Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

Feb 25th ~ Livestock Animals and How They Help Us

This last week has been very busy, but very rewarding as well! A while back I was invited to guest speak to the Johnson Elementary School 2nd Grade classes about Livestock Animals. My topic to share was ‘Livestock Animals, their attributes, and how they help humans solve problems’.

This is a very exciting topic to me because animals are a crucial part of human life all over the globe.


Each class began with a quiz about their knowledge of proper names for species, and boy/girl. I laugh a little right now because the first slide I put up was of cattle – but every class yelled “COWS!”. I explained that was not right because technically cows are the female, but no one would judge them for calling cattle, cows…hahaha!

After we had some fun naming livestock, the kids were challenged to match the animal with a product it provides. We then brought up the web of products and discussed many things we knew animals provided and a lot of things we didn’t know they provided!

They were excited to know donkeys are still used for transportation in countries like Thailand were roads are limited in mountainous areas.

It was amazing to learn that recent medical research has led doctors to use a pig’s heart valve as a replacement for the human heart valve when it fails to work properly. The pig’s heart valve is so well adapted that it works better than the mechanical replacement that had been used prior to this discovery.

Finally, we talked about the behavioral lessons we can learn from animals and how they interact with each other. I shared the story of Helen the blind, shy buffalo, and how she met her best friends Oliver the calf and a pot belly pig (sorry, name escapes me – we will dub her Sally). Although they are different from each other, they have learned to appreciate their differences and each make life worth living for group! What a concept for youth to learn to see and appreciate the differences in each other!

Helen and Oliver (Sally not pictured)

Over all, I’m thankful for the opportunity to visit Johnson again and I look forward to the 2nd grade PBL presentations later this year!

**Writers Note: Please feel free to contact me for your PBL or in classroom presenter needs. I’d love to talk with you more about how CSU Extension STEM can partner with you and your students!

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