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News & Media: Staff Columns

Day at the Dairy gets fourth-graders on the farm

Wednesday, July 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Adamson, member services manager
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What do you get when you combine 380 fourth-graders, 1,700 cows, ice cream, pizza and a whole lot of fun? Day at the Dairy, of course! 

On May 11, DBMMC member Cottonwood Dairy in South Wayne, Wis., hosted about 450 students, teachers, chaperones and volunteers for a fifth annual Day at the Dairy. 

Jim Winn, co-owner of Cottonwood and a DBMMC board member, was a little nervous due to rain that fell the night before.

“But the day turned out to be beautiful and the students thoroughly enjoyed their visit,” Jim said.

Students from all school districts in Lafayette County and Warren, Ill., boarded buses to learn about the dairy community. Thirteen different stations were set up around the farm, ranging from learning what a cow eats and attaching a milking machine to a fiberglass cow, to making a smoothie out of dairy products on a peddle bike and everything in between. 

Not only does Day at the Dairy bring together hundreds of children, it connects a great group of dairy farmers, community volunteers and industry specialists. 

Cottonwood Dairy along with Redrock View Farms, Highway Dairy and Darlington Ridge Farms have been organizing and hosting Day at the Dairy since 2013. DBMMC member Jean Stauffacher, co-owner of Highway Dairy, stressed the importance of this program.

“This is the first time many students are able to see how a dairy farm operates,” she said. “It is our hope that every student has a fun-filled educational opportunity right here on the farm.”  

The Day at the Dairy concept came to life when this group of farmers realized the lack of on-farm education taking place in their community. “I'd like to think we are having an impact with students because they will be our future leaders,” Jim said. 

The importance of getting the next generation on the farm and learning about daily farm life is apparent in the dairy community, and Lafayette County is working hard to make that a priority.

Day at the Dairy concluded with delicious pizza donated by Grande Cheese, along with chocolate and vanilla ice cream for dessert. It does not get any more dairy than that! Next year, DBMMC members Jay and Jean Stauffacher of Highway Dairy will welcome the students to their farm for the sixth annual event.

 


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