Triton’s third graders traded their usual classrooms last Friday for the Dodge County Fairgrounds in Kasson and Daley Dairy in rural Milton Township as part of Triton’s Rural Agriculture Safety Day. Totaling about 80 students, the group was split into two with one half touring the dairy farm while the other rotated between educational stations at the fairgrounds, switching places after a lunch together at the park in Mantorville.
The day’s events were organized by Triton’s agricultural educational instructor and FFA, Robert Ickler, and sponsored by CHS Rochester, Dodge County Farm Bureau, McMartin Electric, Dodge County Fair, and FFA officers from Region 8.
Originally organized by the Dodge County Farm Bureau, Ickler said he took over planning the event even while the Farm Bureau maintains a strong sponsor of the program.
Held at an area farm his first year, Ickler said they moved to the Dodge County Fairgrounds because it affords protection from the elements on cool and rainy days like last Friday.
Triton High School and FFA students helped at the fairgrounds, showing the younger students how to safely interact with animals, including a horse, cows, rabbits, goats, and sheep; tractor PTO safety and large implement safety; ATV, UTV, and construction equipment safety; household poison and chemical safety; and electrical safety.
FFA members and students helping the younger students included Sam Newman, MasonKoehler, Sam Gochnauer, Deacon Schlichting, Bailey Delzer, Megan Koehler, Carrisa Kleinwort, Abrielle Robinson, Devin Dohrmann, Katie Fitzgerald, Beth Leeper, Tim Moenning, Beyanna Reyant, Gabit Staub, Cooper S., Isaac Kenworthy, Martha Moenning, Megan Justice, Madi Styndl, Anna Ridenour, and Emily DeVetter.
Third graders learned about household chemical and poison safety from Jen Teske of CHS while Scott McMartin of McMartin Electric, based in Claremont, showed them how to interact with electricity.
While they were busy with assorted stations at the fairgrounds, Paul Daley showed the other half of the students around Daley Dairy, located about 4 ó miles northeast of Mantorville.
Daley Dairy milks about 1,000 cows daily with roughly the same number of heifers ready to step in once mature enough.
The students toured Daley’s maternity barn, where a cow had given birth less than an hour before and another was in the first stages of calving. Next the group stopped in the calf barn, where they able to greet the one hundred or so calves on the farm at a given time and watch as the brand new calf settled into the straw in its new home.
They stopped by the milking parlor to get an idea of how milk gets from cows to bulk tank and learned that Daley Dairy milk is trucked to the processing facility in at least two loads each day owing to the size of the herd and the herd being milked three times per day.