FEEDER CALF PROGRAM
One of our most rewarding programs at the ranch is our feeder calf program. This program is designed to develop empathy, responsibility and love for the animal which can translate into similar characteristics among family and friends as the girls mature.
ADOPTION OPPORTUNITY WITH ORPHANED CALVES
When the girls first arrive at the ranch they will have the opportunity to adopt a newborn dairy calf that was orphaned in order to allow the mother to produce milk for the dairy industry. The calves are usually around one day old and are completely dependent upon the student in order to survive. This dependency helps to foster a bond between the calf and its new owner. Naturally the calves bond right away to their new mother and must be fed a milk replacement twice a day which puts the girls in a great position to think outside of themselves and care for another.
DEVELOPING SKILLS THROUGH SERVICE
Many of the girls have shared how this experience helped them experience love unconditionally through giving and receiving. Some of the girls have expressed their innate desire to help the calves survive and thrive and how that can be a struggle at times to look outside of themselves and their problems in order to focus on another. This labor of love helps to develop responsibility and purpose as the girls care for their calves no matter the weather.
MATURING THROUGH ACCOMPLISHMENT AND EXPERIENCE
Another benefit of the calf program is the development of self esteem as the girls help their calves survive and thrive on a daily basis. Through sacrifice and service, feelings of empathy are brought to the surface which help diminish selfish and self-centered habits and attitudes. The girls can develop a sense of accomplishment and the ability to put others needs before their own which becomes a major part of their maturing and development at the ranch.
ADOPTION ATTACHMENT – STRENGTH IS IN THE STRUGGLE
Calves are usually large enough to be transferred to area ranchers at about four months. On occasion a baby calf will not survive in the initial stages of development, or very long after birth, leaving an emotional but powerful opportunity for the student to understand grief and loss, attachment and detachment in an environment where they can grow and learn to apply this understanding to relationships and transitions. The calf program is especially beneficial for girls who have been adopted, but becomes a wonderful experience for all who participate.
Please feel free to call us anytime with questions or comments about our experiential programs: 855-667-9388