Young children can learn about dairy farming on July 19

The Great Dairy Adventure offers many hands-on activities for children, such as petting calves, crafting projects and milking a cow.

Youth learn how to milk a dairy cow at the Great Dairy Adventure. Photo by Michigan State University.

Youth learn how to milk a dairy cow at the Great Dairy Adventure. Photo by Michigan State University.

If you are looking for a low-cost, fun-filled day for children and families this summer, put the 2017 Great Dairy Adventure on your calendar, July 19 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 pm. The Great Dairy Adventure is a great opportunity for children to learn about all things dairy. It is a part of the Michigan Dairy Expo held every year on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Dairy professionals organize exhibits and activities for children and families, and youth dairy farmers can compete for prizes and ribbons. Everything is free, including the famous MSU dairy ice cream—perfect on a hot July day.

The atmosphere at the Great Dairy Adventure is family-friendly because over 97 percent of the nearly 1,800 dairy farms in Michigan are family owned and operated. On the United Dairy Industry of Michigan website, dairy farmer Tonya Ritter talks about how dairy farming is a family activity. Dairy farming is a major industry for Michigan, with only five other states producing more milk than Michigan dairy farms.

Organizers of the Great Dairy Adventure have long recognized how much children love getting involved with hands-on activities. Young children in particular learn through their senses. The Great Dairy Adventure offers plenty of hands-on activities including petting calves, crafting projects and the chance to try milking a real cow.

The Great Dairy Adventure is held at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock on the corner of Mt. Hope Road and Farm Lane (4301 Farm Ln, Lansing, MI 48910). The Pavilion is an indoor, handicap accessible facility with bathrooms available. The Great Dairy Adventurers can bring a picnic lunch or purchase food from the MSU concessions booth. Groups are welcome and there is free parking for busses and cars. Information packets are available for teachers and leaders that provide simple information about how dairy products contribute to healthy lifestyles. For more information, contact Carla McLachlan at 517-432-5402 and visit the United Dairy Industry of Michigan website. 

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