Family Day at the Dairy Farm, the annual open house at the University of Florida’s dairy farm, has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 5. The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The UF dairy farm is located 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville in Hague. Directions are available at the event website.
Originally, Family Day at the Dairy Farm was set for March 15 but had to be postponed due to wet conditions on the farm, said organizer Albert De Vries, an associate professor with UF’s animal sciences department, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
“All the recent rain really soaked the visitor parking area, and we were concerned that cars might get stuck,” De Vries said. “We hope the rescheduling doesn’t inconvenience many people, and we believe it was the right thing to do.”
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 into 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.
New features this year include opportunities to buy refreshments, a seating area, face-painting for children and an information booth, De Vries said. There will also be a “milkable cow,” a mechanical simulator that enables visitors to get hands-on experience with traditional milking.
Opened in 1949, the UF dairy farm sits on 850 acres and is home to about 500 Holstein cows, which are milked twice daily.
Visitors should wear closed-toed 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 and Instagram using the hashtag #UFDAIRYDAY.
“April 5 is our definite ‘go’ date, and we hope to see everybody out there,” De Vries said.