Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pepperoni & Other Dairy Products!

Yesterday I was delighted to join the Madison County Farm Bureau to assist with their Farm/City Day at London Elementary School! The Madison County Farm Bureau did a fantastic job of organizing this educational event for the students. Numerous groups participated, such as the Soil & Water Conservation District and the local 4-H. Two of my goats (Roundhouse & Redonculous) joined a lamb, a calf, and a duck in the small animal display. (Apparently there was an unfortunate incident when Roundhouse and the duck nearly came to blows!)

I assisted with the "Dairy" Station. We saw 17 groups of children (about 50 students each time), that ranged in age from pre-school to 5th grade. I had the opportunity to share some information with the students about how healthy dairy products are for us. We also talked about different animals that give us milk and foods that can be made with milk. The students were very good at identifying cows, goats, and sheep as animals that give us milk to drink. They also did a great job of naming cheese, butter, and ice cream as foods that we make using milk. One of my favorites, though, was the young man who solemnly raised his hand when I asked about dairy products, and named "Pepperoni!" as his favorite food made from milk!

The students then made butter by shaking vials of heavy whipping cream. After about 5 minutes of shaking, they would have a soft butter to enjoy on some wheat bread. The students definitely seemed to enjoy learning about the butter-making process! I was impressed with the Farm Bureau volunteers who helped me sing for 17(!) classes the butter-making song with the chorus of "Shake it, shake it, shake it; shake it if you can; shake it like a milkshake; and shake it once again!" By the end of the day, my biceps were a bit exhausted from all that butter-shaking!

This event was a wonderful opportunity to help young people learn about farming! While many of these students had rural connections, some did not. This was a fun chance for them to gain appreciation for farming. They got to see tractors, pet goats, drink apple cider, earn stickers that said "soy power", and other fun activities! Thanks to the Madison County Farm Bureau for including the Goatherd, Roundhouse, and Redonculous in Farm/City Day!

Photo Caption: Goats contemplating escape from their pen!

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