Minerva Dairy, America’s oldest family-owned creamery, said it is doing its part to inspire and educate students from a distance this fall by offering virtual tours of its butter-making facilities.

The idea for providing a digital tour came after Adam Mueller and Venae Watts — siblings representing the Minerva, Ohio-based creamery’s fifth generation of ownership — became determined not to let field trip and tour cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic interrupt the company’s ability as an essential agricultural business to make a positive impact and impression on today’s youth.

“As a parent and lifelong member of the agricultural community, it was important to me that we find a way to offer safe educational experiences for students during the pandemic,” said Mueller. “Our brand has always been about connecting people to their food and where it comes from, so this idea seemed like a no-brainer.”

Minerva Dairy’s live virtual tours take place via Zoom and are free to educational groups. The video experience walks participants through the process of butter-making and discusses various operations pieces related to the business. Attendees may actively participate, ask questions and discuss the history of the Minerva Dairy brand with ownership.

“Understanding more about the unique challenges that essential businesses are currently facing is a great lesson for kids and, arguably, should be a vital piece of today’s curriculum,” Mueller added.

By offering something new and different for students to do during a time when extracurricular activities are so few and far between, Minerva Dairy said it hopes to create a long-lasting impression on students and the community at large. The company plans to continue its virtual field trips into 2021, as long as there is still a demand. The tours are available at no cost to schools, universities and other affiliated educational organizations by appointment only.

For more information about Minerva Dairy, visit minervadairy.com. To schedule a tour, send an email to info@minervadairy.com.