They were high schoolers from many different places

The New York Times sends students to a farm

They were high schoolers from many different places

Arriving at the farm, the touring students climbed from the modern, self-sustained bed-and-breakfast toward the pig pens.

Some had not been close to livestock before

Many made pictures to send home or post online.

These pigs were less than 48 hours old

The students seemed fascinated by sows and their newborn younguns. They learned that a litter might include the offspring of several boars.

These were a little older

This was an unsafe situation -- for me. Sows don't welcome intruders in their pens, near their newborn pigs.

The students

Typical of the touring students are Kyla Allen of Glen Mills and Hannah Drexler from Lewisburg, both in Pennsylvania. They're 16 and will be juniors this fall in their respective high schools. Glen Mills is near Philadelphia, whihc Lewisburg is north of Lancaster.

How to be a smart shopper?

A student from Dallas mentioned that there's a lot of cattle farming in her part of the country, but she didn't know how to make sure she was getting locally grown beef.

Things they might not have considered

The students listened intently as the farmers told them of the challenges and triumphs of modern agriculture.

Farming is satisfying but not easy

Rob Phillips of RL Valley Ranch talked about environmental effects -- and environmental regulation effects -- on local farmers.

Fresh corn-on-the-cob sure is tasty

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the young travelers learned that this is even more true of fresh, locally grown, early-harvest corn on the cob.