The “Adopt-a-Calf” program offers the opportunity for the classes to “adopt” a calf and receive copies of registration papers, health updates, pictures, and news about their calf at least twice during the school year. In addition, they will learn what is happening on the farm where their calf lives! Enlarged pictures and a certificate of adoption were left with each class, with the option of growth updates that they can add when they receive their farm news.
Our “Dairy Visit” through a slide presentation introduces the students, teachers and parents to the care and stewardship of agriculture. Things that farmers take for granted, and that are often misunderstood by the consumer, are explained. Ear tags are likened to earrings, but the numbers allow us quick identification for records that tell us the “Mom & Dad”, the medical record, the birthday, and so much more. Terms they understand and use in their “Cookshop” experience are connected to the explanation of what we do when we feed. Our job as dairy proprietors is compared to that of their own caregivers, the parallels are indicated, and it works!
We reach hundreds of elementary students, their teachers, school employees and many parents. NYFB members have traveled to this area, which is now more than receptive to our farmer visits, they call us to come! The program also is carried out in the Syracuse School System, through the New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education. Expansion of this program is a must, at the teachers’ insistence and because this “tool” will allow us to succeed in our quest for Ag. Literacy, plus building understanding and relationships which will allow us to continue in a positive atmosphere.
For more information or to learn how your school class can “Adopt a Calf” contact Sandra Prokop Managing Director New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 518-436-8495. It’s a fun way to learn more about agriculture and the farms of New York State.