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Cows visit Cobblestone Elementary
Milky Way, Henry have health lessons for Plumas Lake school
Students at Cobblestone Elementary School in Plumas Lake received a lesson Wednesday in nutrition and health from a 1,200 pound 6-year-old.
Milky Way, a Guernsey cow in the Mobile Dairy Classroom program, arrived in the trailer that's dubbed her limousine to show youths how milk and dairy foods are produced.
Kimberlee Youman told students about cow anatomy that includes a stomach with four pockets, how the animals chew from side to side and that cows can't make milk until after they've given birth.
Youman also brought out the 10-week-old, 250-pound calf Henry that students were able to pet.
"Milky Way is awesome," second-grader Isaac Bah said. "He's a cool cow."
His classmate Samara LaRouche said she learned that mammals are like us and need "to be treated a certain way."
Ice cream and chocolate milk won cheers from students as examples of dairy foods, while cottage cheese won a less warm reception.
Youman, an instructor in the mobile class program of the Dairy Council of California, explained to students that while they were looking at Milky Way, "She's allowed to stare back."
The Guernsey is a big animal that can act like a pet, she said.
"She is a giant cow," Youman said. "But she also follows me around like a puppy dog."
The ear tags cows wear — Milky Way's is No. 23 — allows dairies to access via computer such information as the animal's date of birth, the number of calves they've had and how much milk the cows produce.
Principal Lori Greenwood said Cobblestone Elementary wants programs like the dairy classroom that provide lessons.
"We try to bring in assemblies that enrich our students' experience," she said. "The parents have been just phenomenal to help us bring these programs."
The mobile classroom program begin in the 1932 in Los Angeles, and now six such operations visit schools throughout California. The effort reaches more than 400,000 elementary school students each year, according to the dairy council.