When the coronavirus pandemic forced colleges to close and send students home, the University of Vermont asked: Who would take care of the school’s herd of dairy cows that had been tended to by students?
The university’s herd of about 100 dairy cows is normally tended by students taking part in the Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management program, or CREAM. Without those students, the fate of the cows seemed to be in jeopardy.
But Herd Manager Matt Bodette was overwhelmed with calls and text messages from students and alumni wanting to help or checking in on the farm.
While UVM only needed seven workers dozens of alumni and students volunteered to spend their spring and summer caring for the Holsteins. They milk the cows at 3:30 in the morning, or come in for the afternoon milking. They feed the cows and the calves, muck the barns and help with births.
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