A group of 70 elementary and middle school teachers from Pennsylvania and beyond provided students with hands-on learning experiences at local dairy farms this spring. The teachers, who are enrolled in the Dairy Excellence Foundation’s Discover Dairy program, received dairy farm field trip grants through the Dairy Excellence Foundation, PA Dairymen’s Association, and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. The grants, which amounted to more than $22,000, allowed these classrooms to tour dairy farms in their community and talk firsthand with dairy farmers and their families.
During the farm tours, students discovered how farmers care for their cows, conserve their natural resources, and produce nutritious dairy products. Teachers also used the farm tour fields trip as an opportunity to build connections to their educational curriculum and local community.
“Our first-grade students learned about dairy cows and how well they are cared for, what they eat and drink, and how they are milked,” said Jennifer Metzler of Williamsburg Community Elementary School in Pennsylvania, one of the grant recipients. “The highlight of the trip was seeing the newborn calves and the forage harvester. Students were also treated to ice cream after the tour.”
For dairy farmers who open their doors to host students and teachers, the farm tour field trips allow them to share how dairy products are produced on the farm and eventually arrive at the grocery store—strengthening their connections with future consumers and the community at large.
“We talked about cow care, robots, cow comfort, and they named the newborn calf [during the tour]. Their smiles made my day. Some of the kids started the tour withdrawn and distant, but by the tour’s end, even the most timid ones in the group wanted to shake my hand and say ‘thank you,’” said Mark Rodgers of Hillcrest Farms, Inc. in Georgia, one of the farms who hosted a field trip. “They learned a lot about dairy, and I think they will go home and share what they learned about milk, dairy products, and all the things their local farmer does to produce it and care for their animals.”
Funds from the dairy farm field trip grants can assist teachers in paying for busing, farm tours, lunch, or dairy treats. Any classroom currently enrolled in the Discover Dairy program is eligible to apply, with several grants designated specifically for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin classrooms.
“It was a great field trip. The farm [we visited] has been around for 102 years. We were able to see how a dairy farm operates and learn all about cows. Dairy farms are such a big part of our town, so this trip tied in nicely with our social studies standards. Those standards include learning about important industries in our town and state. Thank you so much for helping to make this trip possible,” said Zandra Trudeau, a third-grade teacher from Woodstock Elementary School in Connecticut, one of the grant recipients.
Discover Dairy, managed by the Dairy Excellence Foundation, is an engaging, interactive, multi-leveled educational series that shows upper elementary and middle school students where milk comes from and how dairy farmers contribute to our communities.
“These dairy farm field trips give students the opportunity to get on the farm and expand on what they’ve learned through their Discover Dairy lessons and activities. Congratulations to these teachers for receiving grants that could help them plan memorable, hands-on learning experiences on local farms,” said Brittany Snyder, Dairy Education Program Manager at the Dairy Excellence Foundation.
The following teachers received Discover Dairy farm field trip grants during the 2021-22 school year:
- Amanda Hoover— Southwood Elementary, North Carolina
- Ami Medley— Grove Elementary School, Oklahoma
- Amy Vetterli— Preschool of the Arts, Wisconsin
- Amy Williams—Battle Ground Middle School, Indiana
- Angela Premo— St. Joseph’s Elementary School, New York
- Becky Denney— Charleston Elementary, Tennessee
- Becky Kleinfelter— Jackson Elementary, Pennsylvania
- Beth McMurtrey— Hermitage Springs Elementary, Tennessee
- Blaire Thornton— Zolfo Springs Elementary, Florida
- Brianna Baab— Wabasha-Kellogg, Minnesota
- Brianna Schyvinck— Westside Elementary, Wisconsin
- Brittney Magness— Home school teacher, Arizona
- Carla Zimmerman— Lombardi Middle School, Wisconsin
- Carrie Allord— St. Francis Church, Minnesota
- Cassie Reetz— John Muir Elementary, Wisconsin
- Chrissy Blycheck— Christ the Divine Teacher School, Pennsylvania
- Christan Rosier— Thomson High School, Georgia
- Christy Edens— McNeel Intermediate School, Wisconsin
- Courtney Schwanz— Jackson Christian Elementary, Michigan
- Denise Reinhold— Conrad Weiser West Elementary, Pennsylvania
- Emily Sherfinski— North Elementary, Wisconsin
- Erin Mindt— Bethune Academy, Wisconsin
- Erin Snyder— East Pike Elementary School, Pennsylvania
- Gina Williams— Carroll Magnet Middle School, North Carolina
- Heidi Gross— Thomas Dale High School, Virginia
- Jacqueline Wilk—Seabrook Middle School, New Hampshire
- Jen Overbeck— Joseph Pennell Elementary School, Pennsylvania
- Jennifer Bailey— Argyle Central School, New York
- Jennifer McLaughlin— Jersey City Public School, New Jersey
- Jennifer Metzler— Williamsburg Community Elementary School, Pennsylvania
- Jessica Crawford— Titusville Area School District, Pennsylvania
- Jessica Hite— Chestnut Ridge Central Elementary, Pennsylvania
- Jessica Izzo— Lincoln Elementary Community School, New York
- Jodie Day— Townsend Elementary School, New York
- Jung-Eun Lee— MacDowell Montessori School, Wisconsin
- Kaitlyn Dwyer— Eden Elementary, Wisconsin
- Kaitlynn Mynatt— Hatley High School, Missouri
- Kasey Kautzer— Mead Elementary, Wisconsin
- Katie Boisvert— Jackson Elementary, Wisconsin
- Kattie Schulte— Edgewood-Colesburg Elementary, Iowa
- Kelli Stubbe— Indiana Junior High School, Pennsylvania
- Kelsey Loughran— Eagle Point Elementary School, Wisconsin
- Kim Bauer— Wynford Middle School, Ohio
- Kira Kalepp— School District of Athens, Wisconsin
- Kris Liddicoat— Iowa-Grant Elementary, Wisconsin
- Kristen O’Connor— Holy Family Catholic School, Pennsylvania
- Lauren Newell and Kristen Caldwell— Dyersburg City School, Tennessee
- Lisa Blair— Warder Park Wayne Elementary, Ohio
- Lori Bongert— Rio Elementary, Wisconsin
- Madeline Knoblock— Emmeline Cook Elementary School, Wisconsin
- Maria Schneider—Brecksville-Broadview Hts. Middle School, Ohio
- Marian Ferlin— Latrobe Elementary School, Pennsylvania
- Mary Allyse Malone— McCants Middle School, South Carolina
- Melissa Carden— Barneveld School District, Wisconsin
- Monica Joubert – Farmington High School, Minnesota
- Nicole Bauer— Klein Elementary, Pennsylvania
- Pam Bockstoce— Rainbow’s End Learning Center, Pennsylvania
- Randy Bergman— Prentice Elementary School, Wisconsin
- Sabrina Hayes— Florida A&M, Florida
- Sage Bennett— South Nodaway Barnard, Missouri
- Sandra Choquette— Captain Hunt Preschool, Rhode Island
- Sandra Suncin— Imagine Bell Canyon, Arizona
- Shyla Woock— Marshall Elementary, Wisconsin
- Tamee Schultz— Bridgewater-Emery, South Dakota
- Teresa Dubanowich— Roosevelt Elementary School, Wisconsin
- Tricia Coxwell— Putnam County Primary School, Georgia
- Victorian Sinn— Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Pennsylvania
- Zandra Trudeau — Woodstock Elementary School, Connecticut
Applications for upcoming dairy farm field trip grants will be available in the fall of 2022. Learn more about the program at www.discoverdairy.com/take-trip-dairy-farm. For more information, contact Brittany Snyder at email@example.com or call 717-346-0849.
Discover Dairy is an educational series managed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania in partnership with American Dairy Association Northeast, American Dairy Association Indiana, Midwest Dairy, The Dairy Alliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Dairy Council of Arizona and Nevada, Dairy West, New England Dairy, Dairy Farmers of Washington, American Dairy Association Mideast, Dairy Council of Florida, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council.
The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax deductible organization that is Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) approved. Established in 2010, the foundation’s mission is to build and invest in programs that cultivate and empower the next generation of producers, consumers, and advocates for the Pennsylvania dairy industry. Learn more at centerfordairyexcellence.org/our-foundation/.
Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation▼2301 North Cameron St., Harrisburg, PA 17110 ▼717-346-0849 ▼www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/our-foundation/