Agricultural learning learn from life Message from the specialty of Nishitama, the Mizutaka Festival

Get in contact with animals

Pigs and high school students

Piki Kiki Kii! Piglet! A three-week-old piglet rang his voice high. It is about the size of a small dog such as a toy poodle. High school students dressed in gray work clothes are picking up. When I asked him about his weight, he said: “I have not measured exactly, but it is about 4 kg.”
Encouraged by the students already accustomed to dealing with such animals, the little ones gathered and touched the terrifying little pigs and gently caressed them.

Department of Animal Science

If you look closely, you will notice that there is a notch on the ear called an “ear carving”. This makes it possible to identify individuals, as well as information such as date of birth and parents. Furthermore, it is said that the cast (removal of the male pig’s testicles) is complete. The members in charge of this “contact angle” and the students of the Faculty of Livestock Production themselves do all the work that can be said to be the basis of pig farming.

Sheep and foal too

In addition to pigs, cows, and chickens, the school also has sheep and foals, and all of them are present during this Mizutaka Festival. We also offer a horseback riding experience for kids. Adults are also healed by such a scene, and it has become a kind of farm care (farm animal therapy) that has been quietly gaining attention in recent years.

The annual Mizutaka Festival is a success

A long line in front of the main gate

Approximately 20 minutes on foot from Hakonegasaki Station on the JR Hachiko Line. The School Festival (Mizutaka Festival) is held on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5, 2017 at the Metropolitan Mizuho Agricultural High School in Mizuho-cho, Nishitama-gun.
According to the school, the number of visitors in the past two days has exceeded 4,000. There was a long line in front of the main gate at 10am. When I asked one of the elders in line, he said he was looking forward to this time of the year. The thing was that the food was going to end soon, so it would come as soon as possible.

A big event that the locals have been waiting for

At the food court tent near the entrance, students sell processed agricultural products such as miso, jam, burgers, and anman.
In an annex building across the street, the Faculty of Horticulture Science sells vegetables, flowers and blueberry seedlings grown and harvested in the school fields.
And the Ministry of Animal Science sells pork soup, milk and caramel. Of course, it uses pork and cow’s milk raised by the students in the school.
There’s also an introductory touch experience from the get go where you can eat delicious food, heal your heart with animals and feel refreshed socializing with active high school students, Great event of two birds with one stone for the people of this area. It looks like it is.

Interesting job to make pork soup for two pigs

One of the students has switched to the Mizutaka Festival mode since late October when the midterm exam ended. With less than a week left, I focus on the preparation, including food preparation.
For example, in the case of pork soup, prepare about 120 kg of meat for two days (normally, a pig is between 60 and 70 kg for meat, which is equivalent to two pigs), and from morning to day Different from vegetables like daikon. Stew in a traditional large pot. I really enjoy this Mizutaka Festival, including preparation for such excitement.

Mizuho Agricultural High School Philosophy to learn from life

The career of the graduate student

Mizuho Agricultural High School has four faculties, including the only animal husbandry department in Tokyo, the horticulture department, the food department, and the life design department, and each department is divided into specialized courses to study. Essentially, we provide education that focuses on agriculture with a focus on human resource development in support of industrial society.
After graduation, the general employment rate is 30%, college 20%, vocational training below 50%. However, in the case of the Faculty of Animal Science, it is a fact that after graduating from high school, it is difficult to apply for a job immediately. In recent years, in the livestock industry, where advanced technology with great development has become the mainstream, higher technology and a large amount of knowledge that cannot just learn the basics. in third year of high school is essential. It seems that the percentage of students who want to go on to an agricultural university is high.

What does the livestock memorial say

What impressed me the most when visiting this Mizutaka Festival was the “Pet Monument” featured in the “Cattle Field Tour” led by students from the Faculty of Livestock and Dairy Farms. “is already.
After the end of the Mizutaka Festival (cleaning day), a harvest festival is held, students and staff will eat the harvest, where incense is lit in front of this monument and hands clasped. We try to make each person feel grateful for the creatures.
At school, students do not slaughter pigs or cows but chickens. There is also a classroom in the food department, where corpses are carved. Of course, the same goes for plants, but we humans live by taking in other life. Getting involved in agriculture and getting a job also means that you must be aware of reality. Based on that, the school’s philosophy of “a school from life” was deeply emotional.

Educational purposes in agricultural high school

Mizuho Agricultural High School’s own mission is “a school to learn from life.” Similar terms are also used in other educational institutions. However, high school students who face animal and plant life through agricultural research experience it with their youthful and fresh sensibility and return what they have achieved. for their lives. In addition to acquiring practical knowledge and skills, the experience to broaden one’s life is perhaps the most important thing in education in this school, and according to extension, in agricultural high schools.