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Teacher Preparation

Learning Goal

Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to identify the five main dairy breeds.


Learning Standards

  1. LS3.1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.


  2. LS4.1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.


Resources & Materials

Lesson Delivery


Anticipatory Set

  • Show that we have two of the breeds here (through the viewing window into freestall barn)
  • Show students images of various dairy breeds.
    • What do you notice about all these pictures?
      • What are some similarities/differences?
  • Today we will learn about the five main dairy breeds here in the United States.


Direct Instruction

1st Learning Goal: Upon completion of this lesson students will be able to identify the five main diary breeds.


Content Outline

Breed Information (from National Ag in the Classroom and Oklahoma State- Breeds of Cattle)


  • All white with black spots, what people traditionally think of when you say “dairy cow”
  •  Largest breed
  • Most common breed in the US
  • Makes the most milk of all the breeds (up to 10 gallons per day)
  • One of the breeds we have here


  • Medium to dark brown with a dark nose and tail
  • Small size
  • High milk production
  • Second most common breed in the US
  • One of the breeds we have here
  • Through the viewing window point out the size difference in the Holsteins and the Jerseys

Brown Swiss

  • Can be grey, dark brown, tan or even almost white in color. Their hooves, nose and tail are usually black. (Brown Swiss Association)
  • Often described as athletic
  • Their milk is good for making cheeses.
  • They do well in both hot and cold places.


  • Red and white spotted, the red may be very dark or very light.
  • Their milk is good for butter and cheeses.
  • They do very well in cold weather
  • They have strong, healthy udders.


  • Gold (yellowy-red) and white color
  • Their milk is high in butter fat and high protein, leading it to be called Golden Milk.
  • They do well in warm places and live  long lives

Learning Activity

Students should be provided with a coloring sheet with five blank outlines of dairy cattle that they can color in to match each breed image as the lesson progresses.


Closing Announcements/Reminders

  • Answer any questions they may have
  • Show them the robot and viewing windows one more time
  • Thank students for coming to the Ferguson Family Dairy
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