A group of Saskatoon elementary school students spent time on the farm this morning without leaving the city limits.
A group of Grade 2 students from Lakeview School toured the University of Saskatchewan's new Rayner Dairy Research and Teaching Facility today to learn about how a dairy farm works.
The barn, at 101 East Road, has space for 100 cows and research being conducted there includes everything from dairy nutrition and feed development to animal fertility and technology development.
As well as serving the purposes of teaching university students, the barn is set up for younger scholars, too. The kids on today's tour saw cows up close, were able to pet calves and learned just how much food and water a cow consumes in a day.
"They're kinda cute and smaller than I thought they would be," said student Evan Brook, adding that he also learned that every cow has a unique pattered coat.
Teacher Maggie Korsrud said that it's a vital learning experience for children to learn about agriculture.
"They need to learn about our community and culture here in Saskatchewan," she said. "And for so many of our students they haven't had the opportunity to be out on a farm, touching cows and seeing how they are milked. It's all an experience for them."
The facility also includes the Feeding the World Interpretive Centre, which teaches people about agriculture by showing how a dairy barn works.
The barn is open to the public from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST daily for self-guided tours.