A Calf Visits Harlem and, Like These Kids, We Melt

The tiny voices in the crowd went wild.

Sometimes you take a class field trip to the farm — and if you’re lucky, sometimes the farm comes to you. Hundreds of elementary students at Harlem’s P.S. 7 M. Samuel Stern School could barely contain their excitement last month at the chance to get up close and personal with Macintosh, a two-week-old dairy calf.

As part of a joint project between Edible Schoolyard NYC (ESYNYC), the Department of Education, Wellness in the Schools, School Food and the American Dairy Association, produce and dairy farmers visited the school to share stories of food’s journey from the farm to lunch trays at P.S. 7, one of ESYNYC’s two demonstration schools. “This is what good food, good New York food, is all about!” organizers said. The tiny voices in the crowd went wild.

But Macintosh was the main attraction. After speeches and a few pop-quiz questions about farming, kids from age six to twelve were brought over to the calf’s pen, where they got the chance to reach in and pet him while suffering the occasional scratchy lick. For many of them, the morning was their first (and perhaps only) chance to meet a dairy calf up close and in person. As one fourth grade girl observed after getting her chance to meet Macintosh, “He’s so great! I’m glad he’s here.”

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