Photos by Jocelyn Newfield / Special to the Sun
On Wednesday, Jan. 3, members of Kern Valley 4-H participated in a field trip to Skyview Dairy in Shafter where they learned all about the milking process and got a taste of what it takes to run a dairy farm.
Rebecca McClean, a 4-H leader for Kern Valley and whose children have participated in 4-H for many years, contacted Skyview Dairy because they have been a big supporter of 4-H student projects and even purchased some Kern Valley 4-H dairy heifers at the Kern County Fair auction. McClean said that it was a highlight for the group to not only get to visit a fully functional dairy, but to see past student projects happily doing what they do best, being dairy heifers.
“Even after helping my son in his projects and moving into dairy leader for the 4-H last year, [by] helping these kids, I walked away with great knowledge from getting to see the full circle,” said McClean. “It’s not just about the animals either. The kids learned about the jobs necessary to run the operation, right down to how the waste is recycled.”
McClean’s daughter, Kaila, said she was surprised to learn how the dairy doesn’t waste anything; even the waste from the heifers is recycled and processed to be used as fertilizer and ground cover.
There will be a more in depth presentation of what their experience at Skyview Dairy on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Kern Valley 4-H general meeting.