Rice hosts western education program

Dakota Rice, 22, senior of Kellogg, Idaho, answers agriculture questions Monday, during a western education program for middle school students.

Dakota Rice, 22, senior of Kellogg, Idaho, answers agriculture questions Monday, during a western education program for middle school students.

Eleven middle school students from Chadron attended a Western Education program hosted by Dakota Rice, 22, senior of Kellogg, Idaho. Rice, a math education major, taught the students the importance of agriculture, including livestock, crops, and the unique way of life that people in agriculture live.
Rice is also a bull rider on the CSC rodeo team.
“Just in society in general the ranching and agriculture lifestyle are all dying away,” Rice said. “We are ending up with a generation that doesn’t want to go into ranching. They want to go out and get degrees in other things and be successful. They don’t see the value in staying home and running the family farm or ranch. So teaching the new and younger generation that agriculture is still important and the little things that it still benefits on a day to day basis is important.”
Rice opened with a presentation showing the importance of agriculture and how common things like classroom materials are made of Ag products such as soy and even parts of cattle. The real treat for the excited students was examining and trying on some of Rice’s bull riding equipment.
Rice was even convinced by Head Rodeo Coach Dustin Luper and the students to hop on the practice mechanical bull. Rice showed off his skills but was eventually bested by the bull, which Luper was controlling.
“It was good doing this one and being able to see that the kids are going to ask a lot of questions during the presentation and just seeing how excited they were in the arena I know that I need to spend a little more time here,” Rice said.
This was the first western education program that Rice has conducted. The next one is this afternoon, at 4 p.m. for intermediate school students.
“Luckily, I was able to do it at Chadron,” Rice said. “It was easier to facilitate a room and to get all the props ready for the kids.”
Rice also said that he wants to do similar programs, one at the rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at Laramie County Community College, and hopefully one or two more in the spring.

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