The Year 5 children from Bengeworth Academy came out to the farm today. They were a real pleasure to have on the farm, their listening ears were well and truly turned on and they asked some brilliant questions. After the Health and Safety talk I explained the system we run within the business. The milking cows are at the home farm, the male calves are at Sandfield Farm and the female calves at Battledene Farm. I explained the difference between beef and dairy cows and that cows have to have a calf in order the produce milk. We had a brief discussion about the use of dairy bulls and beef bulls and over their snack time the children looked at the various ‘daughter’ traits recorded in a bull semen catalogue. The children were telling me the scores for udder placement, feet condition and speed of milking. The dairy genetics industry is huge and an essential part of the dairy industry.
After snack we went on a farm walk, first stopping to look at the male calves and identifying which calf had a dairy bull father and which had a beef bull father. We then walked along the tramlines in field of wheat. As we went into the wheat field the children thought about the life cycle of a wheat plant.
Once we were at the pond, the children had a great time pond dipping looking for dragon fly nymphs in particular. We were really lucky that a boy found a recently emerged dragon fly on the reeds, which was drying its wings in the sunshine, before taking its first flight.
On our way back from the pond the children looked at the wild life area, where I explained that some of the plants life cycles would be altered due to plant succession.
After lunch the children had a great time in the play wood.