It was a busy day at Reyncrest Farms, Corfu, NY, as they opened their doors for all of the Kindergarten classes in Genesee County on Wednesday, June 6th. “Kinderfarming” is an event put on by the Genesee County Farm Bureau each year, which allows kids to come to a local farm and see first-hand what agriculture is all about. Reyncrest, owned and operated by the Reynolds family, hosted a crowd of over 700 students, parents, teachers and 45 volunteer helpers from the Farm Bureau.
“We hosted the event last year as well,” says Kelly Reynolds, “we start cleaning up around the farm about a month before the event; landscaping and just making sure everything is safe for all the kids.” The event itself rotates around the county with different host farms.
Throughout the course of the day, the kids can visit all sorts of stations that explain something about the dairy or agriculture in the county. At the Healthy Soils station, kids examine dirt and learn why the color is important and what earthworms do for the soil. The vet station allows a closer look into a vet truck and what kind of supplies are all needed. The “Cow Cuisine” or “Cow Chow” station shows kids what cows are fed and explains cow nutrition. The “Comfy Cow” station shows what is done to keep cows comfortable and productive. Students can also visit the milking parlor and milk house to see how the 1300 cows are milked at Reyncrest and how the milk is stored.
Additionally, the NY Pork Producers, Apple Growers and Honey Producers also set up stations that kids can learn about different types of agriculture. The County Dairy Princesses showcase all the different types of dairy products that are available and show kids how butter is made, and there is a calf station where kids can touch and feel baby calves up close. The tractor station is always very popular, and this year a bio fuels group, part of a local 4-H project, showed kids how plant-based materials are turned into fuel and let them roast marshmallows on the flame that was produced.
The day ends with lunch on the lawn and the chance to enjoy milk from Upstate Niagara Cooperative, where the Reyncrest milk is shipped to, who donate 1000 pints of milk for the event. The kids also receive a goody bag with a farm handout, a coloring book and a coupon for milk. “My mother in law Shelley does most of the organizing and gets all the goody bags together,” says Kelly, “but everyone on the farm pitches in and helps with the whole event. The best part for us is being able to share the farm with people who wouldn’t have the chance to see a working dairy farm otherwise.” The goal of the event is to provide the kindergarten kids with a unique farm experience while showing their teachers, parents and chaperones the many different facets of agriculture. It is also a goal to show the potential career opportunities available in agriculture and how the diversity of agriculture is preserved and protected in Genesee County.