Just Say Moo

MILKY WAY Eliot Elementary School students rush to pet 200-pound calf, Oreo, on Monday during the Dairy Council of California’s mobile dairy classroom special assembly.

Students at Eliot Elementary School erupted into squeals of delight Monday morning as Buttercup a 1,000-pound Holstein cow from San Martin, made her appearance during a special assembly.
“Is this the biggest cow you’ve ever seen?” asked Brandon Roberts, the cow’s Wrangler- wearing handler to the group of Pre-K to 2nd grade students sitting cross-legged on the school tarmac.
“Yes!” “No!” the students screamed, followed by bursts of giggles.
Called a mobile dairy classroom, the initiative from the Dairy Council of California, is one of six that travels up and down the state teaching kids about food literacy, where dairy foods come from, a bit about the milking process and how cows are treated on the farm.
For 20 minutes Roberts, with an accommodating Buttercup placidly eating her breakfast of alfalfa in her trailer, showed Gilroy students where the carton of milk they serve in the school cafeteria comes from.
“This is amazing,” said Maricela Rivera, a member of the school’s support staff. “The kids are having so much fun and they learn about milk from production to consumption.”
“Do you guys know a lot about cows?” Roberts asked, an obvious pro when it comes to keeping little kids’ attention. A native of Minnesota, this is his fourth school year traveling with the mobile dairy classroom. “Yeah!” “You do?” “Ugh…yeah.” More laughter.
Later in the presentation, Buttercup’s travel-mate showed up, a 200-pound calf called Oreo. Both live just 10 minutes from the school in San Martin, part of a family farm.
“The cows are right off Highway 101,” said Roberts later as the students lined up, one-by-one to gently stroke Oreo’s soft brown pelt. “With all the agriculture in this area it’s exciting for kids to make that connection.”
On Friday, Buttercup and Roberts will be back on the road, visiting students in Los Banos.

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