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A Day At The Farm will showcase dairy operations

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RENSSELAER FALLS – The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau’s annual A Day at the Farm event is scheduled for Oct. 6 and will showcase a modern dairy farm with a guided tour designed to educate people unfamiliar with the source of their dairy products.

Located at the Kelly Farm, where a sign says the farm was established in 1851, visitors will be able take advantage of a hay wagon tour through the farm buildings with stops along the way that promise to educate the unfamiliar with the dairy process.

“When I was growing up we had between 30 and 60 cows,” said owner Allen H. Kelly.

The farm currently employs 11 people full time and is home to 1,250 head of cattle producing 7,000 gallons of milk per day.

The Kelly farm is made up of a large complex of barns that include areas for birthing and raising calves, milking cows and the equivalent of cow back massagers – a feature that is popular with the herd but has long lines.

Mary Lou McKnight, chairwoman of the event, said, “Not many people have the opportunity to visit farms anymore. It [A Day at the Farm] gives people the opportunity to see what a modern dairy farm looks like.”

On the tour, people will get to learn about dairy nutrition, the art of raising calves, how milk is harvested and all about animal welfare on farms.

The event is geared towards young families, although handicapped transportation is available to help people move around the farm, and will have a variety of activities in addition to the guided tour. Everything at the event is free.

Stationed in the yard near one of the farm’s largest barns will be a face painting booth and a milk mustache contest. A simulated cow will also make an appearance, giving people a chance to see what it’s like to milk a cow by hand.

The St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess will also stop by the event, and yogurt and cheese products will be sampled throughout the day.

The event “gives people an opportunity to come and see a real working farm,” said Jon R. Greenwood, president of the county Farm Bureau. “It’s a real opportunity for people to ask questions.”

Mr. Kelly’s wife, Mary W., said she will be “manning the information station at the calf barn. They’re my pride and joy.”

She hopes the weather will hold up and expects to see several hundred people filter through as the day goes on.

The Kelly farm is located at 2121 Dekalb-Kelly Road, Rensselaer Falls. A Day at the Farm runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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