Elementary school field trip to Tomera Ranch

Elementary school field trip to Tomera Ranch

Elementary school field trip to Tomera Ranch

Battle Mountain Elementary School took students on a field trip about ranch life in Lander County. The school has featured a western theme for the first quarter of the school year and reinforced their classroom studies with the field trip.

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, and Thursday, Oct. 19, the elementary students corralled into the school bus for a trip to the Tomera Ranch. Upon arrival to the ranch, students greeted the Tomera family and their ranch hands, who separated the two classes into two groups to tour the ranch.

Each tour experienced an up-close encounter with the ranch’s livestock, including cows, chickens, horses, sheep and goats. Students asked the Tomera family questions about ranch life. 

One student asked, “How old are the calves?” 

Paul Tomera answered, “Our calves are about six to eight months old.” 

Elementary school librarian Nelly Dominguez stated, “We have been doing a western theme for the library, and I decided to expand the theme for the whole quarter. In the library, we have been learning about things on the ranches. We watched videos on how to brand, how an irrigation system works and we had cowboy poetry come to the school.”

The young students came prepared from their studies in the library and were happy to answer any questions the ranching family presented to them. In addition to seeing the cows and horses, students were amazed at all the tractors and equipment the ranch uses. Many took the opportunity to stand next to the big tires and measure their heights in comparison.

Dominguez confirmed the joy the ranchers felt when she returned Thursday morning stating, “The kids from kindergarten through the fifth grade were able to attend, and the kids were great when they got off the bus. [They] were hugging me, they were so excited.”

The field trip had its fair share of excitement for the students, from an owl flying through the rafters of the tractor shed to a horse coming up to the fence for some pets. 

Dominguez said, “I learned a lot coming out here, too. I didn’t know one of the original school houses [was] out here and the barn being over a hundred years old [and] coming from the Betty O’Neil Mine — I never knew that.”

According to Dominguez, the trip to the ranch was a huge success for the school. Students talked about the trip throughout the day. 

Lynn Tomera said, of the opportunity to speak to the students, “I was honored to give a talk on what ranchers do at the Elementary School this morning (Oct. 16). I was so impressed with the opening ceremony led by Mrs. (Lorrie) Sparks. The kids all said the Pledge of Allegiance with great respect, sang Home Means Nevada and then had a moment of silence.”

With the excitement of the ranchers, teachers and students, another tour of the ranch life may be in the future. Nothing is planned for now, but students and teachers alike felt the event was a definite success and presented an exciting view of living the ranching life.

*Disclaimer: Travis Masterson married into the Tomera family and currently lives on the Tomera Ranch.