We reached out to our HERd management columnists and asked them to share how they celebrate June Dairy Month. Get inspired by their creative ideas.
There are three Dairy Month activities we did last year and will do again this year: host an event at our farm, hold the Farm Bureau ice cream social and put up a dairy display in the county tourism office window.
Cow Tales Adventures
We host an event called “Cow Tales Adventures” for young children and their parents and grandparents. The event includes watching the cows milking, taking a wagon ride around the farm, visiting the calves, playing in the corn box and taking a spin on the cow-spotted barrel train.
The goal is to show families where milk comes from and give them an opportunity to see how we care for animals. It’s family-friendly and hands-on. The kids can touch and smell the feed, pet calves, play with corn, “farm” on pedal tractors and eat cheese.
My dad drives the hayride wagon that takes visitors through the freestall barn, and my mom checks people in and serves cheese. We all answer questions and enjoy sharing information about dairy farming.
Farm Bureau ice cream social
We host the Geauga County Farm Bureau ice cream social at our farm in June. All county Farm Bureau members are invited to participate in this family-oriented activity. We have a meeting room that allows visitors to watch the cows milking through a wall of windows. People enjoy seeing the cows while they eat ice cream.
I have several educational displays set up around the room including the life cycle of a cow, dairy diet display, milk from cow to table, the evolution of milk quality/storage and more. We offer wagon ride tours of the farm and allow people to interact with the calves. All ages attend this fun event.
I decorate the Geauga County tourism display window, which is located on a main street that sees lots of traffic. The cow-themed display honors June Dairy Month and includes information about visiting our dairy farm during one of the special events we host throughout the year.
I take advantage of June Dairy Month to share the story of our farm.
Our farm was established in 2009. This June we will be celebrating five years since our first tank of milk left the farm. The past five years we have focused mainly on our family and operation. In addition, this past year we have been trying to accommodate the need for education within the community as well as utilizing social media.
This year we are taking it a step further, and we are beyond excited about it. In June we will be hosting an end-of-the-year celebration for our home-school group. A fun-filled day for the children as we enter into summer.
We will be hosting a BBQ/potluck with games, water balloon fights and allowing the children to run around to play. In addition, our new calf facility will be complete. We will be offering a tour of our facility to the families.
Our tour will include our calf facility, our main barn that houses the dairy cows, milk house and milk parlor. In addition, we plan to allow any children to feed a bottle calf. We will open it up for any questions, include goodie bags with fun educational material and, of course, offer ice cream.
In addition, I will be setting up a celebration to celebrate five years of dairy farming. I want to gather our closest friends and family to celebrate this milestone for this first-generation dairy family. Mainly, I want my husband to know that his hard work and dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.
I want him to know that he is an amazing dairy farmer and how many people support him. He is living proof that dreams do come true with a lot of blood, sweat and a few years.
Christina Winch (Private member profile. Sign in as a Proud to Dairy member to view.)
We did something different last year to celebrate Dairy Month. Ice cream is one of our favorite dairy products, and during the summer we love going to the local ice cream parlor and indulging in flavors like Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Heaps of Love, This Just Got Serious, along with traditional favorites of chocolate chip cookie dough and cookies and cream.
Unfortunately, there are those less fortunate than us who depend on the local food pantry for food each month and might not have the finances to enjoy one of summer’s favorite treats. We spoke with the local food pantry, found out how many families they usually serve a month and donated that number of half-gallon containers of vanilla ice cream to the pantry.
Each family would get one container. We also typed up a little information sheet about our farm and June Dairy Month. We plan to do this again this summer. PD
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