Visiting a Local Dairy Farm – A great field trip for your students!

As a kindergarten teacher I have done many farms in my day!  Farms are a great place to visit any time of year because they provide your students with an experience to see how farms work, how animals help us, and it is a great hands-on experience that no literature book can provide!

I was so excited to be invited to visit Kerr Dairy this past week with the Diary Council of AZ and Blended Extended.  Kerr Dairy is a family run farm that has been around for over 100 years!  It has over 1000 cows that produce milk! This milk is used to make products that are shipped all over the US!  It was pretty amazing to tour the farm and listen to all of the options and opportunities this dairy provides local schools!
We were toured around the farm by several Kerr family members.  Below is Wes and he was our official tour guide for the day.  It is a working farm and so our experience was very true to what a farm life is like with tractors driving by right during our lessons.
Because Kerr Dairy is a family run farm, they are able to really customize the tour to fit the needs of your students.
The academic links for kindergarten visiting a local dairy farm are:
– observe and describe animals in local environments
–  observing using multiple senses
– communicating observations
– describing people who use science (farmers)
– describe how different resources and tools make life easier
– pretty much any literacy and writing standard you can incorporate through books
It was also very interesting to hear about all the options the older students have for academic links with a farm visit!  Genetics, nutrition, and the use scientific method to experiment with cutting edge farming techniques were all extremely interesting conversations!
We started our tour by walking through cow stables.  They are sectioned off by ages (or stages of life) in order to make sure they get the appropriate diets, care, and such.  We actually missed the birth of a cow by about 2 minutes!  It was really cool to see the mommy cow care for her baby and see the baby try to stand up for the first time!

This activity goes well with:

From there we got to go into the milk room!  There was no glass between us and the cows, no non-farming barriers to separate us!  It was really neat to be so close – so close we could actually see what was going on!
Once the milk is collected it is stored in these giant stainless steel containers!  This was probably the coolest part of the whole day… we got to climb up and see the milk that had been collated that day!  This was not something I had been allowed to do at any other farm so it is definitely a special treat you can share with your students!
From there we got to go see the baby cows!  This is always a favorite part for students!  If you plan a trip to a dairy, ask and make sure the farm you select has this experience for your students!
You notice in the picture above that one of the cows is brown.  We all know it’s inevitable as teachers that the students will ask “Is that a chocolate milk cow?”  This is another reason why Kerr Dairy is so fun because about 15% of their cows are this red color so they are all over the place!
Here is a short video for your students about milk!  It has many facts about farming and milk so if you are not able to visit a dairy farm you can still soak up the learning!  

Here is a great video with lots of facts about milk for first grade (maybe second) and above.  It’s LOADED with facts too from the Arizona Milk Producers!
If you are looking for a great educational place to take your students, a local dairy farm is a great option!  
Have you been to a dairy farm?  Tell us where!  
Disclaimer: I was provided the opportunity to visit this farm with the Diary Council of AZ through a campaign with Blended Extended. All opinions are my own. 
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