Graham Academy students visit Hillside, learn about animals

First Posted: 1/22/2014

Students from the Graham Academy in Luzerne called in the chickens then cast pieces of lettuce and bread onto the winter ground as part of their educational field trip to learn about raising livestock at the Lands at Hillside Farms in Shavertown on Jan. 17.

Although the students have visited Hillside Farms several times this school year, this was the first occasion they ventured to the Springbrook area which is not open to the public and is home to some of the oldest barns on the farm.

Students collected eggs, laid woodchips inside nesting boxes and replenished the feed and water for the poultry inside the chicken barn. They also fed lettuce, eggs and bread to pigs as Hillside staff explained the process of feeding and the nutritional value of these foods that the livestock enjoy eating.

Students also had the opportunity to observe the rotational grazing of Devon cattle, which encourages an even distribution of grazing throughout a paddock allowing resting periods in between rotations to help maintain the health of forage.

Each month, students from the special education school travel to Hillside Farms to learn about farm life, farm animals and the tools and equipment used by farmers for planting and harvesting. These field trips are part of its science enrichment curriculum that works in conjunction with Hillside’s agricultural education programs. Graham Academy teachers and Hillside Farms staff work together to devise experiential education lesson plans for the students which are presented before each trip so that classes can study it, discuss it and be prepared when they arrive at the Farm.

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