Bella the Cow Visits La Primaria School
by Michele Earle
November 13, 2013 • 432 views
La Primaria Elementary School in the Mountain View School District was paid a special visit by the Dairy Council of California’s Mobile Dairy Classroom. The free farm-to-school learning program teaches students about the important role agriculture and milk play in their lives and health.
The outdoor assembly allowed the kindergarten through fifth grade students to come face to face with Bella, a six year old, 1,300 pound Holstein cow and Rocky, a seven week old, 130 pound calf. Students learned about the anatomy of a cow, what a dairy cow eats and drinks and how milk gets from the cow to the milk containers in their school and homes.
Led by Dairy Council instructor and dairy farmer, Laura LaFayette, the assembly helped students gain awareness about agriculture’s contribution to our food supply and provided students with knowledge of healthy food and activity choices.
“I love sharing about our cows and the dairy industry,” said LaFayette. “The kids are a great audience and really enjoy learning about the cows and where milk and other dairy products they eat come from,” she added.
Bella, the star of the show, happily chewed on alfalfa hay as LaFayette explained how dairy farmers milk the cows, and the two processes the milk goes through before we can drink it.
“Milk only comes from cows who have had babies. It comes out warm and then goes through a pasteurization process and homogenization process. Milk that is served here at your school is among the freshest milk around. It gets from the cow to your school in about 48 hours,” said LaFayette.
Students were surprised to learn that cows eat up to 50 pounds of hay daily and laughed when LaFayette shared that they drink water by sucking it through their nose.
“I love Bella the cow and Rocky the baby!” said a happy 1st grader as she waited to pet Rocky at the end of the assembly. “Bella is really, really big and Rocky is so cute.”
La Primaria principal, Angelica Sifuentes Donoso was excited to have her students participate in the assembly. “We greatly appreciate the California Dairy Council and their efforts to provide such wonderful learning opportunities for students. Bella and Rocky made a great impression on the kids and they learned a lot of new vocabulary words and terms pertaining to the cows and the dairy industry.”