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Temple Ranch hosts Second Annual "Notice Nature Field Day"

story by Mandy Walters

Brenham veterinarian, Dr. Bill Eikenhorst, narrating deer necropsy. Photo by Joey BenavidesMore than 180 Duval County seventh graders and teachers attended the second annual Notice Nature Field Day on Nov. 14 at the Temple Ranch near Freer. The event provided students an opportunity to learn about different local, state, and federal agencies and educated students about the importance of agriculture and taking care of nature.

“This is the second year Agua Poquita Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has partnered with the Temple Ranch to host the ‘Notice Nature Field Day’ for the 7th grade students from Benavides, Freer, and San Diego,” said Sammy Guerra, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS) District Conservationist. “All of the students were presented shirts as a reminder of their date with nature.”

In keeping with the theme of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, eight hands-on workshops were conducted throughout the day. The students learned about plant identification, how animals get from pasture to plate, legal and illegal hunting activity, the purpose of prescribed burns, animal adaptations, wetlands, soil science, and turkey research and ecology. The field day concluded with a deer necropsy narrated by veterinarian, Dr. Bill Eikenhorst, from Brenham.

“I’ve been doing these things for a long time,” said Jenny Sanders, Temple Ranch events coordinator. “There is not much that gives me a warmer and fuzzy feeling inside than seeing a kid’s eyes light up when they realize how cool and exciting the outdoors and science can be. The only thing better is [180] of them!”

Students learn about plant identification. Photo by Adelaida S. FieldsThe presenters for the event were from Temple Ranch, Agua Poquita SWCD #321, NRCS, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas A&M Research Center-Corpus Christi, South Texas Natives, Sweden Ranch, and Drs. Bill Eikenhorst and John Walla, veterinarians from Brenham and Navasota, respectively.

The event was sponsored by Temple Ranch, Agua Poquita SWCD #321, USDA- NRCS, Agri-Insurance, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The 11,300 acre Temple Ranch, winner of the 2011 Texas Leopold Conservation Award, is located 11 miles north of Freer and is a conservation partner of the SWCD and NRCS.

For more information about future educational events, contact Mandy Walters, program facilitator for Agua Poquita SWCD #321, at 361-256-3342 ext. 3.

Dr. Joe Paschal presenting how a cow gets from the pasture to plate. Photo by Adelaida S. Fields Robert Sanders of Temple Ranch talking about turkey ecology. Photo by Adelaida S. Fields

Dr. Joe Paschal presenting how a cow gets from the pasture to plate.
Photo by Adelaida S. Fields

Rober Sanders of Temple Ranch talking about turkey ecology.
Photo by Adelaida S. Fields

Dustin Windsor, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, demonstrating prescribed burning. Photo by Adelaida S. Fields

Dustin Windsor, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, demonstrating prescribed burning.
Photo by Adelaida S. Fields