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From a to zoo

Baby animals allow hands-on learning

FFA-petting-area

Ben Logan FFA member Holly Parker, right, holds a rabbit as fellow FFA member Hayley Phillips passes out coloring pages Tuesday at the petting zoo in the former milking parlor along Harding Street. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

With the goal of better educating young fair visitors about livestock, several local FFA chapters have come together to open a miniature petting zoo on the Logan County Fairground.

The project was a joint effort of Benjamin Logan, Indian Lake, Riverside and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s FFA program and came about after discussions between the Senior Fair Board and the programs’ advisers, Ben Logan FFA president Jessica Skidmore said.

“It’s a group effort. We’re trying to get more people involved,” she said.

The petting zoo, which is located in the former milking parlor near the show arena, has cages for a goat, rabbits, chickens and baby farm animals and the FFA members staffing the site offer educational information and coloring activities to children who stop by.

Holly Parker and Hayley Phillips, both of the Ben Logan FFA chapter, were working the petting zoo Tuesday and said they enjoy seeing the children’s reactions.

“I like seeing the kids come and pet the animals,” Holly said. “Since I show rabbits, I’m not afraid to take (a rabbit out) and let the kids pet it.

“You can get kids more into the fair by letting them hold or pet the animals. When they see them in their pens, the animals usually cower away at the back, but this lets them get close.”

“We want to see how it goes and decide if this is something we are going to do again,” Ben Logan FFA adviser Laura James said.

The Ben Logan chapter staffed the petting zoo Monday and Tuesday and will be back Thursday. A joint group of Indian Lake and Riverside FFA members are working the zoo today, Friday and Saturday.

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