Local Farmers Visit with 2nd Graders

Tad and Reilley Patterson recently visited second graders at AJ Smith Elementary to talk about farming. They are seventh generation farmers and live in the Town of Aurelius. Tad and Reilley asked the students about what they have already learned about growing plants, good soil, and erosion.
Reilley read the book, "Dr. Seuss Discovers the Farm," which was co-written by a local farmer from Cato, NY.
Tad and Reilley talked about their farm and fielded many questions. Students learned that they have about 3,000 animals in total on the Patterson farm, including 1,700 milking cows, 1,000 heifers (animals that are about a year old and have not had a calf yet), a few donkeys, pot belly pigs, seven turkeys, and a couple of ducks.

The calves live in hutches, weigh about 100 pounds at birth, and drink about five quarts of milk a day. Adult cows weigh about 2,100 pounds and eat about 100 pounds of TMR daily (a combination of corn, alfalfa, soy beans, and other crops) that is stored in bunks, not silos, on their farm. Did you know that an adult cow drinks a whole bathtub of water a day? It takes about 11 hours a day to feed all of the animals on the farm.
Cows are milked three times daily. A cow gives about 95 pounds of milk each day! At the Patterson farm, 36 cows can be milked at a time, and the milking parlor is busy 24 hours a day except for two 40 minute periods when the building is cleaned and sanitized. All of the milk from their farm goes to the Cayuga Milk Plant and then is turned into milk powder and sent around the world for people to use.
Tad has been elected to the New York State Farm Bureau. He and other farmers work together with state leaders to help create legislation that is fair to all farmers and communities.