Learning through livestock: How the Pipestone Discovery Barn is bringing the farm to fair goers

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– The squeals of newborn baby piglets and excited children can be heard throughout the barn during the Sioux Empire Fair.

Chicks, piglets and calves can all be found inside the Discovery Barn. Visitors not only get to see the baby animals, they can also witness them being born.

“It is something that is very fun and the reactions of the parents, the adults as well as the children, about ‘wow that was fast’ or ‘look at that’ or ‘what is that thing hanging from it’s tummy?’ And I’ll say ‘you know every body has one, it’s call an umbilical cord.’ So there’s lots of things that they learn that are just fundamental at the farm and we are happy to bring that kind of transparency to the town,” Sylvia Wolters, Public Relations, Pipestone Holdings said.

The excitement grows as kids are able see the newborn animals.

“My kids absolutely love it. We always like to come out early to see the animals before it gets hotter in the day,” Jessica Hofer, a parent said.

During fair week, three sows have given birth, 25 to 30 chicks are hatching and one calf has been born, with two more on the way.

The Discovery Barn gives kids who don’t grow up on a farm, a chance to learn more about where their food comes from.

“Oh it’s great. Their eyes are wide it’s, ‘oh it’s a real cow, mom it’s a real cow’. Yeah of course it’s a real cow,” Wolters said. “This is how we get milk and it’s really fun to see them associate with a real animal, rather than a coloring book or an exercise from school.”

Kennedy Hofer grew up in town, but has dreams of becoming a pig farmer when she grows up. Seeing the baby pigs has been the highlight of the fair.

“They are cute and I really like them when they lay down because it makes them look cute,” Kennedy said.

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