Introducing Special Needs Kids to Agriculture

Introducing Special Needs Kids to Agriculture

Introducing Special Needs Kids to Agriculture

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Leslie Linderoth is a 4H leader in Kennewick who has spent nearly the last three decades introducing children to agriculture and livestock, primarily poultry. How she came to do this is an interesting story.

LINDEROTH: I had not been raised in 4H or with chickens around and I had been raised around horses; horses I thought were my whole life. Then I got into genetics and so I got a degree in microbiology and a horse masters degree from England, and thought boy I'll be with horses and supporting myself with genetics. And sitting there with two little girls at a 4H meeting one day and they said "okay, go pick what you're interested in and both my girls picked chickens.

That led to Linderoth volunteering to be a 4H poultry leader, which led to introducing special needs kids to raising and caring for chickens.

LINDEROTH: It was just wonderful - the door it opened to these kids that they have an animal small enough they can cuddle, and chickens can be so personable. And they could provide food for their families, and if they wanted they could go to the fair, show their birds, but unlike other market animals they don't have to sell them.

Linderoth also goes a step further in helping those kids that want to go on into business.

LINDEROTH: I can help them by getting them really nice quality birds that they can sell fertile hatching eggs on like eBay over the internet, and feathers to jewelry makers; so it can give the youth their own home business that they can build up.

Tomorrow Linderoth will be back to talk more about the "Leftovers" 4H club, and how they will be assisting her in teaching an adult education class on how to properly raise backyard chickens.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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