The life of an intern is far from boring with today being no exception!
I was presented with the fabulous opportunity of visiting an actual dairy farm today. Although I grew up in Indiana and have lived here my entire life, I have never toured a dairy farm. The farm I visited was Kelsay Farms (http://www.kelsayfarms.com/) in Whiteland, IN. This dairy and crop farm has been family owned for six generations, starting with a land grant by President Van Buren in 1837. I felt quite privileged to be able to tour such a history-rich farm.
My tour started with the milking parlor—possibly one of the most interesting parts of the farm. They were lined up outside of the parlor, just waiting to be milked. It was quite funny because the cows seemed very excited and continuously tried to enter the milking parlor. Once in the parlor, the cows went straight to their respective stalls without being directed or led. Clearly, these cows were much more familiar with the milking process than I. The entire process only lasted a few minutes, and then we were ready for the next group.
After the parlor, we visited one of the barns. The cows were very friendly and quite curious about their visitor—me. They came to the edge of the barn and listened to my tour guide explain the barn set up to me. I was very surprised as to how tailored the feed has become for a cow’s diet. I was able to pick up a sample of the feed being given to the cows; it was composed of four parts and packed with nutrients. The cows seemed to love their food and were constantly eating.
After visiting the big cows in the barn, I went to visit with the calves. I saw three calves today with one of the calves having been born only a few minutes prior to my visit. I watched as the mother cow’s colostrum was milked and given directly to the newborn calf. After her first meal, the calf decided it would try to stand up. Although she put forth a good effort, she was unsuccessful and decided to wait a few more minutes before taking her first few steps.
I was most surprised to find out that the dairy farm actually offered events and public tours in the fall. This particular farm grows a 5-acre corn maze which will host trick-or-treating this year. The farm also offers tours, live music, games, and more for the whole family. Needless to say, I greatly enjoyed my visit and will definitely have to come back later in the season for the full calendar of events!