My Father's World Kindergarten Unit 13: "C is for Cow" was a very educational unit for us. We currently live in the middle of the family beef farm so there is no shortage of cows in our daily lives. I however had the crazy idea of taking the kids to an educational dairy farm 2 hours south of our home. To volunteer for 4 hours in the car with 6 children I had to be pretty nutty. We were excited to visit a working dairy however so we loaded up and headed on an adventure.
When we arrived at the dairy we found they had a barn set aside to teach the children about dairy farms through out history. We learned how things were done during pioneer times through to modern day. Also what types of things the cows eat, how the milk is processed, what items can be made from milk, and the different types of dairy cows.
After exploring the barn we were off on a guided tour through the working dairy farm. We first visited a 3 day old calf. That was a HUGE hit with our children!
Next we were on to visit the "preschoolers", "teenagers", and "adult" cows.
After seeing all of the different feedlots we were able to check out the milking process. I had not visited a working dairy in a lot of years. I was surprised that for the most part the process doesn't seem to have changed in the last couple of decades. The children were fascinated by the process of seeing where their milk comes from.
Overall I would say we learned quite a bit about dairy farming and where the milk in our refrigerator comes from. I would also say we learned we are not fond of corporate dairy farming. Seeing the babies taken away from their mothers the second they are born, cows kept in barns their entire life and never allowed to graze, and animals fed such a high diet of corn and grain..... Well it didn't sit right with any of us. I would very much like to find a small family owned raw milk dairy to visit next. I searched out local area and was unable to find a dairy that met my requirements within a decent driving distance. It will be a goal for the future for sure!