Has a kid ever looked more excited (or fashionable) on a farm? No! This little darling is also a daughter of a dairy farmer, which is sometimes what you get when you go on field trips!
We hosted our son's preschool field trip. I well remember taking a field trip to our farm when I was in school, and now my son got to do the same. He was SO excited.
Having a dairy farm isn't the most rare thing around here ... two other kids in the class also have dairies (and others have farms)! My friend Britney told me her son asked, "Well, are we going to our farm tomorrow?"
But, just like farmers like to see other farms, even the farm kids were super excited to go see another one.
They pushed feed in the calf barn and let the calves lick them ...
We took a ride on a wagon full of straw bales and straw to the other barns. I'd say 'hayride', but Max corrected me. There was not hay on the wagon. Hay is green, and generally alfalfa or grass that cows eat. Straw is wheat that is yellow, that is generally soft and used as bedding. But 'strawride' doesn't quite have the same ring to it!
We saw the big cows in the free stall barn ...
Wore appropriate hats ...
And learned how the milk parlor works.
At the end, they climbed around on the chopper, tractors, and the dirt pile.
There was even one cat around that provided endless entertainment.
They all left with a GoGurt and a goody bag filled with fun dairy-related items. Bracelets, coloring books, stickers, clips - just to remind them of their day.
Later in the day we did the second class, and none of them were from a farm! The kids and the parents had lots of questions, and it was fun as always. Preschooler questions are my favorite. I asked it anyone had any, and many kids raised their hands. Their questions?
1. I like Dalmatians.
2. I like cats.
3. My grandpa has a farm and I went there and I got to go on the tractor.
YES! Is there anything better than preschooler question/statements? No! Just like everyone, they want to share and talk about what interests them. It was a great day, and I'm so glad they came!
If you can't all come to the farm, the farm will also come to you! Last week the librarian at my other sons' school asked me to come and do a dairy lessons for all the classes. Again, it's such a good time to talk to all of the different classes and see what their interests are.
For instance, some of my favorite questions were ...
1. If a cow came out a different color than black and white, would you still keep it?
2. When milk comes out of the cow, is it warm?
3. Does anyone drink STRAIGHT from the cow?
4. When a cow brings up her cud again, does she actually throw up?
5. How does the calf get into the cow ... is there a bull involved?
It's always a great time to talk with these fresh, young minds! They're always so eager to discuss and so willing to listen. I'm sure bringing along inflatables, cow models, and milkers doesn't hurt either. Thank you to the school for the opportunity!
Meanwhile, back to the farm - we started planting corn today! Such an exciting time of the year!
Kris rode with our planter (we pay him to plant our corn) and he was marveling at the technology of the planter.
It's all run off of GPS, so you only have to steer on the turns. He has an overlay of the field, so where the ground is lighter, it plants fewer seeds, so that the soil has enough nutrients to support the plant. Where the soil is better, it plants more seeds, because the soil has the capability to yield more.
The planter can also sense how deep the seed needs to go. When there's light ground, it presses hard, and when there's heavy ground, it presses harder. Kris and I talked about it for a long time - all of the amazing technological advances there are in planting compared to even when we were growing up.
Part of this is why we pay our planter. He has all the latest and greatest and we're glad to be able to benefit from it!
So here's to technology, planting ... and all the kids who are going to be doing this someday!
If you want to know more, you can like my farm page on Facebook, follow @carlashelley on twitter, or get the posts sent to your email by filling out the form on the right. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!