written by: Chelsea May
Every year Purdue University hosts a community event called Tot’s Day. Tot’s Day is a day when children in the surrounding community are invited to Purdue’s Animal Sciences Research and Education Center (ASREC) to learn more about the animals in agriculture.
This year, Tot’s Day took place on Tuesday, March 31st and catered to over 400 kids between the ages of 3 and 9. The event is made to be very hands on so that the kids have the opportunity to pet or hold animals that they may not see every day. The animals this year included a beef steer, a dairy calf, yellow perch in a tank, a sow and piglets, a ewe and lambs, a hen and chicks, and finally an incubator with eggs ready to hatch. In addition there was a Western and English saddle on display and a tractor that they could climb up into and have their picture taken.
After splitting up the kids into smaller groups, the groups travel to each animal station where a Block and Bridle member gives the kids a quick lesson on that animal. The kids are then given the chance to pet or hold the animal. Tot’s Day is a huge event in the spring for Block and Bridle, so the members that volunteered were such a big help!
In addition to member participation at the event, leading up to the event Purdue Block and Bridle’s Tot’s Day Chairs put in a lot of work. Food has to be arranged, for kids and volunteers, animals have to be arranged, contact with schools and preschools have to be made, and constant volunteer reminders need to be sent out to members. It is not a job for the weak, but Tot’s Day chairs Maegan Starkey and Chelsea May find it well worth the effort.
Chelsea May added, “Tot’s Day is such a rewarding experience for me. I have a passion for animals, and I feel like this event is the best way for me to express my passion to others and teach them about the animals in Agriculture. And it’s not just for the kids, the parents are usually the ones who ask really good questions. Everyone enjoys it!”
The kids really enjoyed watching the piglets play and run around!
Everyone loved watching chicks hatch in the incubator
A photo op in front of the tractor!
Block and Bridle Member, Ally Franklin, teaching a group of kids about pigs.