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Flat Aggie Adventures Dairy Series

Have you read our latest Flat Aggie series? Flat Aggie Adventures is a six month newsletter series geared towards a 3rd-5th grade reading level. Newsletter content meets both literacy and science Iowa Core Standards. Flat Aggie visits the different stages in the life-cycle of a dairy herd, along with talking about nutrition, and so much more!

Issue #1: Past, Present, and Future

Flat Aggie gives us a look into the past, present and future. The Lindsay Dairy LLC began the farm with a four stall parallel milking parlor. The average farmer in the 1950's could milk 100 cows in two-three hours. Today the Lindsay Dairy LLC milks 290 cows with a milking parlor that holds 16 cows at a time. Click on the link below to learn how technology has made dairy farming more efficient.

Issue #2: Reproduction

Did you know there are multiple breeds of dairy cattle? Flat Aggie is taking us on a tour of a Holstein (leading milk producer) dairy farm but just like breeds of dogs, breeds of cows are unique in size, shape, color and characteristics. Flat Aggie explains that similar to our family tree, a dairy cow or bull will pass on their traits to their calves. This is through a practice called heredity and we can study what traits the calf will have by examining the cow or bulls genetics. Flat Aggie breeds cows to be strong, high milk producing and docile (well behaved). Flat Aggie gave us and inside look into the technology she uses to help identify which cows are ready for breeding.

Issue #3: Calving

Dairy cows are mammals, which means they provide milk to their young and give birth to live babies. Flat Aggie guides us through how farmers care for the cow and calf. Learn about the differences in nutrition, housing, and identification.

Issue #4: Cow Nutrition

Dairy cows are ruminant mammals, meaning they have a complex digestive system consisting of four chambers in their stomach. Ruminant animals can turn grass and other plant materials into energy for fueling their bodies. Flat Aggie demonstrates how to mix feed with a TMR Mixer. Technology helps Flat Aggie know how many pounds of each feedstuff to add to the mixer. Keep reading to explore what a farmer feeds their cows to keep them healthy and happy.

Issue #5: Milking

Flat Aggie helps during morning milking and learns a lot about sanitation. Dairy cows are milked twice a day in the milk parlor. Sanitation is important because it helps prevent the spread of bacteria and keeps the milk safe for consumers. Click on the link below to learn more!

Issue #6: Human Nutrition

Dairy is listed as one of our five food groups. Consuming dairy products is a great way to provide the necessary nutrients needed for your body. Milk is a primary source of calcium. Calcium is used in building bones, teeth and bone mass. Also found in milk is potassium and vitamin D, which helps with blood pressure and building and maintaining bones. Flat Aggie demonstrates how the milk travels from the creamery to the grocery!

Ways to utilize Flat Aggie Adventures:

1. Print and have students write and highlight key points.

2. Print and laminate for multiple uses.

3. Keep the newsletter in online format and send to the students or display it in front of the class.

Ways to integrate Flat Aggie into your curriculum:

1. Guided reading time

2. Morning bell ringer

3. Science time

4. Individual reading time

5. Research project

Discussion topics for integration:

1. Identify the STEM careers involved with raising dairy cows.

2. Discuss how advances in agriculture have changed production over time.

3. Explore supply and demand and how it relates to our dairy industry.

4. Ask students to identify key ideas.

5. Discover the different stages in the life-cycle of a dairy cow.

To download Flat Aggie Adventures: Dairy Series, visit:!

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