Rainbow Ridge Farms of Onalaska held its weekly Family Farm Night Tuesday. The farm is open to the public every Tuesday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. The owners of the 94-head dairy goat-farm hold the event to help educate children and parents about the importance of family farming in the community.
Children of all ages are able to experience and participate in chores around the farm from collecting eggs to milking the goats and feeding pigs. Rainbow Ridge Farms owner Donna Murphy emphasized how important farm education is for today's youth.
"If we don't teach the children of today about farming, in 25 years there's not going to be any farmers. There will only be big huge 10,000-animal computerized farms," Murphy said. That would be a real tragedy."
With the decline of family farming, Murphy said this gives kids of all ages and backgrounds the chance to learn first-hand how important farms are to a sustainable future.
Rainbow Ridge Farms also sponsors the local 4-H Club goat project, providing goats for kids to show free of charge. However, the kids are required to help out with chores around the farm at least once every week. Parents also have to be active participants in order for their child to participate.
Murphy says 4-H can help the children learn something about themselves along with the animals they show.
"Showmanship isn't just about learning about goats, showmanship is learning about yourself and how you can handle yourself," she said. "Showmanship can give the kids the confidence that they can do anything."