Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English
A Life Lesson From the Rodeo
The Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston helps to educate people about farm life and agriculture. For families from farms, being around cows is part of everyday life. But the Houston rodeo's Joel Cowley says that is not true of most Americans.
JOEL COWLEY: "Less than two percent of the U.S. population is involved in production agriculture, directly involved, and of the six million people that live in the Houston Metro area, those that come to our show, this may be the only direct interaction they have with agriculture." The rodeo has exhibits that show where food comes from, how worms can improve the fertility of soil and how important bees are to crops. Children get close to cows, sheep and pigs. And they can see newborn chicks, right out of the shell. They also can see newborn calves, lambs and piglets. They might even see one of these animals being born. Jackie Hill is a volunteer guide.
GIRL AND JACKIE HILL: "How do you know when the cows will give birth?" "Their muscles will start to contract and they'll start to dilate and open up and you'll be able to ... hopefully see the head of the cow." Ms. Hill grew up on a farm in central Texas.
JACKIE HILL: "And it's surprising to me what little some kids know and some adults even." I'm Ted Landphair.