ATLANTA — It’s time to join the moo-vement! Discover Dairy’s “Adopt a Cow” program is back for enrollment for the 2023-24 school year. The Dairy Alliance is partnering with Discovery Dairy, an educational series run by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania, for the third consecutive year in sponsoring interactive lessons and activities to give students an inside look at a dairy farm in the Southeast.
Last year, more than 40,000 elementary and middle school classrooms, homeschool families, library groups, and other organizations participated in the program. The Dairy Alliance supported close to 10,000 classrooms representing over 467,000 students throughout the Southeast. Schools from both rural and urban areas can enroll, bringing dairy farming to life for students of all ages and demographics.
“We are proud to partner with Discover Dairy to bring important educational opportunities about agriculture and dairy farming to children in the Southeast and across America,” said Geri Berdak, Chief Executive Officer at The Dairy Alliance. “Not only does the Adopt a Cow program connect children of all backgrounds to farming, animals, and the outdoors, but it feeds children’s natural curiosity for learning.”
Discover Dairy partners with national dairy associations to offer students exciting activities featuring the calves on the farm and the dairy farmers who manage the operation. This year, new lessons will be added to target high school students focusing on topics such as food science, dairy’s economic and community impact, and dairy’s environmental impact.
Each classroom that enrolls in the Adopt a Cow program is paired with a calf from a dairy farm. Teachers and students receive photos, video updates, and activity sheets throughout the school year that allow them to watch their calf grow. Through immersive, hands-on learning activities and free curriculum provided by Discover Dairy, students gain a deeper understanding of the dairy industry and where their food comes from. Several of the lessons in the curriculum follow Common CORE standards in Math, Reading, and Science.
The Dairy Alliance will be working with eight host farms for this year’s Adopt a Cow program. This includes Circle J Dairy in Alabama, Big Sandy Creek Dairy in Georgia, Mauthe Farms in Mississippi, Triple H Dairy in Kentucky, Barham Jersey Farm in Tennessee, Dusty Road Jerseys in North Carolina, Nance Dairy in South Carolina, and Cave Hill Dairy in Virginia.
The Adopt a Cow program also offers live virtual chats and farm tours. These chats allow students to talk directly with a dairy farmer, meet their calves, tour the farm, and ask questions about milk production.
“You are representing your dairy and your state. You don’t want to just give blips of what it looks like on the farm, you want to give the whole picture,” said Katelin Benkoski, Host Farm for the Adopt a Cow Program representing Georgia. “Different farms have different management practices, and you want to give those kids as much information about a dairy farm as you can so they have a better respect for the industry.”
The sign-up period closes on September 15, 2023. To enroll in the Adopt a Cow program, visit www.discoverdairy.com/adopt or contact the Dairy Excellence Foundation at 717-346-0849 for more information.
About Discover Dairy
Discover Dairy is an educational series managed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania in partnership with American Dairy Association Northeast, American Dairy Association Indiana, Midwest Dairy, The Dairy Alliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Dairy Council of Arizona and Nevada, Dairy West, New England Dairy, Dairy Farmers of Washington, American Dairy Association Mideast, Dairy Council of Florida, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council, and Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
About The Dairy Alliance
The Dairy Alliance is a nonprofit funded by dairy farm families of the Southeast. We work diligently with dairy farmers, schools, sports teams, health professionals, local organizations, state leaders, the media, and the public to promote dairy foods and knowledge about the dairy industry. Our efforts center in eight states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
–The Dairy Alliance