f you could see Nebraska through my eyes, you would see a beautiful working farm on an oxbow of the Missouri River, located in Bellevue. The drive to the farm is so pretty. You drive through Fontenelle Forest on a gravel road and forget that you’re in the city. You might even see some wildlife along the way. The hurried pace of city life goes out the window. You are on farm time as we say here. You tend to forget what time it is and just enjoy a little bit of country life. After you go past the front gate, you’ll see either corn or soybeans growing in the field on both sides of the lane. You’ll hear the sounds of ducks quacking and roosters crowing. The farm has all of the typical farm animals you would see on a Nebraska farm. We have horses, donkeys, ponies, calves, sheep, goats, poultry, piglets, llama and a rabbit.
I happen to have a job I love. When I was much younger, I would visit and stay with my grandpa and grandma during the summer at their farm in Auburn, Iowa. I looked forward to those visits and have so many fond memories. Now I help make memorable visits for many children that come to our farm on field trips, summer day camp or one of our public events. I work with children and animals. I go home with all kinds of funny stories. Many of these children have never been to a farm before. It never gets old watching their faces light up when they get to pet an animal, ride our wooden miniature rocking horse or go on a hayrack ride. We provide many educational programs to area schools that visit on field trips. I greet them on their bus with a big smile and welcome them to Gifford Farm. Our outdoor educators teach in an outdoor classroom. What a great way to really learn about farming. Children can see, listen, touch and hear about the many lessons on farming.
Our grandchildren love coming to the farm. First they want to see their favorite farm animal or one of the exotic pets we have. The horses, ponies, chickens and a bearded dragon are some of their favorites. Then they’ll take a few turns down our slide and land into a big pile of straw. In the early spring they help me bottle feed lambs. It is a wonderful place for them to just run around and enjoy the fresh air. Many children don’t get to go visit a family farm. I’m so glad we have this place for all ages young and old. We have many events through the year when we are open to the public. I hope you get to visit our unique treasure in the country.
My name is Laura and this is Gifford Farm Education Center through my eyes.