The lack of a New York State Fair this year didn’t mean missing out on Monday’s debut of the Virtual Dairy Barn Experience — which featured a Genesee County farm in its video.
Those who saw the video posted to the American Dairy Association North East’s Facebook page that morning watched Chloe and Claire Lamb of Lamb Farms in Oakfield show them how to rinse and wash calves. The topic was, “See How Dairy Farmers Prepare Cows for Competitions.”
For the next roughly 2 minutes and 50 seconds, the spotlight — and the camera — were on Chloe and Claire. Chloe said Lamb Farms cares for 4,000 cows and calves.
“I like helping out with the calves,” said Chloe. Claire said the same, before cupping one hand to her mouth and adding, “I also like helping out with the kittens.”
Chloe introduced her calf, a black and red Holstein, named Mocha.
“She has a special trait where her fur changed from red to black,” Chloe said.
Claire introduced her Holstein, a red and white Holstein named Rosebud.
After that, the sisters dove right into the lesson.
“The first thing that you will need is water. The second thing you will need is a bucket. The third thing you will need is some Orbis shampoo,” Chloe said as Claire showed the audience each of the things one needs to wash a calf. “The fourth thing you will need is some of this coat conditioner. Then, you will need some conditioner, and the last thing you will need is a scrub brush. We have two - one for washing and one for scraping all the extra water off.”
The first thing to add to the bucket is a handful of shampoo.
“The next thing you will need to do is put the coat conditioner in your bucket,” Chloe said as Claire showed viewers how those things are done. “Then you will need to put in some water. Now that our soap is all mixed up, We are going to rinse down our calves before we start scrubbing them.”
What followed was Chloe and Claire showing down their calves. Once they’d done that, they were ready to scrub them, then rinse off the soap.
“Thank you for joining us today to learn how to wash a cow,” Chloe said at the end of the lesson, before Claire invited anyone who had a question do post it in the comments below the video.
“And when you’re on the wash rack, expect to get wet!” Claire said, playfully, at the segment’s end, spraying Chloe with water from the hose, as Chloe fell down and then ran away, laughing.
The other two farms covered in the video were Country Ayre Farms in Dewittville, N.Y., and Tiger Lily Holsteins of Oxford, N.Y.
Introducing the video, Abbey Copenhaver of Ivy Lakes Dairy in Stanley, N.Y., said of the Dairy Barn Virtual Experience, “Many dairy farm families look forward to the state Fair to showcase their cows in the dairy cattle competitions and given you an opportunity to see these beautiful animals up close.”
“The New York State Fair is a celebration of New York’s agricultural industry. Dairy is the largest part of that industry,” she said. Copenhaver invited viewers to visit American Dairy Association’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. every day through Sept. 1 for the virtual state Fair experience. A different video will be posted each morning on the association’s page. The lineup is as follows:
• Today: “Behind the Scenes Look at the Butter Sculpture”;
• Wednesday: “Cooking With New York State Cheeses”;
• Thursday: “New York State Fair Inspired Food”;
• Friday: “Celebrity Milkshake Contest”;
• Monday: “New York State Dairy Princesses”; and
• Sept. 1: “Livestream Unveiling of the Butter Sculpture.”