The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC) is pleased to report that the popular Dairy Cow Birthing Center is not only returning to the New York State Fair, but it will be bigger and better.
“The tent is up, the bleachers are in and the cows are home resting comfortably, getting ready for their big debut at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at the New York State Fair,” said Jessica Ziehm, Executive Director for NYAAC. “With more than 5,000 family dairy farms making up New York’s leading agricultural industry, we are thrilled to offer this opportunity once again to share with fairgoers the pride we take in caring for our animals, while providing them an opportunity to witness one of the many miracles we see happen on the farm everyday.”
To provide an even greater experience for fairgoers at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center this year, NYAAC has added some new amenities and attractions. They include the following:
• A larger tent and double the seating capacity to accommodate more than 700 people at a time;
• Double the volunteers, with over 300 dairy farmers, veterinarians, students and dairy industry representatives planning to join us to talk to fairgoers;
• Three large display screens for enhanced and up-close viewing of the calving pen, as well as the opportunity to watch videos;
• Virtual farm tours of the six host farms to help fairgoers see where the cows came from and learn more about the dairy farmer;
• Social media strategy, utilizing the hashtag #uddermiracles and encouraging fairgoers to follow @NYAnimalAg on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates and progress reports;
• Updates for interested fairgoers via text messaging;
• An enhanced 24-7 live webcam feed at www.uddermiracles.com where people at home can have the opportunity to witness the miracle of life that is happening at the State Fair;
• A state-of-the-art mechanical backscratcher that is used on farms to improve the overall health, happiness and productivity of dairy cows;
• Rubber mats on the floor of the exhibit, which are commonly used in barns to add cushion and slip resistance for cows and people, alike; and
• Two heifers that were born at the State Fair last year, who will celebrate their first birthday at the fair.
Some things have not changed – the concept and location. The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is still a free educational exhibit that showcases three live births a day and provides for one-on-one interaction with dairy farmers and dairy industry representatives. The exhibit’s slogan remains “There’s no udder place for the answer.” which is to reinforce the notion of going directly to source for information about New York’s dairy industry. The exhibit also returns in the same location as last year, #42 on the State Fair map, which is just behind Talent Showcase on the west end of the fairgrounds.
Also returning are 36 very pregnant dairy cows. The cows are all sourced from central New York farms. Each farm will provide six cows that will stay for two days. Following are the Dairy Cow Birthing Center’s featured farms:
• August 20 – 22: Merrell Farms of Wolcott, NY
• August 22 – 24: Scipio Springs Dairy of Union Springs, NY
• August 24 – 26: Walnut Ridge Dairy of Lansing, NY
• August 26 – 28: Beck Farms of Freeville, NY
• August 28 – 30: Barbland Dairy of Fabius, NY
• August 30 – September 1: Venture Farms of Fabius, NY
Last year was the exhibit’s first year at the New York State Fair and proved to be one of the most popular exhibits on the fairgrounds, attracting over 160,000 fairgoers. The Dairy Cow Birthing Center also received an award from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.
NYAAC organizes the exhibit in partnership with the New York State Fair and the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. NYAAC is a farmer founded and funded organization that strives to enhance the public’s understanding of and appreciation for animal agriculture and modern farm practices by engaging the public in conversations about animal agriculture and empowering farmers to tell their story firsthand.