HARRISBURG, Pa. — To celebrate the start of the 2019-20 school year, elementary teachers can enroll their classrooms in Discover Dairy’s “Adopt a Cow” program, a year-long interactive learning opportunity that gives students an inside look at a dairy farm. Discover Dairy is an educational series managed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania.
“The Adopt a Cow program helps empower the next generation to become informed about the dairy industry and grow up to be educated consumers,” said Brittany Haag, Dairy Education Program Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “With dairy farmers representing less than two percent of the population, our goal is to expose students to all aspects of a modern dairy operation and share how farmers are impacting our communities.”
Each classroom that enrolls in the Adopt a Cow program is paired with a calf from a dairy farm. Students benefit from videos, photos, and activity sheets that allow them to watch their calf grow throughout the school year. Through hands-on learning activities and curriculum provided by Discover Dairy, students gain a deeper understanding of the dairy industry and where their food comes from.
During the spring, the Adopt a Cow program also offers live video chats. Classrooms have the opportunity to talk directly with a farmer, meet their calves, take virtual farm tours, and ask questions about milk production.
“This was such an excellent opportunity. Having access to this program for free was just amazing,” said a Pennsylvania teacher who participated in the program.
Last year, through a partnership with Undeniably Dairy, more than 25,000 elementary and middle school students from across the United States, Mexico and Canada participated in the program. Schools from both rural and urban areas can enroll, bringing dairy farming to life for students of all ages and demographics.
“The ‘Adopt A Cow’ program does more than just educate students about dairy—it inspires them to care about their health, the cows, and their local dairy farmers. Through immersive activities and technology-driven content, it’s an in-classroom experience like no other” added Haag.
After registering for the program, teachers will receive an introductory kit in November with details about their calf. Classrooms will collect monthly updates, including suggestions on components of the Discover Dairy curriculum that teachers can incorporate into their lesson plans.
Enrollment closes on October 18, 2019. To enroll in the Adopt a Cow program, visit discoverdairy.com or call the Dairy Excellence Foundation at 717-3460-0849 for more information.
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence