We started our tour with an overview of the farm, enjoying exhibits and viewing a 3D/4D movie “Grass to Glass”. We caught a “cow bus” to the milking barn, where we drove through rows and rows of cows until we arrived at the milking parlor. It was fascinating to watch hundreds of cows lining up to board the dairy wheel, where they are electronically milked, then backing off the wheel and joining the line to do it again later in the day.
After our catered lunch we had the opportunity to experience Fair Oaks Pig Adventure. This new addition to the farm, told us about where pig farming began as well as the modern practices used today. In the farrowing barn, we saw baby pigs of all sizes, including one only a few hours old. In the gestation barn, we the opportunity to learn about modern day pregnancy practices.
Our next stop was the cheese shop, a unique factory where we got a behind-the-scenes look at how they make some of their most popular cheese and ice cream products. We found out for ourselves how good it was with a free sample of their yummy homemade ice cream!
The highlight of the trip came at the very end of the day, with a unique opportunity to tour the birthing barn where a theater-style layout allowed us to become part of the birthing experience. Fair Oaks Farms experiences between 80 to 100 calves born every day, with usually five or six born right there in the “theater”. It was simply amazing to have the opportunity to witness the miracle of life right before our very eyes!
OLLI thanks the entire staff at Fair Oaks Farms for such an amazing day!