This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
Today we have a vocabulary quiz. We start with two questions about terms for plants.
OK, first question: What is the name for a plant that lives only one year or one growing season? This kind of plant is called an annual. Think of an "annual report," a report published just once a year.
You can probably guess the next question. What do we call a plant that produces new growth year after year? Plants that keep growing back are called perennials. So a perennial is the opposite of an annual. Perennials come back year after year.
Have an e-reader? Download this story as a PDF
Now some questions about terms for livestock.
What is another name for a male cow? A bull, right? Well, not always. A male cow is usually called a bull only if it still has its reproductive organs. If not, we call it a -- what? The answer: a steer.
Next question: What is another name for a young cow? A very young cow is called a calf. But a young female cow, especially one that has not had a calf yet, has a special name. Do you know what it is? The answer: a heifer. Maybe you knew that. But here is question just for our radio listeners -- can you spell it? Heifer is spelled H-E-I-F-E-R.
Cows, like all mammals, lactate. Our next question is: do you know what that means? To lactate means to produce milk. Cows lactate for up to ten months.
In milk, fat rises to the top. But some people do not like to drink milk that way. So there is a process that reduces the size of the fat particles and mixes them all through the milk. This process has a name -- a long name. What is it? It's called homogenization.
Still with us? OK, another question. Milk can be made into cheese. Some people like cheese made with milk from a sheep. What do you call a female sheep? The answer: a ewe, spelled E-W-E.
Male sheep have their own name. A male sheep is a -- what? A ram.
Rams and ewes produce lambs. A lamb is a sheep less than a year old. But what do you call the meat from a sheep over a year old? Then we call it mutton.
Age also plays a part in terms for horses. For example, a mare is generally a female three years or older. But what do you call a female horse under three? The answer: a filly. And for extra credit: do you know the name for a male horse under four? A colt.
If you want to take this quiz again, you can find it at voaspecialenglish.com. And that’s the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.