Friday, February 8, 2013

Back To School

Monday through Thursday I am a math and reading educator at one of our local Elementary Schools. So what do I do on Friday, my day off from school? Go back to school. Say, what?! Today however, it wasn't reading comprehension or multiplication facts, but rather cows and milk.

I packed up my "dairy toolkit" and visited Mrs. Mueller's 4th grade class to talk about my "other job." I began with a power point presentation. I shared about my family, and how we balance our jobs on the farm with our jobs away from the farm. I explained that my husband John was the full-time farmer in my family, but we all have daily responsibilities. I continued with photos and stories about the buildings and animals on our farm. The pictures of the calves are always a huge hit! We discussed what our cows and calves eat and I explain the importance of good nutrition so our animals stay healthy to make the dairy products we enjoy. Then it's on to the video of my family milking the cows, followed by "where does the milk go when it leaves the farm?" After telling the story of how our milk travels to LandOLakes and within 2 days it is in the grocery store, I showed them cartons of how our milk is sold in the store.

While the kiddos enjoyed eating string cheese, I answered questions. Here are just a few...
If only the girls milk, what happens to the bulls? We raise some of our bull calves for beef, but most of our bull calves are sold to another farmer who raises them for beef. Does it hurt the calf when you put in an ear tag? It is a lot like when people get their ears pierced, a quick pinch and it's over. How long does it take for a cow to have a calf? Just like humans, it takes 9 months. Do cows have more than one calf at a time? It is usually one calf, but we have had twins, and one set of triplets too! What other animals do you have on your farm? Lots of cows, and lots of cats! How much does all this stuff cost on your farm? Many, many dollars; millions, in fact. For example a  combine for harvesting can be about $400,000. (After this answer I was looking at a classroom of very shocked faces!)

I always enjoy sharing our dairy farming story because my family and I are very proud of what we do. Thank you Mrs. Mueller and class for the opportunity to share what happens in My Barnyard!


  1. Hi!
    Thanks so much for coming to our classroom. It was so much fun to learn all about your dairy farm. The string cheese was delicious!!!!
    Thanks again,
    Mrs. Mueller's Class :)

  2. Thanks. I am glad you and your class enjoyed my visit. Have a "dairy" good day!