Farm Animals

Billings Farm & Museum’s Education Programs 

Our programs are designed to meet the expectations of the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the C3 Framework. Through inquiry-based programs and hands-on experiences that focus on Vermont’s Rural Heritage, students will:

• Participate in programming that builds a strong base of knowledge.
• Experience information-rich artifacts and exhibits.
• Engage in historic activities.
• Develop compelling questions and propose solutions based on their experiences.
• Engage in arguments that are grounded in evidence.
• Listen to and synthesize information and communicate their understanding effectively.

We will be happy to collaborate with you to meet your curriculum needs. Our goal is to exceed your expectations!
Financial assistance for school visits is available. Please contact us for eligibility requirements.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Visit Length: Visits are designed for 3 to 4 hours; we can accommodate longer and shorter visits.
Group Size: Groups of any size are welcome! Large groups may be divided for a portion of the visit.
Fee: $5.00 per student. 1 adult free for every 7 students.
Transportation providers free.

Register online or call 802-457-2355: weekdays 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Up Close With a Jersey Cow

Offered: September 4–October 31,2019 & April 15–June 26,2020

The cow as mother, milker, and food provider.

Historically, cows were milked by hand; today’s farmers use machines. Observe both methods while learning about our Jersey herd.

GRADES K–6 Learn how we care for our cows,their production of
milk, the role of calves on the farm, and the foods that cows consume.

GRADES 4–6 Consider how the dairy cow has been the back bone of Vermont’s economy for over a century and the impact dairying has had on the Vermont countryside. Learn how technological advances have allowed for computerizing production records and feed rations.

Investigating Life Cycles

Offered: September 4–October 31, 2019 & April 15–June 26, 2020

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

PK–3 How do babies look similar to and different from their parents? What does a seed need in order to grow into a plant? Answer these questions and more as you visit our gardens and barns. Students will meet the farm’s calves, cows, chickens, and sheep as we explore life cycles on the farm.


Sheep and Wool

Offered: September 4–October 31, 2019 & April 15–June 26, 2020

The sheep as a provider of natural fiber and good nutrition.

Meet a Southdown ewe from our flock and work with her wool. Explore the changes in sheep farming and wool working over the years.

GRADES K–3 Feel the thick wool, rich with lanolin. Use carding tools to process the wool into roving. What products are made from wool? Learn when lambs are born, sheep are sheared, and how we care for them.

GRADES 4–6 What role did sheep play in Vermont history and how did they impact the land? Consider the origins, care, and physical characteristics that allow sheep to adapt to their environment and help them to survive. What characteristics of wool make it good to spin? Beneficial to wear? Spin wool into yarn.


Check Out the Chickens

Offered: September 4–October 31, 2019 & April 15–June 26, 2020

The chicken as a source of egg money, food, and pillows.

GRADES K–6 What do chickens eat? How many eggs will a hen lay? What color are her eggs? Discover why these useful birds are an important part of the farm and a child’s daily life. Feel the softness of their feathers and the warmth they create.

GRADES 4–6 Discover how the chicken’s unique anatomy allows her to eat without teeth, produce a colored egg, and use oxygen more efficiently than a human. What can her feathers tell us? Are they soft and smooth or stiff and sharp?


Draft Animal Power

Offered: April 15 – June 26, 2020

The 19th-century tractors.

GRADES 1-8 Oxen and horses have along and important tradition in New England as primary sources of farm power. A century ago, these animals were capable of doing all the necessary tasks on the Billings Farm. Students will meet our teamster, see the oxen at work, learn about their training, and explore artifacts related to draft animals in history.