On Saturday, February 11, 2023, the seventh Family Day at the Dairy Farm (FDDF) was held at the UF/IFAS Dairy Research Unit in Hague, Florida. Family Day at the Dairy Farm is an educational open house event for the general public. It is organized by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences faculty, staff and students, the UF/IFAS Dairy Unit staff, and the Florida Dairy Farmers Inc.
Beginning in 2012, Family Day at the Dairy Farm was started to showcase the operations of a working dairy farm to the general public. Another goal of the event is to continue providing transparency regarding various management practices in the dairy industry. Attendees also learned about dairy research and extension programming conducted by UF/IFAS faculty to improve milk quality and production in the Florida dairy industry.
This year’s event hosted 14 stations with topics ranging from ration nutrition to cattle breeds and reproduction to lactation. Activities provided at the stations included interacting with farm equipment, milking a (model) cow, and making butter! The following organizations had informational stations onsite: the Florida Dairy Farmers Inc., the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, and UF Environmental Health and Safety.
Children who attended the event were given a map upon arrival. The map had specific locations marked where they could complete an activity. Examples of activities included handling ration ingredients and matching cattle breed names to pictures.
After completing the activity, the child’s map was stamped. After collecting all the stamps, they turned it in at the Florida Dairy Farmers, Inc. station for prizes. All visitors were also treated to free cartons of milk!
Over 40 volunteers, ranging from undergraduate students to faculty members, enabled the event to host over 1000 guests. Some volunteers assisted in parking cars, registration, and clean-up, while others worked at one of the 14 stations. Additionally, volunteers played a pivotal role in answering questions from the general public.
Find more information about the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences events on our website. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Any questions or inquiries regarding this piece should be directed toward Shelby O. Thomas at email@example.com. Read more stories like this one here: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/animalsciencesdept/.