LAMAR, Mo.–Even if a kid lives in a small town, they still may not know where milk and milk-based products come from, or how they end up on the table.
Most kids don’t give much thought to how milk and other dairy products get from farm to table. And, it’s the job of Suzie Reece to fill in the rest of that sequence.
“I generally go to a school everyday,” explained Reece, a mobile dairy educator. “We have good weather to do that with, and I take my cow and we work in the mornings, teach about the dairy industry, and then head home. She’s usually home in the afternoon to be a normal cow”
Reece travels the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri on a regular basis to educate kids like these from West Elementary School in Lamar.
“How the milk gets transferred into the bottles and stuff,” said Lamar student Jacob Jackson.
“Pasteurized means that when ever you heat it up to 106 degrees and so it’s safe for you to drink,” added West Elementary student Jaxsyn Lovan.
While Lamar has its share of farms, Principal Mary Clark says the nearest dairy farm is a ways away.
“I hope they know that milk doesn’t just come from a carton in the store–that you just go and buy it from a store,” Clark explained. “I hope kids realize it’s a lot of work and a lot of care that goes in to taking care of farm animals.”
“Being a farm girl, I think so many people are so far removed from our food source and so whether it’s the dairy industry or any other of the agricultural industries, we need to teach our children in schools the importance of farming and the farm life and where their food is coming from,” said Reece. “It’s an original source–not just the grocery store.”