OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWTI) — This week, students in Ogdensburg were able to visit a local dairy farm without leaving their classroom.

In honor of National Farm-to-School Month, the American Dairy Association North East helped 75 students at Ogdensburg Free Academy participate in a virtual farm tour at Stauffer Farms in St. Lawrence County. These students were among 5,000 students across the country that also participated in this tour.

“The kids really seemed to enjoy the virtual farm tour,” Ogdensburg Free Academy Living Environment Teacher Lisa Beldock said. “My students did not understand the role of technology in farming until today. They were impressed with the Fitbit on the cows and the milking process. The science of farming can relate to most of the concepts in my class throughout the year.”

For the past seven years, Beldock has assisted on dairy farms. She said that she was happy she could share how farmers produce food with her classes.

“The farmers I know love what they do and love their animals,” Beldock noted. “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.” 

According to ADANE, through video technology students experience a dairy farm tour and heard directly from farmers who discussed how they care for cows and the land.

“I think it is cool that the cows have trackers like fitbits for the farmers to monitor their food and exercise.” OFA Freshman Zoee Williams added after watching the tour.

The virtual tour itself was hosted by Stauffer Farms Adam Bates. Who also shared his excitement regarding sharing the farm with local students.

“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,” Bates said. “During the tour, our guests saw how we care for our cows, and the environment, while contributing to our local communities.”

American Dairy Association North East’s virtual farm tour program has been growing since 2018, but especially utilized in the past 18 months. Local dairy farmers have worked with ADANE to bring their farms to classrooms.

To date, there are over 400,000 views across 14 tours. The full tour of Stauffer Farms can be watched in the player below: