With just a few days left before the big “push,” four Pennsylvania-based dairy farmers will each bring four of their pregnant herd to the Calving Corner, a veritable birthing center, to nest during the PA Farm Show before giving birth. Introduced in 2017, the Calving Corner has become one of the top attractions at this annual event.
Dairy farmers transporting their cows during this gestational period have to prepare, making sure their cows are just as comfortable during the trek down the Interstate as they would be in their freestall barns just before the day of delivery.
“At Meadow Spring Farm, we take great pride in providing the best care for our cows. We’re excited to share what we do on the farm with Farm Show visitors at the Calving Corner this year,” said Andy Bollinger of Meadow Spring Farm, from Lititz, Pennsylvania.
This year, while participating in the 104th annual PA Farm Show, visitors will once again be able to learn about the processes farmers go through when birthing calves by watching Meadow Spring Farm and three other Lancaster County farms participate in the Calving Corner this year: Franklin View Farms in Washington Boro; Yippee! Farms in Mount Joy; and Meadow Wood Farms in Lebanon. The Calving Corner is a unique experience designed to teach children, and adults, a bit about the life of a farmer and how taking care of the family business is a 24-hour “labor” of love.
Farms will rotate their onsite stays, giving each a chance for their cows to give birth during the show. And though one cannot predict the day or time each birth may happen, ideally two cows will give birth each day of the Farm Show. After the birthing process, the cows and calves will head back to their home farm, allowing the next farmer to set up. In total, 16 cows will give birth over the eight-day Farm Show.
“These local farmers are opening their farms and sharing their time and animals so that Farm Show visitors may witness the miracle of birth,” said Miriam Miller, Calving Corner Project Manager. “Their passion and commitment to the dairy industry will help enhance the public’s view and understanding of production agriculture.”
Aside from watching a calf enter the world and become sure-footed in front of Farm Show visitors, those who witness the births also have an opportunity to ask dairy farmers and industry members about day-to-day life on the farm and about how their favorite dairy products are produced. It’s the most ideal time during the PA Farm Show to make a connection with the dairy farmers who work tirelessly to feed communities near and far.