ALBANY — On October 16th New York Beef Council, in partnership with the New York Agriculture in the Classroom program, extended two virtual farm field trip opportunities to schools throughout New York state. Chrissy Claudio, Farm Manager at O’Mara Beef Farm, located in Madison County gave over 825 students the opportunity to “visit” a beef farm and learn about beef production from farm to fork. These tours were made possible through support from Iowa Beef Council and the Beef Checkoff.
The virtual tours included an overview of the beef life cycle including an up-close look at cow/calf pairs. The tour also introduced students to what cattle eat, and how farmers manage their land through rotational grazing. Students had an opportunity to guess the weight of a heifer while also seeing a Temple Grandin inspired handling system and squeeze chute in action. Additional topics discussed were cattle identification, record keeping, and herd health management.
In addition to having the opportunity to see a real beef farm and get their questions answered directly by a farmer the students also had the chance to touch and smell elements of the farm from the comfort of their own classrooms. Each participating class received a farm tour box with samples of hay, feed, minerals, and other learning tools associated with the farm tour.
“I was extremely impressed with the great questions the students asked during the tour,” shared Chrissy, manager at O’Mara Beef Farm, “the students were really engaged, and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to show these students our farm.”
Students from all corners of New York State joined the trips, many of which are also engaged with the NYBC & NYAITC sponsored Top Cuts Contest which allows students to creatively explore beef by developing a new beef recipe and marketing plan. Additional information and beef engagement opportunities are available at https://www.agclassroom.org/ny/programs/index.cfm
–New York Beef Council