Emilie Mulligan explains how calves are cared for on Mulligan Farm during the high school Virtual Farm Tour. 

Altogether, 14,505 students, teachers and parents tuned in live to hear from three local dairy farmers during the Virtual Farm Tours this week, as they explained the modern dairy farm practices they use to produce safe, high-quality milk. Participants asked nearly 500 questions during the tours, many of which the farmer hosts answered in real time.


Emilie Mulligan led 860 students in grades 8-12, on a tour of her farm, Mulligan Farm in Avon, N.Y., live on Wednesday, and Adam Bates of Stauffer Farms in North Lawrence, N.Y., hosted 1,945 students live in grades 4-7 today.

virtual farm tour

Adam Bates shows the size of a free stall at Stauffer Farms by laying down in the sand bedding during the middle school Virtual Farm Tour.

Stacey Copenhaver’s tour on Tuesday for elementary students racked up 11,700 live viewers.

“I think the farm tours are so impactful because it gives the children a chance to see where their food comes from and to have a better understanding of how it gets to the grocery store shelves.” — Stacey Copenhaver

The students asked thoughtful questions, ranging from the amount of milk each cow produces; how long do cows live and how much do they weigh; how many employees are on the farm; how many calves are born in a day; what happens to the bull calves; can cows have a calf on their own; how much does it cost to feed the cows; what is the most recent technology used on the farm; and do the cows have names, among others.

Stay tuned for more results and follow-up photos and comments from participants!