ST. LOUIS - Kreitner Elementary in the Collinsville CUSD 10 School District and Alhambra Elementary in the Highland CUSD 5 School District recently secured a spot on a mobile tour designed to show milk’s journey from cow to carton. Gateway Elementary and St. Ambrose are two of 10 local schools the Mobile Dairy Classroom will visit this month. St. Louis District Dairy Council, in partnership with Southwest Dairy Museum, Inc., is bringing the traveling milking parlor to the area to give students a unique dairy farm experience, right in the school parking lot.

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That experience includes a presentation on dairy farms, cows and how farmers care for the environment. It also features the opportunity for students to learn about the modern milking process with the help of a special guest star-- a real dairy cow. Up to 200 students will take part in the 45-minute presentation, which also covers how dairy foods fit into a healthy diet.

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“Field trips are an ideal way to show what happens on a dairy farm. But travel, budget and space restrictions can limit the adventure to only a handful of classrooms,” notes SLDDC registered dietitian Maggie Cimarolli. By bringing the dairy farm directly to the students, the school has no transportation costs and can allow more students to participate.

October is National Farm to School Month, making it the perfect time to showcase agriculture in action. With just 2% of Americans connected to the agriculture industry, many students have only seen farming by watching it on a screen. “Virtual farm tours became popular when schools turned to on-line learning,” says Cimarolli. They remain an efficient way to show what life on a dairy farm is like. But there is no substitute for seeing a live cow being milked right in front of you!”

2022 Mobile Dairy Classroom Tour roster includes the following Missouri Schools: Gateway Elementary (St. Louis), St. Ambrose School (St. Louis), Fairview Elementary (Columbia), and Russell Boulevard Elementary (Columbia), along with the following Illinois schools: CA Henning Elementary (Troy), Lebanon Elementary (Lebanon), Ridgely Elementary (Springfield), Vachel Lindsay Elementary (Springfield), Kreitner Elementary (Collinsville), and Alhambra Elementary (Alhambra).

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