University of Florida supporters have something new to look forward to this fall – the return of Family Day at the Dairy Farm, a popular open house held at the UF dairy farm in Hague and presented by UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences with support from Florida Dairy Farmers and UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
In past years, the event has been held in March; this year, persistent rain forced organizers to postpone it until drier weather arrived, said Jerry Wasdin, coordinator of the dairy farm’s research programs and services.
“We’re optimistic about the new date and we’re eager to give North Florida residents a look at a real, working dairy farm,” Wasdin said. “Everything you see at Family Day at the Dairy Farm is similar to activities at commercial dairy operations throughout Florida.”
The event takes place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, and is open to the public. The event is subject to weather conditions; check the website the week of Oct. 20 for updates.
Family Day at the Dairy Farm includes opportunities to see cows milked, tour barn facilities, examine cattle feed, pet calves, sample dairy products, make butter, take a hayride, climb onto a tractor and learn how UF/IFAS dairy research and Extension help the state’s dairy farmers produce better milk at lower cost and keep their herds comfortable and healthy.
Students from UF animal sciences and veterinary programs work at the farm as part of their training. Many of the current dairy students and faculty members are presenters at the event, educating visitors at more than 20 displays around the farm.
Visitors should wear closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and hats. To protect herd health, pets are not allowed at the event, he said. Restroom facilities and complimentary bottled water will be available on-site.
Cameras are welcome, and visitors can post their Family Day at the Dairy Farm photos on Twitter using the hashtag #UFDAIRYDAY.