AVON, N.Y. — Herd manager and co-owner of Mulligan Farm, Emilie Mulligan, hosted her first American Dairy Association North East virtual tour of their dairy farm for students Wednesday.
"I really want kids to understand how much science and technology goes into producing that glass of milk that they get,” said Mulligan. “And also for them to understand that their milk doesn't just come from Wegmans. It comes from cows and it comes from people working to produce the food that they eat."
The association started these online streamed tours back in 2018. Now its YouTube page which is filled with tours of farms all over the country, has gained thousands more views since the pandemic started.
"Kids have been home and parents are looking for anything they can do to really get their kids engaged or do something different or see something different or learn something new,” Mulligan said.
Kids are learning differently, but Mulligan said the pandemic never slowed them down on the farm. They made a point to give back to people impacted in the community instead.
"The pandemic, we couldn't really shut down operations. We kept rolling,” said Mulligan. “Because we are producing a product that people need and want and like. So we hosted a milk drive here at the farm that was actually milk that was bottled at Pittsford Dairy from our farm directly to Pittsford Dairy. And then it came right back here and we handed out free milk to people as they came through the farm."
Having grown up on the farm and gone to school to learn more about dairy farming, Mulligan is an expert in caring for their hundreds of cows.
"Growing up I was able to come out to the calf barns whenever I wanted,” Mulligan said. “I was able to go find my dad in the barns or in the tractor and ride around with him. I always knew this is what I wanted to do. The happier a cow is and the better cared for, the better the produce and the better they do. So our goal is to always take the best care of the animals that we can and we really do that every day here at the farm.”
If you missed the virtual tour and Q&A with Emilie, you can still watch and learn on the American Dairy Association North East YouTube page.