Life

Dairy lessons move to the schoolyard

Mrs. Shelman’s second grade class has adopted Hilltop Dairy’s Holstein calf, Summer,  for this school year. (Photo courtesy of Amy Green)
Mrs. Shelman’s second grade class has adopted Hilltop Dairy’s Holstein calf, Summer, for this school year. (Photo courtesy of Amy Green)
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A partnership between Washington County Extension & Outreach and Hilltop Dairy has blossomed into unique opportunities for youth to learn about where their food comes from. Now in year two, Hilltop Dairy, located just north of Wayland, has sponsored a program for classroom teachers called “Adopt-a-Calf/Cow.” This program connects a classroom to a newborn calf or cow and provides learning opportunities throughout the year.

October 13 three participating Washington classrooms were able to meet their 2-month-old adopted calves Summer, Bella and Molly. Hilltop Dairy visited the classrooms with a day-old calf, a 9-year-old Holstein Alaska and also the adopted calves. Mrs. Shelman’s second grade, Mrs. Burrough’s alternative kindergarten and Mrs. Love Smith’s preschool are participating in the Hilltop Dairy program this year.

“We are so thankful when businesses from the agriculture community want to and are able to share and teach kids with us. Their connection to the industry and expertise are priceless resources to these students. Madi (Skubal) and Doug (Roth) put in a lot of time and work to give these students such a good morning,” said Amy Green, 4-H/Youth Coordinator.

“Students had the perfect fall day to observe all three ages of dairy Holsteins and ask many questions. They covered animal size, hoofs, bottles, milk, udders, spots, ears, belly buttons, teeth, shots, tongues, and poop! The kids covered it all,” said Green.

Washington County Extension’s Agriculture in the Classroom provides additional lessons for the participating classes to learn more about dairy products, animal nutrition, animal care and dairy farms. Participating classes receive Moo Mail introducing their calf with a birth certificate and follow the calves development through Facebook posts straight from Hilltop Dairy.

For more information about Washington County Extension’s Agriculture in the Classroom, contact 319-653-4811.