R.M. Miano students learn where milk comes from

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comNovember 3, 2012 

Hundreds of elementary students cheered the bodily functions of a 1,200-pound Holstein on Thursday.

R.M. Miano Elementary School pupils oohed and aahed and squealed and laughed as they learned how hay becomes milk during a presentation from the Dairy Council of California's Mobile Dairy Classroom.

"Cows do not have any top front teeth," Kimberlee Youman, Mobile Dairy instructor, told students. "All cows are like that; they're born like that. They're never going to grow in."

Youman pointed out the cow's basic anatomy and helped the students compare it to their own hips, ribs, stomach and teeth, among other parts.

The 3-year-old Winton-based cow named Milky Way ate hay throughout the presentation and dripped milk from her udder.

Youman said Milky Way had not yet been milked for the day.

The mobile classroom, which is a livestock trailer, is part of an 80-year-old program to educate students on milk and dairy foods.

More than 400,000 children see one of the six mobile classrooms all over the state, according to the dairy council.

Children also got a lesson in the proper form for milking a cow by hand and with an automated milking claw.

Principal Antonio Rosales said he asked the Dairy Council to make the presentation, which ties into some of the nutritional science his students learn during the year.

"We do live in an agricultural community," Rosales said. "It's great exposure for our children."

The Mobile Dairy Classroom is funded by California dairy producers and processors.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanosenterprise.com.

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