Thousands have fun, learn science at Farm Field Day

Everton McLean
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Agriculture

Neither rain nor muck could keep people in the capital city from taking a gander at chickens, horses and farm equipment at the 50th annual Farm Field Day.

The event, held Saturday in St. John's at the Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Facility on Brookfield Road, had about 5,000 visitors, many of them children dressed in brightly coloured rubber boots and rain jackets.

The 50th annual Farm Field Day attracted more than 5,000 visitors to the Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Centre in St. John's Saturday. The event featured research displays, agricultural exhibits, farm animals, and hay rides (above). Photo by Rhonda H

Neither rain nor muck could keep people in the capital city from taking a gander at chickens, horses and farm equipment at the 50th annual Farm Field Day.

The event, held Saturday in St. John's at the Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Facility on Brookfield Road, had about 5,000 visitors, many of them children dressed in brightly coloured rubber boots and rain jackets.

Paul Green attended the field day with his three-year-old son Jake. He said he didn't get the opportunity to go last year because he was working, so it was a treat to see Jake enjoy the animals, rides and games this year.

"He wanted to go on the hayrides and see the little chicks being born. The weather didn't stop us. It was misty rain, that's all," he said.

Lesley Cowan, a spokeswoman for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which organized the event, said people seemed pleased with the event, despite the weather. "It's a chance for us to open our doors to the public, and they can come in and see what we do for research," she said.

"Some of the highlights were our tractor tours, doing tours of the research field, and we also had our animal farm, and our research displays, highlighting some of the research we do with small berries," Cowan said. "And one of the big attractions here of course was the chicken barbecue. I think they sold more than 1,000 chicken dinners."

Meanwhile, in a nearby building, some chicks were just being hatched. A group of small children, along with their parents, huddled around to see the fowl as their tiny beaks broke away their shells.

Christa Alyward watched the births with her daughter, Abigail. The three-year-old smiled as she compared the fuzzy-feathered one-day-old chicks nearby with the scrawny-looking hatchlings in the hatching cage.

Alyward said she asked a friend with her own daughter to join her at the farm after noticing the event listing posted by the side of the road. She said she now plans to make it an annual outing.

"There's nice animals and bouncy castles and different things for them to see and do," she said.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Geographic location: St. John's, Brookfield Road

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