A UNIQUE educational experience not only gave local children an insight into the district's agricultural links, but also helped support the Kerang and District Agricultural Society.
Around 400 children from five schools and the Gannawarra Children's Centre visited Alexandra Park on Tuesday as part of a program of events that aimed to promote the show to its future leaders.
The society developed the program following Gannawarra Shire Council's decision not to declare Tuesday a public holiday for residents in the township.
Students from Kerang Christian College, Kerang Primary School, Kerang South Primary School, Lake Charm Primary School and St Joseph's Primary School joined Gannawarra Children's Centre attendees in touring the show venue and exploring many of the event's attractions.
Armed with papers and pens, children stayed in groups as they learnt about how the cattle and sheep sections were judged, what yard dog trials involve and the various pavilion categories make up a typical show.
Kerang Fire Brigade and Kerang State Emergency Service personnel also ran demonstrations and information sessions, with the Victorian Government's Vicky Truck, Turtles Australia display and Parks Victoria information tent just as popular.
"The schools day is a fabulous opportunity for children to come and see activities that they not often see," Kerang South Primary School principal, Lyn Veall said.
"People assume that because we live in a farming community that we would see all of this, but not every child has seen a kelpie round up sheep or watched cows being milked."
Students needed to take notes at each information area – which included the sheep pens, animal nursery, horse ring and pavilion – to complete classwork relevant to their year level.
"Many of the kids will remember what they learnt here rather than reading it in a book," Mrs Veall said.
Show organisers will assess the program's success to determine whether it will continue next year.
"I've already had two school principals contact me to say how great the program was and they hope to see it run again next year," agricultural society president," Geoff Davey said.