warm hot day this summer, Hannah of Off the Cuff and I headed over to Kelsay Farms to 1) tour a working dairy farm and 2) observe a group of inner-city kids experiencing a farm for the first time.
A group of farmers sponsored trips to Kelsay Farms for busloads of schoolchildren from the Indy Parks summer camps. This was a great hands-on, real-life learning experience for the kids.
Aren't they cute in their matching T-shirts?
Amy (meet her over at Two Maids a Milking) took the group (and me) into the "milk house" and the milking parlor to walk us through the milking process.
She explained that her family and their employees milked 500 cows three times a day. I'm a visual learner so I appreciated her props...see the 8 gallon jugs below?
These 8 jugs represent the average daily milk production of their cows! 1 cow = 8 gallons of milk/day
They keep all of that milk in this 6,000-gallon refrigerated milk tank until the milk truck comes to haul it away.
After a trip to the milking parlor (photos turned out way too dark to post), we headed to the barn to see The Ladies "at home."
As you can see the barn is open so the cows can have a nice breeze (and when there isn't one, there are fans). To teach the kids about where the cows sleep and eat, our tour guide asked the kids about the things they have in their own homes and then pointed out the similarities between their home and a cow's home!
For example, she asked the group what they eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Then she asked them what they thought the cows eat.
The answer: Cows eat about 100 pounds of feed each day, which is a combination of hay, grain and silage (fermented corn or grass). They drink a lot of water too – up to 50 gallons a day. The tour guide made a great comparison to get the point across that cows drink a lot of water. She said that one cow drinks the equivalent of a bathtub full of water a day. Yikes!
Once we were done in the barn, we headed to the shed where a new born calf was resting. The calf was a huge hit with the kids.
They all wanted to pet it and all it wanted to do was sleep!
To end the tour of the farm, the group gathered in the shed for a little nutrition lesson.
When the lesson was over, everyone got one of their three servings of dairy in the form of string cheese. Yummy!
Overall, this was a great experience.Watching these kids who didn't have any idea what a working farm looked like, was awesome.
The other cool thing...Kelsay Farms opens their "barn doors" to the public in October and has a lot of awesome activities for the entire family - like a corn maze, hayrides, rope maze and a lot more.
Check out http://www.kelsayfarms.com/ for more information!