Area and/or Course: Agricultural Science - Dairy Industry
Lesson Title: Dairy Terminology
No. Periods: 1-2
__ X___
Teacher Goal(s):
1. Have students learn appropriate vocabulary.
2. Effectively use an outline format in notebooks.
3. Recognize the different phases of a animal’s life
The student will be able to (TSWBT). (Oregon Skill Set numbers in parentheses at the
end of the objective statement.)
1. Define commonly used dairy terminology. (AGPC01.01.01.01, AGPC01.01.01.02)
2. Identify different phases in the dairy animal’s life cycle. (AGPC01.03.01.01)
State Standards met by Objectives:
Curr. Goal
Problem Solving
Life Science
Life Science
Materials, Equipment, Audio-Visual
1. PowerPoint projector.
-lesson 2 slideshow
2. Photocopies of worksheet.
Text books (Animal Science - James
R. Gillespie), Internet, Dairy
& Number
Criteria 2
Hoard’s Dairyman
Glenrose FFA
Georgia Agricultural Education
Knowledge: 1=awareness; 2=comprehension; 3=application; 4=analysis; 5=synthesis; 6=evaluation
Application: 1=knowledge in one discipline; 2=apply knowledge in one discipline; 3=apply knowledge across disciplines; 4=apply knowledge to real-world predictable situations; 5=apply
knowledge to real-world unpredictable situations
Anticipatory Set/Introduction/Motivation/Interest Approach:
Review Yesterday’s Lesson:
Yesterday we went over breeds of dairy cattle and started breed posters.
Have students take out a piece of paper and label 1-10. Use the PowerPoint provided to
give the quiz (1-10).
(1-6) Name the six most popular dairy breeds in the United States.
A. Aryshire
B. Brown Swiss
C. Guernsey
D. Jersey
E. Holstein
F. Shorthorn
7. Which breed produces more pounds of milk per body weight than any other dairy
8. Which breed produces milk that is high in beta-carotene?
9. Which breed is considered a dual purpose breed?
-Milking Shorthorn
10. This is one of the oldest Dairy breeds.
-Brown Swiss
In groups, students will search for definitions of dairy terms. The handout
(worksheet 2.1 ) is attached. The group of students that finds the most correct
answers wins.
Give students the first 10-15 minutes of class to see how many terms they can find.
Once time is up, go through each term in detail. The students with the most
correct answers will receive 10 extra credit points. Every student will be graded
on participation and turning a paper in.
Transition (Use Objective):
Before we start digging into the dairy industry it is critical that we have a proper working
knowledge of general terminology.
1. Define commonly used dairy terminology.
2. Identify different phases in the dairy animal’s life cycle.
Strategy – Includes Teacher Activity,
Student Activity, Questions/Answers
and Objectives
Objective 1:
Teacher: Use PowerPoint to go over
worksheet 2.1
Students: Correct worksheets and take
notes along side the ones that are already
on the worksheet.
Q: Why do we castrate bulls?
A: If you are going to fatten them for
meat, they will gain better and taste
better. Dairy bulls are also the meanest
and most unpredictable bulls. Some
farmers only breed artificially because of
this. Castrating dairy bulls makes them
gentler. A bull that is castrated is called
a steer.
Q: A gilt is to a pig as a __________ is to
a cow.
A: Heifer
Q: Does a dairy want to have more bull
(male) calves or heifer (female) calves?
A: heifers, because dairy farmers
produce milk and only female cattle can
do that. If you were a beef rancher you
would want more bulls, because they get
more money/pound.
Q: What is a cow?
A: female dairy animal that has had a
calf. When the cow has a calf it is called
Q: The first milk the cow gives following
calving is called?
A: Colostrum is vital for new born calves
to receive. If they don’t get this they
probably won’t live. If a cow has a lot of
Colostrum her first milking after calving
farmers will freeze it to use for calves in
the future. Colostrum is readily absorbed
and very critical!
Subject Matter Outline/Problem and Solution
(Application Points Lace in Throughout Lesson)
(Modeling, Guided Practice, and Content)
Dairy Terminology
Dairy Cow - A bovine from which milk production
is intended for human consumption, or is kept for
raising replacement dairy heifers.
1. Bull – uncastrated male dairy animal.
2. Steer – castrated male dairy animal.
3. Heifer – female dairy animal that has not had a
calf. (Usually less than 18-24 months of age) A
bovine female less than three years of age who
has not borne a calf. Young cows with their first
calves are often called first-calf heifers.
4. Calves - male or female dairy animals less than
one year of age. (A young male or female
bovine. Usually referred to as calves until
reaching sexual maturity)
5. Cow – female dairy animal that has had a calf.
(A mature female bovine. Usually referring to
any dairy females that have borne a calf. Some
may consider females having given birth only
once as "first-calf heifers" until they have a
second calf.)
6. Calving – the act of parturition in cattle.
7. Colostrum - First milk following calving. High
in fat, protein, and immunoglobulin’s that may
be directly absorbed by the newborn calf in its
first 24 hours of life.
Q: Have you seen those igloo-looking
things sitting at farms?
A: Those are little houses (hutches) that
calves live in. Unlike beef cattle, when a
dairy cow has a baby it is removed from
the mother in just a few short hours. This
allows the mother to produce without
having to feed a calf, and allows the calf
to be raised in a clean environment.
8. Hutch - An individual housing unit for young
calves. Often made of white fiberglass or
Q: The percent of fat in the milk is
called? (hint: Jerseys are known to have
high quantities of this.)
A: butterfat is good for making cheese.
10. butterfat - percent of fat in the milk
Q: Where does the farmer’s main income
come from?
A: Milk Production
11. milk production - amount in pounds of milk that
a cow produces during a lactation period
Q: Why is it important to produce the
most milk you can?
A: Milk production pays (the more, the
better). Milk production is the amount in
pounds of milk that a cow produces
during a lactation period
12. lactation - span of time that a cow is producing
Q: An average dairy cow milks how
many months in a year?
A: 10 months (305 days), this is called
the lactation. The other two months is
called the cow’s dry period (cows rest and
wait to have another calf).
Q: What is the name of the system
responsible for storing and producing
milk? A: Mammary System
Q: How many gallons of milk can the
average cow give in a day? A: 6
Q: Can you breed cows to milk more?
A: Yes, you can look at different
pedigrees and select a bull that has the
characteristics you want, and then breed
your cows artificially to that bull.
Q: What is culling?
A: To remove a cow from the herd for low
milk production, or involuntary culling of
cows for reasons of health or injury.
9. dairy character - characteristics indicating that
the animal will be useful in the dairy industry
13. mammary system – system in the cow
responsible for storing and producing milk
A. Udder - The encased group of mammary
glands provided with teats or nipples as in
a cow, ewe, mare or sow. Also referred to
as a bag.
14. pedigree - register of lines of ancestry
A. Sire - Father or male parent in a pedigree.
B. Dam - Mother or female parent in a
15. breed characteristics - physical traits that
differentiate from breed from anothe
16. Cull/Cull Cow - To remove a cow from the
herd. Culling reasons in clued voluntary culling
of cows for low milk production, or involuntary
culling of cows for reasons of health or injury.
Q: How many stomach compartments do
cows have?
A: (4) rumen, reticulum, omasum and
Q: Animals having four stomach
compartments are called?
A: Ruminant
How do farmers get the milk from the
dairy cow to the storage tank?
-Parlors - they come in many types:
A. Flat Barn
B. Walk-through
C. Herringbone
D. Parallel
E. Swing
F. Rotary
Objective 2:
Teacher: Hand out worksheet 2.2
Go over PowerPoint diagram on the
typical life-cycle of a cow.
Students: Fill out worksheet 2.2 and take
17. Ruminant - Animals having four stomach
compartments - rumen, reticulum, omasum and
abomasums - through which food passes in
digestion. These animals chew their cud or
regurgitate partially digested food for further
breakdown in the mouth. Ruminant animals
include cattle, sheep, goats, deer and camels.
18. Parlor - The specialized area on the dairy farm
where milking is performed. Parlors come in
many types:
G. Flat Barn
H. Walk-through
I. Herringbone
J. Parallel
K. Swing
L. Rotary
Stages of a dairy cows life:
(1) birth to calving
(2) first calf dams
(3) mature lactating cows
(4) dry periods
A cow typically remains in the dairy herd till
about 5 years of age, although many cows
are capable of remaining productive in the
herd for 12 to 15 years.
Following birth, the calf is usually removed
from her dam (cow) after only a few hours.
The newborn calf is fed milk or milk
replacer until weaning at 6 to 8 weeks of
The calf will then be raised until it reaches
appropriate breeding weight at about 15
months of age. Heifers are then maintained
and continue to grow through their gestation.
They usually calve, or give birth, at about 24
months of age. However, they do not reach
mature size until at least 4 years of age.
Q: How long does it take until a cow will
have a baby after getting pregnant?
A: 9 months. This is called the gestation
Q: Why is it important that cows have
calves each year?
A: By having calves allows cows to
continue producing milk. It also gives
them a two month break to rest.
Q: How old should a calf be before it is
weaned from milk?
A: 6-8 weeeks.
Q: How old should a heifer be when
breeding for the first time?
A: 15 months. A heifer should have her
first calf at 24 months. With a 9 month
gestation period, being bred at 15 months
allows the heifer to calve by 24 months.
Closure/Summary/Conclusion (Tie in Objectives)
Having knowledge of the terminology used in the dairy industry will serve as a foundation for
the rest of the unit. If you can become familiar with these terms, it will help you to understand
the dairy industry as a whole. Knowledge of terminology will also help for future class
discussions and assignments. It is also important to understand different phases of a cow’s life
and to understand their life-cycle. Students will be responsible for all the terms discussed today.
Evaluation: (Authentic forms of Evaluation, Quizzes, or Written Exam)
Students will be held responsible for all terms discusses in class. These terms will show up on a
quiz the following period and throughout the dairy unit as we discuss the dairy industry. Student
will also be responsible for these terms on the dairy unit final exam.
Assignments: (Student Activities Involved in Lesson/Designed to Meet Objectives)
Attached to this lesson are two worksheets that students must complete (Worksheet 2.1 Dairy
Terminology & Worksheet 2.2 Dairy Cow Life-Cycle). Students will be required to fill this out
before the end of the class. They will have a chance to do it on their own at first and after 10-15
minutes, we will go over all the terms in class and make sure they found the correct answers.
Students will be required to write down a few definitions that are not on the worksheets as well.
This will require them to pay attention throughout the period and not just copy down notes.
Lesson Reflection
I felt the lesson went well. A lesson on terminology can be a challenging to teach, but having a
handout that didn’t require the students to write everything out really helped them keep up and
pay attention. I also felt that letting students work on the terms before I went over them
challenged the students to think on their feet and search in different books, magazines, and the
internet for correct definitions. It also gave them a chance to work in groups and develop team
work skills. Having examples (pictures) of the terms that were discussed would also help
students visualize what was taught. If I had been closer to a dairy farm this would have been a
good lesson to go and have students discover first hand some of the dairy terminology.
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