If You Give a Class a Calf: Registration Now Open for Wisconsin’s ‘Adopt a Cow’ Program

By Christina Lorey

August 16, 2022

Classrooms can follow the life of a calf through its first year on a Wisconsin dairy farm.

Looking for a classroom pet? How about a 100-pound dairy calf–No cage or cleanup required?!

Now through Sept. 15, teachers can register for “Adopt a Cow,” a free, year-long experience that allows classrooms to follow a calf through the first year of its life on a Wisconsin dairy farm.

What It Is

Every classroom that enrolls is paired with a calf. Students will be sent photos, stories, and other information throughout the school year about the calf’s life on her farm– from her food and living area to how the farmer cares for her and more!

Who Can Apply

Preschool teachers. Elementary, middle, and high school students. Assisted living facilities. Daycare programs. Homeschool classrooms. Libraries. Scout troops. 4-H groups. “Adopt a Cow” is open to participants in all 50 states and countries around the world.

Who’s Behind It

Wisconsin family farms! This year’s participants include Vision Aire Farms LLC in Eldorado, Synergy Family Dairy in Pulaski, and Orthridge Jerseys in Lancaster. Each farm has committed at least two calves to the program, run by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Discover Dairy.

Why It’s Important

Dairy is quite literally Wisconsin’s moneymaker– a $45.6 billion industry. “Adopt a Cow” is a chance for students to learn about our state’s contributions to the country… and the world! The lessons are also educational, with many also following Common CORE standards.

How to apply

Click here to enroll in the 2022-23 program. The deadline is Sept. 15, 2022.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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