Graeme Potts holds one of the 10 turkeys that were raised by Sardis secondary's agriculture class.

Growing turkeys for goodwill at Sardis secondary

Chilliwack- agriculture students at Sardis secondary raised 10 turkeys; four of which were donated to Ruth and Naomi's and Sto:lo Nation.

Sardis secondary’s agriculture classes aren’t just learning about agriculture, they’re giving back to the community – farmer style.

This Christmas, Ruth and Naomi’s Street Mission and Sto:lo Nation will be receiving two turkeys each to feed the homeless and underemployed over the holiday season.

The organic turkeys, which were among 10 donated by Sleepy Mountain Farms in Yarrow, were raised by the Sardis agriculture classes.

“These turkeys were given to us so that we could enrich the lives of our students with experiences in the classroom, and because of that, we wanted to give back to the community,” said agriculture teacher Tania Toth.

Agriculture is not your typical science course. While they still have to read from textbooks, and listen to teacher lectures, the difference between this course, and most other science courses, is that it’s all about agriculture, and the thing with agriculture, it’s mostly hands-on.

The class has raised laying chickens, broiler chickens, ducks, and now turkeys.

“We’re trying to give our students as much of a diverse experience as possible,” said fellow agriculture teacher Joe Massie.

It’s working.

The day before turkey slaughter day, a group of Grade 11 agriculture students toured guests of the school around the turkey barn, which was modified with halogen lamps and a high fence to accommodate the turkey’s needs. Without a teacher in sight, the students gave the guests an education in all things turkey.

They pointed to the dangling, red skin below the turkey’s chin and defined it as a wattle, which is used as a cooling device when turkeys get too hot. They informed that toms – male turkeys – also have snoods, which are red flaps of skin over the nose that turn bright red during courtship or in times of distress.

And they explained that their turkeys didn’t actually gobble, but more “chirped like girls,” because they were in fact female turkeys.

Grade 11 student Graeme Potts, whose dad owns Sleepy Mountain Farms, was sure to add that turkeys are also the “dumbest” farm animals.

“They don’t know how to eat or drink when they’re babies, they drown in rain, and a lot of them suffocate when trying to keep warm,” said Potts.

When the education veered to the reason why the turkeys hadn’t been fed that day, you could almost see the students salivating.

“You don’t want any food in their system when their slaughtered,” because you don’t want the meat mixed with half digested food, explained Grade 11 student Brett Kupp, adding that they too would be enjoying a good turkey feast.

The six remaining turkeys that aren’t being donated, are being cooked up for a pre-Christmas turkey feast for the agriculture students.

In addition to traditional turkeys, there’s going to be deep fried turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, veggies – all the fixings.

When asked if they were sad to send the turkeys off to the big farm in the sky, not one of them hesitated in their response.

“That’s the way life goes,” said Grade 11 student Ty Kirk, a hungry twinkle in his eyes.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read