Nineteen students from Rebecca Boone Elementary swapped the whiteboard of their classroom in Warrenton, Missouri for a milking parlor in Pocahontas as winners of the 2018 Adopt-A-Cow field trip contest.
The contest marked the year-end culmination of their participation in the Adopt-A-Cow program. Students adopted a newborn calf from a dairy farm last fall and have been watching her grow ever since. The program, developed by St. Louis District Dairy Council, aims to give students a personal look at life on a dairy farm. Over 1,200 classrooms in Missouri and Illinois are enrolled and receive monthly emails from their farmer, along with photos of their growing calf.
“Our goal is to help connect students with how food is grown. When it comes to agriculture, many students are disconnected. Adopt-A-Cow helps to close that gap by bringing the farm directly into the classroom,” said Dairy Council Nutrition Educator Camille Smith.
Rebecca Boone Elementary students adopted “Lilly” from the Schoen family dairy farm, located in Oak Ridge, Missouri.
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They were awarded a dairy farm field trip after submitting a video showing how their calf and farmer have become part of the classroom this school year. The winning video captured the students showing what they know about Lilly the calf.
The kindergarten students visited a farm closer to home, the Circle K farm of the Knebel family farm in Pocahontas, on April 25. While on-site, they learned how farmers take care of their cows and the land around them.
Jerry Knebel is the owner of the third-generation operation. Circle K provides milk for Prairie Farms, which is how the farm became involved with program. The Knebels also participated in the program last year.
The Knebels gave students an up-close look at his Holstein herd, barn, feeding areas and milking parlor. The students also got an opportunity to meet calves that are the same age as their adopted calf Lilly. For some students, the tour marked the first time they have set foot on a farm.
“This real life experience of farming can help students understand how food is grown and the hard work farmers do every day to feed millions of people,” Smith said.