BUCKET CALF – WEEK 1
Today is the BEST day of the year! It’s the first day of the Alexandre Family Farm Bucket Calf Project! Today close to 140 young boys and girls descended upon the dairy, signed up for the program and then made their way to pick out the calf they can call their own for the next 8 weeks! Now, I may be biased, because am pretty sure I don’t hide my admiration of the Alexandre Family, but watching the kids come play, meet new kids, and spend time with their families has warmed my heart. For the next eight weeks, please join me as I document this amazing hands on learning experience the Alexandre’s provide our community.
Picking the right calf takes a lot of deep reflective thought. Some of the kids, much to their parents’ chagrin, chose a calf at the farthest end of the rows of the calf hutches. Did you know these animals are nicknamed bucket calves because they are fed with a bucket or a bottle with a nipple until they are weaned? Well I googled that so it must be true. But if you don’t believe that you should ask Stephanie or Vanessa next week (week 2) when they are going to teach you all about calf hutches. Today a young man was trying to decide which calf he wanted to call his own and he found one he liked because the calf had the same hair he did when he woke up in the morning!
Stephanie and Vanessa take about 15 minutes to go over the IMPORTANT INFORMATION! The first on the list is GERMS. Stephanie explains that while her children built up an immunity to germs, not all kids have. She emphasized the importance of washing hands after working with your calf, directing participants to the soap available in a mesh bag near the milking barn. Then there is other information…wear proper shoes (closed toe), long pants if possible, bring gloves to avoid rope burns, a brush if you want to brush your calf and don’t forget to turn in that 4-H enrollment form! I was amazed how intently some of the children were listening to the guidelines and followed along by reading the brochure.
A special shout out to all of these ladies who make it all look so easy. Joann signed all of you in with a smile on her face. Brianna, Savanna, and Ellie brought milk over from the store, and, of course, Stephanie and Vanessa provided all the information and guidance. The Alexandre’s open their backyard (literally, it is their backyard) to host this amazing project. I reported this last year, but it is worthy of another mention, Stephanie began this program when her eldest son, Joseph, was young as a way to bring kids to the farm to see what it was all about. It has blossomed into the amazing program it is today. We are very fortunate to have this family, along with their generosity with their time and love, in our community.
I took a LOT of photos tonight as I will pretty much every Tuesday. If you would like pictures of your children, you can go to the Alexandre Family Farm Facebook and download whichever pictures you want. Here are more of my favorites from the day:
As always, please look for Alexandre A2/A2 milk in your local stores or, better yet, come out to the farm store Wednesday to Friday 2 pm to 6 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays 12pm to 4pm. We have eggs, organic meat and the delicious milk available for purchase! See you amazing people next Tuesday at 5:30 pm where we are going to learn about Calf Hutches!