New York and Pennsylvania dairy farmers are making a connection with thousands of students through the Adopt-A-Cow program hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) with support from ADA North East. The farmers are welcoming those students onto their farms through live video chats, where each farmer gives an update on the students’ adopted calves and a live walk-through of the farm. Nate Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm in Schodack Landing, N.Y., provided the first tour on April 7.

Upcoming tours will be hosted by local farms Walmoore Holsteins in Chatham, Pa., on Friday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m., and Zahncroft Dairy in Wolmesdorf, Pa., on May 5, at 1:30 p.m.

To-date, Chittenden’s tour has drawn 2,314 viewers (live and recorded) and received more than 1,000 comments and questions. The Adopt-A-Cow program enables a classroom to become familiar with a farm family who shares information for seven months about their farm’s history, basic calf care and about their adopted calf through pictures and videos.

The program is part of CDE’s Discover Dairy, a standards-based lesson series for upper elementary and middle school students, that ADA North East has supported in Pennsylvania since its inception.

ADA North East also increased financial support of the Adopt-A-Cow program last year to help reach more schools within our territory after CDE received an influx of requests. Last year, 7,311 classrooms/registrants with more than 163,200 students participated in the program in our six-state region.

In total, more than 70,000 classrooms and homes participated in the program in the 2020-2021 school year, with 22 farmer hosts from across the county.