The Cache County Farm Bureau hosted nearly 550 elementary students on Earth Day (April 22, 2010) at the Gibbons Brothers dairy in Lewiston, Utah to educate them about where their food comes from. The dairy is owned by Gibbons Brothers Dairy where they milk Holstein cows and farm ground nearby. The students came from local schools in northern Cache County, including Lewiston, Richmond and Smithfield. Despite the weather which included cold winds and a blowing rain the students seemed really excited about what they learned. “What better way to celebrate Earth Day, than for students to come to a dairy farm and see how farmers provide food,” said Rachael Christensen, Cache County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee chair and organizer of the event. “Rain or shine, farmers have to get the work done, and cows still have to get milked. There was certainly a share of cold wind and rainy weather today, but I think the students appreciated even more that straw keeps cows warm and out of the weather and school children warm while listening to the presentations.” The field day consisted of 11 stations which taught the students about farm life, dairy products, nutrition, tractors, and farm safety, meat, animal by-products, and the stages of life that a cow may go through. Some of the favorite stations included a station that allowed the kids to pet newborn calves and step inside tractors. At one station they were allowed to create a “living necklace” and plant a seed inside a wet cotton ball. In just a few days the students should see the necklace grow. At another station students received a sample of milk, cheese, and beef jerky that represented products that come from Utah farms and ranches. A major attention grabber came in the afternoon when many students witnessed a baby calf being born at the dairy. Students also climbed inside a big tractor used to plant and harvest crops. Gossner Foods donated milk and cheese curd, Bridgerland Meat Lab assisted with beef jerky, Organic Valley donated shirts and stickers, and Utah Dairy Council gave stickers and booklets for all the students to take home. Cache Farm Bureau recognizes the generous donations from these companies, as well as the time donated from their workforce of volunteer members, local farmers and dairy producers. Special mention goes to the Sky View High School FFA for the assistance with setting up, teaching some of the stations, and performing as tour guides to answer questions as they showed the students and teachers around the farm and to all the stations. Farm Bureau members involved with the event felt it was successful in educating the students of the realities of food production, how dairy products get from the cow to the table, and where the rest of their food comes from. Farm Bureau members enjoyed their interaction with many students, teachers and parents for whom this was a first time experience to be on an actual working dairy farm. The Farm Bureau looks forward to hosting Farm Field Days in the future!
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