New Lesson Series Teaches Middle Schoolers About Dairy Farms

August 5, 2010 05:14 AM

Source: Center For Dairy Excellence

Four new comprehensive lessons, complete with video, reading guides and lab-based instruction, teach middle school students about where milk comes from and how dairy farms contribute to our world, while applying science concepts to real-life situations.
The lesson series is part of the “Discover Dairy” educational program found online at
Discover Dairy is an interactive, cross-curricular, multi-leveled program that meets state educational standards and anchors for math, science and reading.
Funded by the Dairy Checkoff program, it was produced as a joint initiative of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, Center for Dairy Excellence and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.
“Introducing these middle school-level lessons is a way to connect students with the dairy farms that produce the milk and dairy foods they eat,” said Jayne Sebright, communications director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “We ask local dairy farm families to encourage more school districts across the Mid-Atlantic region to offer the lessons.”
The new lessons build on existing Discover Dairy lessons designed for upper elementary level students, launched in 2008. Since then, the series has been used in more than 300 Pennsylvania classrooms and more than 15 states. The website, which also includes interactive games for kids and farm tour resources for farmers, typically draws about 1,000 visitors each month.
“The new middle school lessons take science concepts, like selective breeding and renewable resources, and apply them to real-life situations on the dairy farm,” Sebright said. “The lessons help students, many of whom have never seen a farm, better understand the dairy industry’s key role in feeding the world.”
Developed with input from science teachers, each lesson includes a four-minute video motivator with footage from Pennsylvania dairy farms, a guided reading selection that includes relevant vocabulary and lab-based instruction to provide hands-on exercises related to the lessons.
“In each lesson, middle school students have the opportunity to experience some aspect of dairy farming,” Sebright said. “For example, the lessons have students balancing a feed ration for cows, making cheese, creating energy to do work, and moving money through a community.”
All materials for both the middle school- and elementary-level lessons are available to download at, by selecting the lessons, and logging in to access the lessons. Videos are available as streaming videos and in a downloadable format.
“Brochures are available to help the dairy community share the new resources with teachers and curriculum advisors in their local school districts,” Sebright said. “Instructions are available on reaching out to local school districts about the lessons. For schools with limited Internet access, kits can be provided with the lessons and videos.”
Anyone interested in taking the resource to their local school district is encouraged to contact Sebright at 717-259-6496 or You can learn more about the new and existing lesson series by visit   

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