What's the difference between brown cows and black-and-white cows? What is a broiler? How much milk does one cow produce?

Dairy farms and poultry farms are among the region's top five agricultural industries. Over the years, dusty barnyards and drafty barns have given way to climate-controlled chicken houses and automated milking machines.

Livestock convert grass and grain, which we can not easily digest, into protein that we can. Fed a nutritious diet, a cow for example, can produce about 100 glasses of millk in her lifetime.

Black-and-white cattle are Holsteins, the breed of choice among dairy farmers. Herefords are beef cattle with red-brown bodies and white faces.

Farms provide habitats for wildlife. By offering hunting on their properties, farmers supplement their incomes and manage wildlife populations.

Broilers are chickens raised for their meat. Typically, farmers raise chickens in large broiler houses for companies that process the chickens for market.

Caring for Animals

The care of farm animals is a tradition - and ethic - ingrained from an early age. At county fairs and 4-H events, kids and youth showcase the animals under their care.

In learning to be humane guardians of their animals, young farmers also learn an economic lesson: Only healthy animals produce healthy, high quality meat, milk and eggs.

Little Kentucky

Maryland has been a top horse breeding state since colonial times. Cecil County - sometimes referred to as Little Kentucky - is home to both large and small horse breeding farms. Some also train racehorses. Horse stables that proide boarding, riding and lessons are found throughout Chesapeake Country.