UF/IFAS Family Day at the Dairy Farm offers education, fun

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Milk may be sold in supermarkets, but it comes from cows – that’s the lesson being offered this Saturday at Family Day at the Dairy Farm, a free open-house event at the University of Florida’s dairy farm in Hague, 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., dairy researchers and Extension specialists with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will showcase the farm’s operations and explain how their work helps commercial dairy producers. For directions, see http://tinyurl.com/d3a5626.

Visitors can watch cows being fed and milked, learn about cattle nutrition and health-care practices, pet live calves, tour barns, sample dairy products and make their own butter.

Local actor Houston Wells will portray President Abraham Lincoln, greeting visitors and explaining how Lincoln created the land-grant university system that established UF’s agriculture and natural resources program.

Other exhibits include a giant cow statue, farm equipment and samples of the foods dairy cows eat. Plenty of free parking is available on-site and there’ll be a hayride to transport visitors to and from the parking area.

“Last year’s event was a big success, and we’re confident this one will be even better,” said Albert De Vries, an associate professor with the UF/IFAS animal sciences department.

Visitors should plan on wearing closed-toe shoes, hats and sunblock, De Vries said. Bottled water will be available free at the event. For the health and comfort of the UF dairy herd, please leave pets at home.

The event is sponsored by UF/IFAS with support from Florida Dairy Farmers.

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Contacts

Writer: Tom Nordlie, 352-273-3567, tnordlie@ufl.edu

Source: Albert De Vries, 352-392-5594, ext. 227, devries@ufl.edu

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This undated file photo shows the University of Florida dairy farm in Hague, Fla., site of the Family Day at the Dairy Farm open house that takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Free and open to the public, the event will enable visitors to see a working dairy farm up close, and learn how experts with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences conduct research and Extension activities that help commercial dairy producers statewide. UF/IFAS photo by Thomas Wright