KAYSVILLE -- Brandon and Michelle Pond, of Bountiful, took their two little boys to the first ever Utah State University Botanical Center Baby Animal Days on Saturday.
When asked what they liked about the event 5-year-old Gavin Pond replied, "All of the baby animals," and his 3-year-old brother Cameron added "and the grown-up ones."
"The llamas are huge!" said Gavin.
Mom and Dad wanted to give the young boys the opportunity to learn more about animals.
Beth Rhoades lives in a subdivision near the botanical center so took her son 2-year-old Thomas to the event.
"We come to all of the functions they have here. It is a great opportunity for my suburban child to see the animals. He loves animals and knows the animal sounds," Rhoades said.
Families with young children were able to touch, hold, and see the lambs, goats, rabbits, turkeys, geese and ducks, ride horses and do other fun activities at the event.
As 2-year-old Kaylee Hirst stood in line with her mom and siblings to ride a horse. She noticed the size of the horses and said, "I am little." She said she was going to ride a little horse. "You need a helmet," she told her mom.
Angela Hirst was there with her children and her mom. Hirst, of Kaysville, had driven past the center on Friday, the first day of the event, and noticed a very long line waiting to ride a pony.
"I saw a long line yesterday so we came early today," she said.
Baby Animal Days was held as a fundraiser for the botanical center and 4-H. Botanical center director Jerry Goodspeed said there were two reasons to hold the event.
"We struggle with funding for the new gardens," said Goodspeed, "and also because it is a family activity, kids love this."
The fundraiser was to raise money for both the botanical center and 4-H, which is a USU Extension Service program for youths.
Justin Smith, director of USU Extension and 4-H in Davis County, helped to organize the event.
"We wanted to have this for this generation of youth so they could learn to appreciate agriculture. Too many children and parents think food comes from the grocery store," Smith said. "This also helps to educate families on the importance of growing food.
"People used to be self-sustaining, now we are importing food."
The Baby Animal Days was popular.
"It is very successful, beyond our wildest dreams," Smith said. "Davis County has a huge presence and there are tremendous resources in this community. And people are gaining an interest in raising and preserving their own food."
Smith said because of the recession, more people are going into the USU Extension Service offices for information on gardening and preserving food.
"People are going back to basics with backyard gardens and food preservation," said Smith. "We want to see people raise and preserve their own food and not depend solely on food from the store."
Wearing his green 4-H shirt, 11-year-old Darin Hamblin of Clearfield walked a black rabbit on a leash. He has been a 4-H member for two years.
"4-H provides me with fun," Darin said. He raises animals and also enjoys the shooting sports he participates in through 4-H.
"I raise pigs and goats and I am going to show them in the fair," he said.