It is Ag Day season at our local schools. Ag Day took place at Henry Miller School last week. In the coming weeks, there will be Ag Days at Miano School, LFE and Charleston.

Volunteers from the community, 4-H clubs and our local FFA programs participate with prepared sessions/lessons about all things agriculture. There are sessions about tractors and tomatoes, soils and florals, honeybees and plants, and so, so much more. The Los Banos Community 4-H Dairy Group, that I serve as the leader of, has put together a session about dairy nutrition to present this year.

Their lesson is, A single eight ounce serving of milk (flavored or regular) has as much potassium as one small banana, as much protein as on and one-half eggs, as much riboflavin as one-third cup almonds; as much niacin as 10 cherry tomatoes; as much calcium as 10 cups of raw spinach. It has as much phosphorus as one cup kidney beans, as much Vitamin B12 as one ounce of turkey; as much Vitamin D as a quarter ounce of salmon; as much Vitamin A as three-quarters of a cup broccoli. All that nutrition in a single eight-ounce carton of milk available to them every day at school.

Ag Days at our schools are beneficial in so many ways. Those that are presenting learn valuable communication skills and how to be role models to the next generation. Those that are the beneficiaries of this agricultural knowledge and exposure to live farm animals get an up-close experience with those that produce what they eat and drink, and the hard work it takes to get those products to the local grocery store and into their lunch boxes and dinner tables.

During the school closures, Ag Days were cancelled. It is an honor and pleasure to be back at our local schools, and I would like to thank those amazing educators at each of those schools that work so hard to make Ag Days possible.

Kirsten Areias

Kirsten Areias, who recently received the Merced Chapter California Women for Ag Bell Ringer award for promoting agriculture, writes a regular agriculture column for The Westside Express.