Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lincoln Elementary students get up close and personal with a cow

Students at Lincoln Elementary in Salinas learned how milk and dairy foods get from the farm to the table when a real cow and calf visited the school on Feb. 25.

The experience was brought by the Mobile Dairy Classroom, sponsored by Dairy Council of California. The learning lab teaches K-6 students about cow anatomy, cow care on the farm, the milking process and agriculture technology. Instructors integrate Language arts, math and science into the lesson, which aligns with Common Core State Standards. Students also learn about healthy food and activity choices.

“For many students, this is the first opportunity they have to see a cow up close,” said in a statement Brandon Roberts, the Mobile Dairy Classroom instructor. “And while the students are having fun, the lessons they are learning are important.”

Mobile Dairy Classroom – the original Farm-to-School program in California – began in the 1930s as a joint venture between dairyman Clarence Michel of Edgemar Farms and Dairy Council of California. Michel would travel weekly to schools in his area in a truck built to accommodate a real cow and teach children how milk and dairy foods were produced.

These days, the Mobile Dairy Classroom reaches more than 453,000, with six full-time instructors who travel to elementary schools, agriculture days and fairs throughout the state. The assemblies are offered at no cost to schools and are part of dairy farm families’ and dairy companies’ efforts to give back to the community. California dairies support the program by providing cows and calves for assemblies.

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