Peshtigo 4th Graders Learn on the Van De Walle Dairy Farm

As a result of a transportation grant from the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, the entire fourth grade from Peshtigo toured the Dan-Sue-Eric Van De Walle Dairy Farm to learn about dairy farming. “In my twenty-some years of teaching, this was one of the best field trips ever!” Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center teacher Ann Kamm loved how the in-person, hands-on learning opportunity was eye opening for her students.

Back in October, Kamm’s class adopted a dairy calf named Rebel through a program called Discover Dairy. Rebel’s adoption certificate includes the following language, “It is encouraged to continue learning more about her role on the farm and how one day, she will be producing wholesome milk for you.” A field trip to an actual local dairy farm seemed the next natural step for the Peshtigo fourth grade class.

“They were smiling and learning the whole time. Students interacted with each other and with the animals.” Kamm said the facial expressions, comments, and laughter her students expressed when they were able to rub a cow’s ear, or have a calf lick them, was priceless. “It was hard to get the students away from the cows! They had tons of questions.”

Students learned about the care that goes into raising dairy cattle, such as how much water cows need to drink and the importance of cleanliness on a dairy farm.

“Our kids were surprised at how big calves are when they’re born,” shares Kamm. They learned about the precision needed for feed. “Our students could see and feel the difference between the different types of feed. They could pick up a handful of hay silage, corn silage, and mineral mixtures and really see the difference.”

“My students really loved everything from this experience!” Students asked many questions about animal care, Kamm emphasizes. They also wanted to know more about tractor safety events and the Breakfast on the Farm. “Thanks to the Marinette County Dairy Association for donating ice cream and to the Van De Walles for donating cheese and water to the kids. We are especially grateful to Dan, Sue, and Eric Van De Walle for their hospitality and for truly engaging the kids’ interest! Students learned so much we’re hoping to make this an annual fourth grade trip.”



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