HARRISBURG, Pa. — The more than 70,000 classrooms and homes participating in the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Adopt A Cow program for the 2020-21 school year will be invited to join virtual live chats to culminate their year-long experience. The Dairy Excellence Foundation and program partners, including seven regional Dairy Checkoff-funded associations across the US, will host the live chats with the 22 dairy farm families who graciously shared their calves with the classrooms this past year. Anyone who is interested in experiencing the Adopt A Cow program in action can join one or more of the live chats, which will be on the Foundation’s YouTube Channel throughout April and May.
“The virtual live chats bring the Adopt A Cow program full circle,” said Brittany Snyder, dairy education program manager with the Dairy Excellence Foundation. “All year the teachers, students and their families have learned about their host farm’s history, basic calf care, and about their adopted calf through pictures and videos. After seven months of updates, they finally get to meet their calf in real-time and chat with the farmer.”
Each tour will be one hour long, and the chat feature will be enabled so the farmer can answer students’ questions live. The farms opening the farm to students through the Adopt A Cow program are listed below with the time and date of their live chat. All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time.
- Dutch Hollow Farm, New York: Wednesday, April 7, at 9:30 a.m.
- Big Sandy Creek Dairy, Georgia: Thursday, April 8, at 1:30 p.m.
- Tauer Dairy, Minnesota: Friday, April 9, at 2:30 p.m.
- Roden Echo Valley Farm, Wisconsin: Tuesday, April 13, at 2:30 p.m.
- Carmichael Farms, Tennessee: Wednesday, April 14, at 10:00 a.m.
- B&B Dairy, Mississippi: Thursday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m.
- Catawba Dairy, Virginia: Wednesday, April 21, at 9:30 a.m.
- Green Dairy, Alabama: Thursday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m.
- Walmoore Holsteins, Pennsylvania: Friday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m.
- Bunse Dairy, Missouri: Monday, April 26, at 2:30 p.m.
- Rokeyroad Holsteins, Kansas: Tuesday, April 27, at 11:00 a.m.
- Synergy Family Dairy, Wisconsin: Tuesday, April 27, at 3:00 p.m.
- Creamery Creek Holsteins, Wisconsin: Wednesday, April 28, at 10:30 a.m.
- Cast Dairy, Nebraska: Thursday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m.
- Prairie Moon Guernseys, Iowa: Friday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m.
- Mil R Mor Farm, Iowa: Tuesday, May 4, at 2:30 p.m.
- Zahncroft Dairy, Pennsylvania: Wednesday, May 5, at 1:30 p.m.
- Nance Farm, South Carolina: Thursday, May 6, at 9:30 a.m.
- G.W. Bell and Sons, North Carolina: Friday, May 7, at 1:30 p.m.
- Homestead Dairy, Indiana: Monday, May 10, at 9:30 a.m.
- R&T Farms, Kentucky: Friday, May 14, at 9:30 a.m.
- RJ Dairy, North Dakota: Tuesday, May 18, at 2:30 p.m.
Each classroom that enrolls in the Adopt a Cow program is paired with a calf from a dairy farm. Teachers and students received photos, video updates, and activity sheets throughout the school year that allow them to watch their calf grow. Through interactive, hands-on learning activities, students gained a deeper understanding of the dairy industry and where their food comes from. The live chats and farm tours are the final installment of the year-long program.
“The virtual live chats are essential to the success of the Adopt A Cow program,” Snyder said. “The students ooze with excitement as they virtually step onto the farm where their calves live. In this moment is where their love and appreciation for dairy begins.”
More than 2,600 classrooms, home-school groups and virtual learners from Pennsylvania have participated in the 2020-21 Adopt a Cow program. Outside the state, classrooms from each of the remaining 49 states are enrolled, and the program has begun to make an international impact. Classrooms from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, and more are participating in the program.
The Adopt A Cow program is made possible through the generous support of Dairy Excellence Foundation donors and program partners, including American Dairy Association North East, Midwest Dairy Association, The Dairy Alliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Florida Dairy Farmers Inc., American Dairy Association of Indiana, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. These seven regional Dairy Checkoff farmer-funded organizations provide significant financial support to the program, in addition to assisting in coordinating the farms and promoting the program.
To join one or more of the live chats being held in April and May, go to the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s channel on YouTube. To find the channel, search “Dairy Excellence Foundation” at www.youtube.com.
Donations to the Adopt A Cow program are always appreciated. To donate to the Adopt a Cow program, contact Katie Waite at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-346-0849. You can also visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/donate. Any support received will support classrooms participating in the 2021-22 Adopt A Cow program.
To learn more about the program and its impact on the Pennsylvania and the US dairy industry, contact Brittany Snyder by email at email@example.com or call 717-346-0849. You can also visit www.discoverdairy.com/adopt-a-cow/.
Discover Dairy is an educational series managed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania in partnership with American Dairy Association North East, Midwest Dairy Association, The Dairy Alliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Florida Dairy Farmers Inc., American Dairy Association of Indiana, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.
–Jayne Sebright, Center for Dairy Excellence