On June 24th, a group of Greater New York Dietetic Association members spent the day at Fulper Family Farmstead, a farm that has been in business for 107 years and has 120 cows. The group met in NYC to take a bus with Stacey Jackson from the American Dairy Association North East to NJ to tour the family run dairy farm, learn about dairy and chow down on tasty treats!
During the bus ride, members chatted and networked, played dairy trivia to win prizes and watched a video about farms in the northeast. Upon arrival, they were greeted by members of the Fulper family and delicious homemade cheese samples.
Breanna Fulper Lundy, Mikayla Fulper, Emma Andrew and Stacey Jackson gave some introductory words as members got comfortable and were served an amazing lunch which included, quiche, sandwiches, salad and fruit.
Next up on the agenda was a presentation with veterinarian, Jon Higgins. He shared some great information about regarding cow health and the farm. Members learned when cows are on antibiotics their milk is always thrown out. Dairy is highly regulated and each batch of milk is checked carefully and milk is discarded and farms are fined if a batch includes traces of antibiotics. Members also learned that ear tags are placed on the ear of each animal to identify each herd member and maintain accurate health and milk records. In addition, Jon reviewed the entire process of cows getting impregnated, giving birth and producing milk.
After Jon’s discussion, the group learned about cow nutrition, from their cow nutritionist, Stephen! This was an especially interesting part of the day as all members love learning about nutrition! Stephen explained the different types of feed and each person was able to see, touch and smell the different feeds. Fun fact: Fulper Farms grows all their own feed for their cows at the farm.
Next up was the farm tour by Mikayla Fulper. She brought the group around the entire farm, showing them the different sections for the cows of different ages, the fields where the soy beans are grown for the cows, the solar panels and the silos where the food is kept. They have a solar power system installed on their farm that produces enough energy (500 kilowatts) to power all of the farm’s operations. The barn where adults cows are housed has fans and sprinkler systems to keep the cows cool in the summer. It’s relatively new because it collapsed a few years ago in the snow! It’s easy to see that the cows are taken care of so well – some are even named!
The group came back to some fresh chocolate milk and had a chocolate milk toast! Then, fellow dietitian, Tobi Amidor gave a presentation on deciphering the myths vs. the facts about lactose and everyone enjoyed some dessert.
Finally, the group headed in to see some playful calves and then got to see the milking process.
It was an awesome day of learning, enjoying tasty dairy and cow-hugging fun!