FREEVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Did you know it’s National Agriculture Week? As a way to highlight the industry, the American Dairy Association North East has teamed up with Beck Farms in Tompkins County to offer virtual farm tours to students.

As a proud fourth-generation farmer, Tyler Beck of Beck Farms is at the forefront of evolving his family’s dairy farm in Freeville. His great-grandfather founded the farm in the 1920s.

“We started with only a handful of cows and today we’re 2,000 cows. It takes about 3,500 acres to farm them all, and it’s just a legacy that you get to carry on. Started from my great grandfather way back when, and today we’re doing things a little differently but with the same goals in mind.”


One thing that has remained consistent for Beck Farms over the last 100 years? The hard work and dedication it takes to run the dairy farm.

Thanks to technology advancements and a partnership with the American Dairy Association North East, Beck Farms is reaching the younger generation, near and far.

Since 2018, the American Dairy Association North East has been working with local dairy farmers to bring their farms right to the classroom.

“We really wanted to make it where students across the North East and New York State could have access to a dairy farm, to see where the milk and dairy that they enjoy in school comes from every day.”


The lessons not only educate students about where their dairy and agricultural products come from, but it gives them a glimpse of life on the farm in real-time.

“It takes about 35 people to complete this team and care for about 2,000 cows,” Beck explained. “It’s hard nowadays to find people that want to get up earlier, work the long hours out in the cold, do everything it takes to be a farmer, but once you get into it, you get addicted to it. It’s very fruitful.”

Modern technology is not only helping to teach the younger generation about the agricultural industry, but it also helps with the growing day-to-day operations at Beck Farms.

“With the technology, we can basically monitor each cow on an individual basis because when you have 2,000 of them, it’s hard to keep track of them all,” Beck explained. “So the buttons and technology allow us to really watch their health metrics.”

If you’re interested in signing up for a virtual farm tour, click here. You can also find pre-recorded virtual farm tours that you can watch anytime!