Each semester, over 60 students are part of Putney’s Farm program. The students are engaged in all aspects of the diversified farm, including milking and caring for dairy cattle, foraging crop production, gardening, livestock care, sugaring, and firewood processing.
We have over 40 dairy cows that are milked and cared for twice a day, every day, by students. The student work crews are led by student “barn heads” who are responsible for attendance, delegating work, and quality assurance. Students working in the dairy barn learn how to milk cows, and feed cows and calves. The students are also responsible for the care of the small animals including pigs, a flock of laying hens, turkeys, and sheep.
In addition to taking their turns at morning or afternoon barn chores and possibly choosing the farm afternoon activity, students are encouraged to become more involved with the farm through independent or project week studies. These studies include dairy cattle nutrition and health, dairy cattle genetics, fitting and showmanship, basic sugar lot management, planting trials, and other agriculturally related topics.
The cows are in an intensive rotational grazing program, making the best use of the hilly terrain surrounding the farm. Students help design and build all the fencing required to maintain this system.