Teaching

ISU Dairy Farm Open House 2022 - An Opportunity for Education and Engagement

Authors
  • Christen G. Jackson (Iowa State University)
  • Abigail Carpenter (Iowa State University)
  • Katie England (Iowa State University)

Abstract

The month of June is known as 'June Dairy Month' and therefore, the Iowa State University (ISU) Dairy Farm Open House took place on June 10th, 2022. The purpose of the ISU Dairy Farm Open House was to invite the public, free of charge, to come and visit the ISU Dairy Research and Teaching Unit in order to learn more about the dairy industry's commitment to animal care, to observe how a modern-day dairy operation functions on a daily basis, and to celebrate and learn about all things dairy. Hence, throughout the event, visitors were able to: consume a variety of safe, wholesome, and nutritious dairy products; learn about cow comfort and the various management practices that are in place on dairy farms to assure that all dairy animals are cared for with the utmost care, view a live milking parlor demonstration and learn about the proper steps dairy farms follow in order to harvest milk properly and safely from dairy cows, and participants received a driving tour of the dairy farm. Tours of the ISU Dairy Farm were provided by research faculty and graduate students who have a deep understanding of dairy production and management and therefore, they were able to further enlighten guests on common feeding strategies used for the dairy herd, discuss the dairy industry's commitment to sustainable farming practices, and environmental stewardship. At the end of the driving tour, guests were transported to the 'Ag Discovery Center' to learn more about agriculture throughout Iowa from a variety of commodity groups within the state. An optional, post-even survey (Table 1) was distributed to gauge visitor perception of the dairy industry. Of those who completed the survey (81 respondents), 94% of visitors indicated having a positive or very positive perception of the dairy industry. Also, 98% of respondents indicated they would attend this event in the future, and respondents unanimously indicated they would recommend this event to someone else. Thus, moving forward, there is a continued desire by the public for ISU to continue planning and hosting the ISU Dairy Farm Open House. Due in part because this event is an excellent opportunity for all in involved to continue educating and promoting dairy to the public in order to ensure a thriving dairy industry in the years to come.

Keywords: Dairy, Dairy Cattle, Open House

How to Cite:

Jackson, C. G., Carpenter, A. & England, K., (2023) “ISU Dairy Farm Open House 2022 - An Opportunity for Education and Engagement”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 20(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/air.16103

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Published on
06 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed
License
Public Domain