No students, milk does not come from the supermarket

US mobile dairy educates students where milk comes from

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Fed up with the lack of children's knowledge about how food is grown, Serena and Brennan Gilkison from Clark County Kentucky, USA, open their farm gates every year to inform third graders about food.

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Kentucky farmers Serena and Brennan Gilkison open their farm every year to students to teach them where their food comes from. Photos by Samantha Townsend.

Kentucky farmers Serena and Brennan Gilkison open their farm every year to students to teach them where their food comes from. Photos by Samantha Townsend.

Milk comes from the supermarket and ham comes from a can are just some of the misconceptions children in the US have about where their food comes from.

Fed up with the lack of children's knowledge about how food is grown, Serena and Brennan Gilkison from Clark County Kentucky, USA, open their farm gates every year to inform third graders about food.

The Gilkisons host more than 500 students over two days with the help of industry stakeholders to connect children to agriculture in a hands-on experience to learn about beef, crops, pigs, and dairy.

Four generation farmer Haley Fisher from the mobile dairy classroom.

Four generation farmer Haley Fisher from the mobile dairy classroom.

At the event, fourth generation dairy farmer Haley Fisher from Southwest Dairy Farmers Mobile Dairy Classroom - a travelling milking truck - demonstrated how to milk a cow in a first for the US dairy industry.

Ms Fisher said in the US city of Lexington, Kentucky, an average of 60 per cent of children don't know that milk comes from a cow.

The Southwest Dairy Farmers is an alliance of dairy farmers from Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. These producers have pooled their resources to provide consumer education in nutrition, to promote dairy product use, and provide dairy product information.

The program is paid for using the dairy farmers levy of US10 cents from every 100 pounds of milk that is allocated to the promotion of the industry.

Since February Ms Fisher, who became an instructor after her family sold the farm due to low prices, has informed around 12,000 students about the dairy industry.

Some of the stakeholders include Kentucky 4-H Foundation, University of Kentucky and Dairy Farmers of America.

Students learning about beef breeds.

Students learning about beef breeds.

  • Samantha Townsend travelled to Kentucky USA to attend Alltech's ONE19 conference.
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