In its fourth year, Midwest Dairy has seen success with the Discover Dairy Adopt a Cow program among elementary students. This program provides a free, year-long virtual experience where kids watch the growth of a calf and interact with a dairy farmer. Students learn first-hand about animal care, where nutritious dairy foods come from, and important lessons about dairy farming in general. We see success within this program because it fosters a better relationship with students and farmers by helping students connect where nutritious food, like cheese for pizza, comes from. The Adopt a Cow program follows Common CORE education standards and is interactive with classroom curriculum, farm tours, virtual chats, and more. This school year, Midwest Dairy has seven local dairy farmer hosts connecting with 74,000 students from the Midwest.
We thank and praise the outstanding group of farmers who volunteer their time and farm to this program, but it would also not be possible without the many teachers who support it. For example, meet Ashland, Nebraska teacher Diane Strans who utilized the Adopt A Cow program in her classroom this past year.
Starns has enthusiasm for agriculture and makes sure that her kindergarten students understand and appreciate the importance of agriculture. Because of her many efforts over the years, Starn was named the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation 2022 Nebraska Agriculture Teacher of the Year. Although Starn has been teaching and incorporating agriculture into her classroom for several years, she recently included the Adopt A Cow program. Starn’s kindergarten students connected with Midwest Dairy Nebraska dairy farmer Jodi Cast from JJC Jerseys and learned more about “Queenie” from her September birth and throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Cast virtually interacted with the Ashland classroom and many classrooms across the region, regularly sharing information about the cow (calf) and her life cycle – including photos, stories, general information, and a live streaming video in April. To view the Adopt A Cow virtual tour (4.29.2021) at JJC Jerseys, click here.