24 Hours on a Dairy Farm

This past summer we took a trip to Pennsylvania with our kids. Our first stop was at a dairy farm in a town called Paradise. The farm had about 40 cows and grew corn to feed them.

Photo of a Cow

We each got to milk a cow – which was a weird experience. It’s something I’ve never done before. My son was particularly good at it – so I told him that maybe he should leave his video games behind and go and live on a farm! Just kidding of course!

The farmers normally use machines for milking. That way they get 4-5 gallons of milk out of each cow per day, as opposed to 1+ gallon per day if they milked the cows by hand into a bucket.

Most of the milk on the farm we visited is sent to Land O’ Lakes to make butter and to Hershey’s to make chocolate. That was interesting to find out, as later in our trip we were going to Hershey’s.

The farmer gave us a tour of the whole farm and talked about his crops. It was interesting to hear about how his whole life revolves around the weather – much more than for people living in the suburbs or a city. Yet he does use modern conveniences in that he uses high speed internet access to find out what the weather reports are. (He also uses artificial insemination to propagate his herd – rather than have a bull on site – which can be dangerous.)

On the tour, we all got to pick an ear of corn and to later feed it to the cows. The cows eat the whole thing: the corn, the corncob, the leaves and the silk. We learnt that cows have four stomachs for digesting – that’s why they can eat such tough food (that we can’t digest) like grass and corncobs.

Our kids got to feed two week old calves with very large bottles of milk. The calves are already pretty large at that age. So they need a lot of milk.

We slept in guest rooms in a special section of the farmer’s house. The next morning, all of the guests had breakfast together. We had raw, un-pasteurized milk – straight from the cows. I’ve never had milk that tasted so fresh and creamy! (It was recommended by the farmer that pregnant women and infants didn’t drink it.) They also served homemade yogurt, fresh sausage, scrambled eggs (the eggs came from the poultry farmer next door) and peach cobbler.

I think this was a great experience for the kids, while interesting and enjoyable for us adults. I’d recommend a trip like this for anyone. It gave the kids another perspective on the world, while being hands-on fun. It’s nice when vacations can be restful, yet open the mind to other possibilities in life!

Photo of a Farm that Grows Corn

This article was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Mama Lisa, Pennsylvania, Photos, Traveling, USA, Visiting a Farm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “24 Hours on a Dairy Farm”

  1. Nik Says:

    Lisa, Congrats on this site. However, for many parents who wish to kinda force feed their children to learn a foreign language, it is rather difficult to download multiple mp3 files on a slow conncetions. May I suggest you could increase hits to you site, simply by allowing to download a larger compilation of all French, German, English, Spanish MP3. For that you may want to put a Scrol Down Menu with + Control selectable or Tick Selected list.

    After turning pages five or six times I got bored, and am going away from your site.

    Finally, you may also want to warn your site guest of poor quality of some mp3.

    Otherwise, you have something which is very hard to find, but in a lighter way you could significantly imrpove visitor number. I hope you do not find my comments offensive.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Glad you enjoyed my part of the world. I live in Lancaster PA and have for over half of my life now. I love the area having grown up in Western PA. I married a man from Intercourse PA – not far from Paradise. Gotta love the names of these towns!

  3. Lisa Says:

    We went to a delicious restaurant in Intercourse for lunch (can’t remember the name of it offhand). We also visited an Amish bookstore, a quilt store and a pottery place.

    It’s a nice town (though it’s surprisingly busy).

    While we were there we also saw an Amish lady who looked like she was in her 80’s on a scooter. She was in great shape!

    It really is lovely in Lancaster – you’re lucky to live there!

    -Mama Lisa

  4. Linda Says:

    Lisa, what a wonderful website and service you provide to those of us who understand the importance of languages, and other cultures. My kids may be really young, but we have been learning a handful of other languages including Japanese (I lived in Tokyo for 4 years and fell in love with the language, culture, and people). My kids are preschool age and are like little sponges. They cannot seem to get enough!

    We have our own business in which we sell products online to help families traveling with their kids. I am always looking for educational items to add to our line…Have you heard of Teach-Me-Tapes? The have language tapes for little guys like mine. We also have Greathall Productions Jim Weiss collections of narated stories, and childrens songs (audio books on CD) which are very entertaining and educational too. I will have to bookmark your site as well as add your link to our website since we seem to be on the same page! I will also share your wonderful site with our homeschooling group. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  5. maria Says:

    Dear Mama Lisa,I would like your help please if it is possible.I am looking for the MP3 of the song “singapura,sunny island” in the english and in the original version.I like so much this song and I would to listen to it.Thank you in advace.

  6. A Year On The Farm Says:

    I think you did a great job of summing up your 24 hours on a farm. We’re doing something really challenging – “a year on the farm”.

    Our cows are mostly grass fed rather than corn-fed and we have 350 of them so there is plenty of work to be done. I’m sure every dairy farm uses milking machines these days – imagine milking 350 cows by hand…

    By the way, I love that photo of the crops! Keep up the great work.

  7. Lisa Says:

    That’s neat!

    I can’t imagine milking 350 cows by hand! The people at the farm we visited used a machine to milk the cows and it was a snap. But your way sounds nicer for the cows. How long does it take?

  8. A Year On The Farm Says:

    Now that all of the cows have calved (i.e. we’re milking all of them twice each day) it takes us a bit under 2 hours in the mornings and 1.5 hours in the afternoons – plus another 30-60 minutes for the cleanup after each milking.

Leave a Reply