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Gilbert family hosting Day at the Farm on Saturday

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POTSDAM - For those who’ve always wondered what life was like on a dairy farm, they’ll have their chance to find out on Saturday - and even milk a cow in the process.

The seventh annual Day at the Farm, sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau, will highlight the Gilbert family farm, Adon Farms, located at 403 state Highway 72, Potsdam. The farm will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fourth-generation farm is owned and operated by Andy and Tony Gilbert, and they milk 1,250 cows.

“It’s an opportunity for the public to tour a modern working dairy farm. We provide dairy tours with educational stations placed throughout the farm,” said Chairperson Mary Lou McKnight of McKnight’s River Breeze Farm, Chase Mills.

They’ll also provide free dairy product samples donated by producers in St. Lawrence County.

“It gives us as dairy farmers a chance to share what we do, how we do it and why we do it,” she said.

And there’s plenty more to keep visitors occupied for the day, according to Ms. McKnight.

“We have hayrides and a corn maze. We’ll have hands-on educational stations as well for families and children. One of those is a simulated mechanical cow that they can actually milk,” she said.

“Miss Easy Squeezy,” the Fiberglass cow, is owned by the Lewis County Dairy Promotion Board, which is letting the St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau borrow her for Saturday’s event.

“She’s a big draw,” Ms. McKnight said.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see the entire operation of a dairy farm from baby calves to the milking process, machinery and crops, and visit with the St. Lawrence County dairy princess.

“We give them tours right through the barn. We talk about manure management and nutrient management issues. A veterinarian is there for the day to answer questions. We’ll talk about calf care, calf raising, animal welfare issues and the nutrition needs of dairy animals. They’ll also get to see a working milking parlor,” Ms. McKnight said.

Saturday’s event is coordinated strictly by volunteers who want to share their experiences on the farm with others.

“Our St. Lawrence County agribusiness supports the program financially and with personnel. They’re the main financial supporters for us,” she said.

The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau features a different farm each year for the tour.

“We try to move around in the county. Then we target the area we’re in,” Ms. McKnight said.

For Saturday’s tour, they’ve sent information to schools and colleges that are near the farm.

The event is usually well-attended, she said.

“We usually average, depending on the weather, 700 to 1,100 people,” she said.

Ms. McKnight said it’s a day for the entire family to enjoy.

“Admission is free. Everything is free,” she said.

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