LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) - Students at Engelhard Elementary learned about turkeys, pigs and cows during a visit by a local farmer at their school gymnasium on Monday.

Steve Meredith with the Jefferson County Public Schools Garden Alliance visited Engelhard as a way to introduce urban city students to real farm animals. 

The kids call Meredith "Farmer Steve," and this is the third time the school's PTA arranged the visit, said teacher Joshua DeWar.

This year Meredith brought two pigs, two turkeys, a rooster, baby chicks, three lambs and a two month old cow named Amy.

"It was a great visit," DeWar said. "The rooster crowed whenever Farmer Steve spoke, and the children couldn't stop laughing."

DeWar says the visit also allows teachers to connect the animals to lessons in their classrooms. 

"We discuss how animals thrive in a rural habitat and also how animals are raised for food," Dewar said. 

Second grader Terrion Jenkins was even able to kiss one of the turkeys, while his classmate Nevaeh Cannon spent time petting the piglets. 

DeWar, who is also Kentucky's 2016 Elementary Teacher of the Year, said many of his students have never visited a farm before.

"The kids love interacting with the animals. Many do not have the opportunity to learn about farm life, its real setting or travel out into the country. This brings the country to them, and it makes their learning more pragmatic and true."

The JCPS garden alliance is a group of 27 schools that are growing gardens and teaching students about nutrition education, as well as science, math, reading and more. 

(Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached @tkonz on Twitter or at (502)585-0838.)

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