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

Chilliwack named as one of the most generous cities in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Holiday home turns Agassiz Ave into festive wonderland

Dean Sims has been decking the halls for Christmas for the last 18 years

Projected drop in Chilliwack residential assessed values for 2020

Industrial assessments projected to rise by a provincewide high of up to 35%

Fantasy Farms moves its country Christmas attraction inside Chilliwack Mall

Festive agri-tourism event moved from Morans’ farm to shopping mall following cease-and-desist notice

Chilliwack school board trustees change up leadership

Dan Coulter re-elected board chair but Willow Reichelt out as vice-chair, David Swankey in

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

‘Absolutely devastating’: Laptops, gift cards stolen from Surrey Christmas Bureau

Executive director says it’s a ‘huge blow’ and the charity was ‘already struggling for teen gifts’

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

Most Read