Down On The Farm At The Oakdale Mall

By Kim DiVestea

July 22, 2010 Updated Mar 25, 2006 at 5:20 AM EST

A lama, mini horses, alpacas and calves...

You're probably used to seeing those kinds of animals on a farm, but this weekend, the farm is inside the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City.

"We're here to educate the public and to let kids get close to animals and get hands on because a lot of kids don't ever get a chance to do that even in rural communities anymore," says Debbie Whatley of Tioga County Animal Aholics 4-H Club.

And Whatley says the best part is seeing the little faces light up, when they get to pet the animals.

"I think its good for young kids to see the different opportunities in agriculture. Devin definitely has been out to several farm and has a really good time seeing the animals and interacting with kids his age," says Dan Miller of Binghamton.

Patrick Brennan, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture made a stop at Farm Days, to spread the word that agriculture is essential to healthy living.

"Agriculture is the number one industry in the state. It's important because it provides the food and fiber and makes us a much more secure nation," says Brennan.

And here at Farm Days, there's an area on chickens where you can watch chicks hatching.

15 year old Jaime Wright has been raising chickens for the past 6 years.

"Chicks take about 21 days to hatch so it takes a lot of work and once they hatch you have to give them a lot of food and water and they need heat and then as they grown you take them outside and they love to eat grass," says Jaime Wright, who raises chickens.

If you didn't get a chance to check out the animals or the exhibits Friday, there's still plenty of time.

Farm days runs all weekend during regular mall hours.

In addition to being able to watch chicks hatch, you can help shear a sheep, spin wool, and take part in a cow milking contest.

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