I am an animal lover through and through. That’s part of the reason why I chose to apply for Governor’s School of Agriculture; I knew that I would get the opportunity to learn about domesticated livestock and fowl. Although we have yet to reach the point in our month-long stay where we will learn about animals in agriculture, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that a little over a week ago, on July 2nd, we were going to be visiting a dairy farm.
I spent the entire morning itching to get on the van, and many others around me were vibrating with the same excitement. Our first stop on the field trip was an organic farm. Even though I enjoyed learning about the types of machinery and methods used to get the best harvest, I couldn’t help but run back to the van when it was time to head to our final stop: the dairy farm.
When we arrived, I was hit by the distinct smell of manure, grain, and hay. I spotted the cows immediately; their big black-and-white (and occasional brown) heads poking out of their pens and eying us curiously. I wanted nothing more than to run over to them, but not long into our tour, we were led to a barn that housed the calves. They were all legs and heads that were too big for their little bodies, and I fell in love. We spent the next hour learning about the details of dairy farming, including how the cows were cared for, how the milk was collected, and then the process in which the milk gets stored.
Although we’ve done plenty of exciting things since then, the cows were by far the highlight of my stay (so far) at Virginia Tech.