Adopt a Cow Program Connects Students to New England Dairy Farmers

Elicia Pinsonault| View Author Bio
Split computer screen showing woman sitting at desk and farmer standing in front of cow

This April, three New England dairy farmers hosted live chats with students in classes across the region who “adopted” calves as part of the Adopt a Cow Program.

Gervais Family Farm in Vermont, MacGlaflin Farm in New Hampshire, and Mapleleaf Farm in Connecticut served as the 2023-2024 host farms. The Adopt a Cow program is a year-long virtual educational program administered by the Dairy Excellence Foundation with support from New England Dairy.

This is the third year that New England Dairy has partnered with the Dairy Excellence Foundation for the Adopt a Cow Program. In its first year, the program had 1,200 participating schools in New England, reaching 36,000 students. For the 2023-2024 school year, Adopt a Cow reached over 91,000 students in 2,800 classrooms across our region.

At the heart of the program is the ability for students to watch a calf grow throughout the school year while paired with a New England dairy farm. Through photo & video updates, hands-on learning activities, curriculum, and virtual visits, students and teachers gain a deeper understanding of dairy farming and milk’s journey from farm to fridge. The program culminated in these live chats, where students could interact with the farmer, meet the calves, and get questions answered in real time. Questions asked during the live chat focused on topics including cow care, nutrition and dairy products, sustainability, and more. More than 730 classrooms participated in this year’s live chats.

Watch the live chats
How can farmers support the Adopt a Cow Program?
  • The Adopt a Cow Program will return for the 2024-2025 school year in September. Want to see the Adopt a Cow Program in your local schools?  Share registration information with teachers in your community. Registration closes September 15, 2024.
  • Mention this program when you’re talking about New England Dairy’s work in schools. You can share the results and impact of the program detailed above. You can also send your dairy farmer peers the live chat so they can experience it firsthand.
  • Consider being a future Adopt a Cow host farm. We’re always looking for new farms to highlight through the program.

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