BIBLE HILL - Young Jack Pauley closed his eyes, took a deep breath, inhaled and indulged in the sweet smell of a lemon-scented plant.
In that moment on Thursday morning, the six-year-old from Valley couldn't imagine being anywhere other than the Nova Scotia Agricultural College's open house in Bible Hill.
"I like the smell of these plants with the lemon," Pauley said while leaning in for another whiff.
Pauley also enjoyed the carrot and ring toss and going for a ride in a cub car during the open house.
The event drew a crowd of about 1,000 people. For Linden MacCallum, attending the college's open house was like taking a trip down memory lane.
"I came as a child and I loved it. I remember walking in the old chicken barns and seeing cows close up. I was always in 4-H and want my children around animals," said MacCallum, as she watched her three-year-old daughter Jaya MacCallum-Leger bike through a hay bale maze.
"It's fun and there's cows, sheep, a maze and chickens," said Jaya. "I like animals because you get to ride them."
NSAC staff also wanted to make the event as educational as possible, said Jeff Bonazza, a staff member in the poultry department.
"Agriculture is important and the children are the future of the industry so it's good for them to get an early education. Hopefully we see future AC students here," said Bonazza. "The open house is a big hit and it's good people ask questions."
One of the most popular inquires at the poultry building is how long the baby chicks are incubated. The answer, said Bonazza, is 21 days.
Gwyneth Jones, a part-time sheep course teacher at the NSAC, was also eager to educate open house participants. She was busy spinning sheep's wool as people stopped in to watch sheep shearing.
"I want people to think about wool and that it's a local product too. A lot of people throw away wool instead of selling it to a mill," said Jones. "It's not selling as well now, maybe because of the market situation and international crisis."
Jones believes events like the open house will ultimately help the agriculture industry by keeping it in the minds of people of all ages and reminding people how important the sector is locally and internationally.