Adopt a Cow program brings dairy education to the classroom; Wisconsin enrollment is open


The interactive lesson series can be incorporated into virtual and in-person instruction


MADISON, Wis.  – Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Discover Dairy open enrollment for the 2021-22 Wisconsin “Adopt a Cow” program. The free program enables a classroom to adopt a 1,500-pound dairy cow and receive photos and stories that will make her ‘come alive’ for students.  

Each classroom that enrolls in the Adopt a Cow program is paired with a calf from a Wisconsin dairy farm. The program offers virtual chats and farm tours; teachers and students receive photos, video updates and activity sheets throughout the school year that allow them to watch their calf grow. Through hands-on activities and free curriculum, students gain a deeper understanding of the dairy industry and where their food comes from. Several lessons follow common CORE standards in Math, Reading and Science. 

“We drive past farms every day, but many students haven’t ever stepped foot in the barn,” says Kaila Fitzl, a 4th grade teacher at Loyal Elementary School in Clark County. Fitzl and her students participated in the first year of the Adopt a Cow program. “It fits perfectly into 4th grade social studies because we learn all about Wisconsin, so this is a way to dig deeper into the whole dairy industry that we already learn about.” 

In its inaugural year, 1,600 classrooms and 28,000 students across the state participated in the program.  

“It’s been wonderful to see educators and students get a first-hand look at how dairy farms work, engage with the calves and learn how milk is produced on a farm before it reaches their table and schools,” said Karen Doster, the Director of Youth and School Programs at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.  

Wisconsin dairy farmers taking part in this year’s program include: 

  • Brey Cycle Farm LLC – Sturgeon Bay 
  • Selz-Pralle Dairy – Humbird 
  • Orthridge Jerseys – Lancaster  

To enroll in the 2021-22 Adopt a Cow program, educators should visit before the September 15, 2021 deadline. 


About Discover Dairy: 

Discover Dairy is an educational series managed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania in partnership with American Dairy Association Northeast, Midwest Dairy, The Dairy Alliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, New England Dairy, Dairy Farmers of Washington, American Dairy Association Mideast, Dairy Council of Florida, and United Dairy Industry of Michigan. 

About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at 

For More Information

Liz Fitzsimmons
Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
8418 Excelsior Dr
Madison, WI 53717