Cows and Beauty School for Cows — Cram said he learned that cows are for more than eating.
"Some cows are also used to make stuff," Cram said, adding they can be used in leather to make baseball gloves.
The event is an important educational link back to the farm, according to teacher Dale Seafoot.
"The idea is to make the kids understand the connection from the hamburger to where it comes from, and all of the other ways that beef contributes to our lives," Seafoot said.
MooMania, which is organized by the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba in partnership with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, is just an appetizer to the expo, one of the most prestigious shows in Western Canada.
"It’s a smashing success," Provincial Ex CEO Karen Oliver said about the education initiative, which also features Ag In the Classroom’s Amazing Rangeland Adventure for students in high school.
Today, close to 600 head of cattle will compete in the expo over a range of shows.
"We have enough cattle to do two additional breed shows this year," Oliver said. "It’s a strong turnout."
The Manitoba Livestock Expo starts today with the Little Lady Classic and wraps up on Saturday with Trancon’s National Trust Simmental Sale followed by the Supreme Breed Extravaganza.
For a full list of shows and schedule, visit brandonfairs.com.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2013