75 Ogdensburg students attend virtual farm tour at Stauffer Farms of North Lawrence
About 75 students in Lisa Beldock’s Living Environment class at Ogdensburg Free Academy virtually visited nearby Stauffer Farms in North Lawrence. Pictured from left to right: Landon Bouchey, Adam Lucas, Kaleb Dawley, Zoee Williams and Lily Starts. Photo submitted by American Dairy Association North East.
OGDENSBURG -- October is National Farm-to-School Month and this year about 75 freshman in Lisa Beldock’s Living Environment class at Ogdensburg Free Academy visited nearby Stauffer Farms in North Lawrence without ever leaving their classroom.The students from OFA were among the nearly 5,000 students across the country that tuned in to participate in a free virtual farm tour this week hosted by Stauffer Farms in St. Lawrence County, in partnership with American Dairy Association North East.
“The kids really seemed to enjoy the virtual farm tour,” said Ogdensburg Free Academy teacher Lisa Beldock, who played the tour for ninth graders in her Living Environment class. “My students did not understand the role of technology in farming until today. They were impressed with the fitbits on the cows and the milking process. The science of farming can relate to most of the concepts in my class throughout the year.”
Through the use of video technology, students experienced a dairy farm tour and learned directly from dairy farmers about their commitment to care for their cows and the land, and how nutritious milk is produced.
Freshman Zoee Williams said of the tour, “I think it is cool that the cows have trackers like fitbits for the farmers to monitor their food and exercise.”
“We were excited to welcome guests to our farm virtually, and help them understand how dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt get from our farm to their school,” said dairy farmer and tour host Adam Bates of Stauffer Farms. “During the tour, our guests saw how we care for our cows, and the environment, while contributing to our local communities.”
As someone who has assisted on a dairy farm for the past seven years, Beldock understands how hard farmers work and was happy she could share how farmers produce food for the community with her classes.
“The farmers I know love what they do and love their animals,” said Beldock. “I want to thank Stauffer Farms for offering this virtual tour and enabling my students to visit a farm without leaving the classroom. Virtual field trips make learning fun and educational while providing a safe learning experience for my students.”
American Dairy Association North East’s virtual farm tour program has been extremely beneficial for schools throughout the past 18 months, providing informative and engaging activities for students whether they are learning in school or at home. The virtual tours have also been a great alternative to off-site field trips, which haven’t fully resumed yet.