Whether you are 5 or 95, everyone loves meeting Blanche or Maple, two Jersey cows, in the Mobile Dairy classroom presented by Southwest-Southland Dairy Farmers at the N.C. State Fair.
Blanche, who is two, around 800 pounds, and stares at you with the sweetest brown eyes, was the star attraction for the 10 a.m. presentation near the Graham Building when Judah, 7, and Levi, 6, attended the presentation with their grandparents, Mark and Kim Shelly, of Greensboro.
“Wow, Blanche eats and drinks a lot every day,” stated Judah as he stared at Blanche and reflected on what he had learned. “And even though she is brown, her milk is white. I got to see her milk go into the bottle.”
Courtney Bumgarner, a long-time dairy farmer from Guilford County, is the primary educator for the Southwest-Southland Dairy Farmers Mobile Classroom for North Carolina. Blanche and Maple are her dairy cows, each producing about five to six gallons of milk daily. She travels around the state bringing dairy farms into schools.
There are seven breeds of dairy cows, and the most popular is the large Holstein cow.
“This cow looks like a cow you’ve seen before, right?” Bumgarner asked the kids and spectators in attendance. “That’s right; It’s the Chic-fil-a-cow! These cows are so big they can weigh up to 1800 pounds and produce 10 to 12 gallons of milk daily. We keep them at the farm because they’re too big to travel.”
Jersey cows are the second most popular breed in the U.S., and as Judah learned, they eat from 60 to 100 pounds of feed a day and drink 40 gallons of water a day.
“That’s like an entire bathtub,” Bumgarner told the kids so they could visualize how much it takes to keep these cows in milk production.
The mobile classroom demonstrates the milking process, discusses pasteurization, and teaches the importance of healthy nutrition and the importance of at least three 8-ounce servings of milk a day.
“Our farmers work hard so that we can provide milk for you. As dairy farmers, we are farm-to-table, and that process takes up to 48 hours to get milk to you to buy,” stated Bumgarner.
The Southwest-Southland Dairy Farmers mobile classroom operates four daily dairy presentations at the fair.
Blanche and Maple split those shifts because farmers milk dairy cows just twice a day. So you can catch Courtney and her adorable education helpers at 10 a.m, 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.
It’s an excellent presentation that will keep kids engaged, and we can guarantee that parents and grandparents will learn something, too.