Our eco-friendly and sustainable Brown Swiss Cow “Precocious” is the most knowledgeable Cow at The Lands. You can find Precocious’ informative column in the The Times Leader.
There is nothing more special than welcoming calves to our barns. Witnessing newborn life in its most pure, innocent and vulnerable form is an experience that sticks. Visitors to our barns and nursery often ask how the animals so quickly adapt to their new surroundings. Almost effortlessly the calves learn about behaviors, eating and most importantly, safety. Quite simply, calves (along with our other farm animals) learn by observing their Mothers; in some cases the “Mom” is a member of our trusted barn crew. We believe our calves if guided and nurtured properly will most likely reach their full potential. We feel as strongly about children as well.
I often wonder if parents or other adults realize the powerful impact they have on children. Kids, from when they are quite young, often imitate the world around them. Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to teach children the value of kindness and respect than by example.
The great thing about teaching by example is that it does not cost money or time – only awareness. For instance, if you see a piece of liter on the ground do you ignore it? Do you toss bottles, cans and newspapers or do you recycle? Do you slow down at mealtime to recognize the farmers and others who worked so you could have food? Do you take the time to share this with your children? Even younger kids can have a basic understanding and appreciation how work and sacrifice fits into the big family picture. When you see someone a bit different – be it the color of skin, style or general appearance do you react with hesitation or ever distrust? Do you quietly volunteer for projects for the sake of kindness, not kudos?
The mission here at The Lands is to teach sustainability and self-sufficiency and we do this primarily through educational tours and workshops. Each year our educators and animal “co-faculty” members welcome nearly 4,000 students to the farm. We stress the delicate balance among humans, animals and nature, demonstrating how we all are interconnected. What is most satisfying about our programs is seeing our message “click” with the students. You can have a profound impact a child’s life by your everyday actions – good or bad. This means every day you have an opportunity to teach and ultimately help shape our future.