BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — Unless you grew up in the country, it’s unlikely that you ever bottle fed a calf, or held a baby pig.
But hundreds of kids are now able to share those experiences and more, at Blue Ribbon Farms in Aliquippa.
Farm employee Jessicca Swoggen will give hundreds of rides in her horse drawn wagon before this summer’s done. The experience allows city and suburban kids to get closer to farm animals than they ever did before. Feeding newborn calves is a highlight of Little Farmers Day Camp.
Camp leader Tori Ingram explains the difference between Guernsey and Jersey cows, as Paige Prawucki introduces youngsters to a trio of pot belly piglets. Potbelly pigs are kept as pets, and never turn into bacon.
Speaking of breakfast, Sabrina Perilli leads a group to pick up eggs from the chicken coop.
Little Farmers Day Camp is sort of like a three day vacation for these kids, except they’re learning at the same time. You might call it an education vacation.
Dan McLaughlin and his wife Chris open up their 128 acres to nearly three hundred kids each summer. Dan says for many, it’s their first farm experience.
“They have a lot of fun here, but they also get educated. So they leave here with knowledge of why it’s important, why animals are important. They have a lot more appreciation, I think, for the animals and what it takes to keep them.”
Finally, day campers enjoy a cooling dip in Raccoon Creek.
Farm work does have its rewards.