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KIDS CORNER

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STORIES ABOUT KIDS


 

Take a Virtual Field Trip to a Dairy Farm

You can visit a dairy farm today, and you don’t even have to get your shoes dirty. Through a partnership with Discovery Education, this new video explains modern dairy farming, dairy’s journey from farm to school, and the innovations that are helping care for cows and communities.

 

Here are some tasty treats that are good and good for you


Oregon Ag in the Classroom

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Literacy Project

In this free program, a volunteer will come to your classroom to do a reading and hands-on lesson that meets Oregon standards.
AITC also has a lending library with ag and dairy focused books.

 


Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassadors

Through classroom presentations and public events, state and county Dairy Princess-Ambassadors provide interesting insights and information about dairy farming and dairy products.


Ag Fest LogoOregon Ag Fest

Kids enjoy this two-day event, aimed at helping families better understand where their food, fiber and flora come from. It is a unique learning experience, where hands-on exhibits make learning about Oregon’s vast agricultural industry educational and entertaining.

Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

“What’s for lunch?” It’s a common refrain in school cafeterias across the state, and some tasty plans are in the works to provide exciting new and nutritious menu items. Thanks to a special series of events called “Oregon Cooks for Kids,” school cooks are learning new recipes featuring dairy ingredients that they can take back to their schools.

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, seven statewide culinary trainings are being offered for school nutrition directors and cooks in 2016. This year’s schedule includes trainings in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem, La Grande and Klamath Falls.

Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, coaches participants on cooking-from-scratch culinary skills, while preparing and taste testing 15 actual recipes. The preparation of healthy meals for students emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, because studies show that well-nourished kids perform better at school. Participants practice menu planning, weights and measures, knife skills and other culinary techniques.

The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council has supported culinary training events for seven years. Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 31 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state — providing nutritious foods to kitchens and cafeterias and leading health and wellness initiatives.

Cafeteria cooks have new tricks up their sleevesCafeteria cooks have new tricks up their sleeves

Statewide culinary trainings are improving the quality and variety of meals served in Oregon schools. Learn more about what happens at these special events with this fun story from KGW TV’s Portland Today.   VIDEO

Healthy Meals for Healthy StudentsHealthy Meals for Healthy Students Trainings

Trainings are presented in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. We train school nutrition and frontline staff, giving them ideas and skills to improve their school meal programs with nutrient-rich recipes, featuring ingredients like low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.   VIDEO

 

White Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

I’m Dreaming of a White … Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pie.

These cookies are ‘mint’ to be for parties, gift baskets or a fun baking project with your kids during the holiday season. Try one bite, and you’ll be saying “whoopee” for whoopie pies.

Makes 2 dozen whoopie pies

indulgent-recipeDessert recipe

INGREDIENTS
Chocolate Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup milk

White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:
2 ounces chopped white chocolate
5 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
½ cup butter, softened
3 ¾ cups (1 1-pound box) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure mint extract (or peppermint extract)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 peppermint candies, crushed into fine pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375˚. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

For Cookies:

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Stir in milk. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake until edges appear set, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool on pan 1 minute. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

For White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:

Combine white chocolate and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute at medium (50%) power, stirring at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, mint extract, vanilla and salt on low speed until blended.

To assemble, spread the bottom sides of half the cookies with the White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down; press gently together. Sprinkle the edges of the buttercream with crushed peppermint candies.

Recipe submitted to Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council by Edwina Gadsby

Ten Oregon Dairy Farms to Follow on Facebook

Did you know there are more than 2 billion active users on Facebook, and the average person follows 338? You can follow your hairdresser, your kid’s school teachers and even your post office on social media – but are you following your local dairy farmer? You should.

By following farmers on Facebook, you can get to know the families who help deliver nutritious and delicious food to your table. Just like no two farms are exactly alike, their Facebook pages are unique, representing conventional and organic farms ranging from 20 cows to more than 20,000. Some include stories, behind the scenes videos, humor, answers to your questions, beautiful photography and even invitations to visit.

Here are ten Oregon dairy farmers you should be following on Facebook (in alphabetical order):

RELATED LINKS

New Adopt a Farmer Video Features Oregon Dairy

Thanks to Oregon dairy farmers like Bobbi Frost from Harrold’s Dairy, local students have the opportunity to experience a dairy farm and better understand agriculture. She is featured in a new video for Oregon Aglink’s Adopt a Farmer program.

“The majority of people in our country don’t have any experience with agriculture,” said Frost. “So really you’re bringing in your expertise, you’re teaching the teacher and giving her the skills to teach more kids and you’re giving the kids the opportunity to learn, too.”

The Adopt a Farmer program is an innovative program connecting sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to the sources of their food and fiber. Started in 2011, the program has grown from 300 students in the first year to more than 5,000 in six years. So far, the program has partnered with 48 Oregon schools, including interaction and experiences both in the classroom and on the farm.

“When they have a chance to get out and actually go to a dairy farm and see the cows and see the whole process, I think it makes it more real for them and they have an appreciation,” said Mindy Hayner, a parent from Coburg Community Charter School who is featured in the video.

Various other Oregon dairy farms have been included in the Adopt a Farmer program in recent years. In addition to Harrold’s Dairy, this year’s farms included Cloud Cap Farms, Mayfield Dairy and Veeman’s Dairy. Bobbi Frost is a strong supporter of the program and encourages other farmers to get involved.

“By being a farmer and telling your story, you’re debunking the myths, you’re giving the answers that you want kids to know, you’re giving them a shot at what actually happens on a farm,” said Frost. “You are telling your story, and nobody can tell it better than the actual farmer can tell it.”

RELATED LINKS:

Dairy Meets Classroom: Melissa Collman of Cloud Cap Farms

Adopt a Farmer, Oregon AgLink

Stacy Foster Selected to Manage Oregon Dairy Industry Relations

With more than a decade of experience leading farm tours for thousands of students, teachers and parents at a nationally recognized Oregon dairy, Stacy Foster knows a thing or two about dairy farming. That background will serve her well as the new Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

In this position, Foster will serve as the primary liaison with Oregon’s dairy industry and affiliated agricultural organizations. Working with Oregon’s dairy farm families, industry leaders and others, she will promote the growth and advancement of the dairy industry in the state and surrounding region. Foster succeeds Melinda Petersen, who joined Dairy West in Meridian, Idaho, as Producer and Community Relations Manager.

Foster was selected through a competitive recruitment process. In addition to possessing a strong dairy background, she has a degree in communications from Corban University and is an experienced homeschool instructor. She created the tour program for Rickreall Dairy from the ground up and recently began offering fall tours in addition to her spring visits.

“After leading farm tours for the past 10 years, I have discovered a passion for Oregon’s dairy industry and the families that make this community thrive,” said Foster. “I look forward to working together to continue building on positive messages about dairy farming and its products.”

Foster was recently honored by the Oregon Department of Agriculture as a recipient of the Farm to School Award. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that go ‘above and beyond to strengthen the relationship between kids, schools and food that’s being locally produced.’ Amy Gilroy, Farm to School Manager, presented the award to Foster on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol at a public event called Oregon’s Bounty in October. Earlier this year, Rickreall Dairy also won the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.

“We are very excited to have Stacy working for dairy in Oregon,” said Pete Kent, Executive Director for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “She brings a strong skill set to the table and possesses a vision and commitment to serve Oregon’s dairy farm families.”

Improving School Meals for Oregon Students

Clear Lake kick off school lunch

by DeDe Poynor, Oregon State University Dietetic Intern

Deanna PoynorDid you know school meals have been getting a makeover? It’s true – a lot has changed since the National School Lunch Program began in 1946. Here are some examples.

Current federal requirements help students eat a well-balanced diet with the nutrients they need as they grow. Schools must offer a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the week. They also give students whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. Including more of the good stuff and cutting excessive salt, sugar, fat and calories helps develop healthy eating habits now and in the future.

Another role of school meals is to address child hunger. Oregon is the sixth most food insecure state in the country, with 1 in 6 households unsure of where their next meal will come from. Those kids often do not get the nutrients they need to be healthy and succeed in the classroom. Due to this, many schools around the state are looking at options outside of lunch, including breakfast and summer meal programs, to get students the food they need.

As the name implies, federal meal requirements must be met. However, deciding what to offer and how to prepare the food is up to the schools. It can be hard to find recipes and items that meet federal requirements. It is also hard to find menu items that most of the kids will eat. That is why Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs have joined forces to offer statewide culinary trainings for school nutrition staff. These trainings give tips and tools for offering things that kids will like, including local fruits and vegetables.

Oregon has been a national leader for the Farm to School Program, connecting Oregon schools with local farmers. With funding provided by the state legislature, this program has given kids opportunities to try locally grown and processed fruits and vegetables, as well as meat, dairy and whole grains. At the same time, the Farm to School Program has helped the economy by supporting Oregon businesses.

School meal programs continue to evolve with the support of students, teachers, administrators, parents and communities. School nutrition staff are bringing creative solutions to kitchens and cafeterias that maximize the available funding while keeping Oregon children full with nutritious and delicious foods.

Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Mary Chamberlain is a dairy farmer alongside her husband, Jason, and in-laws Warren and Lori, at Dairylain Farms in Vale, Oregon. Mary and Jason have three boys between the ages of one and seven, and she coaches a cross country running team at the local high school. We asked Mary eight questions about her life as a farmer, community volunteer, and a mother.

Why do you farm?

It’s a family tradition that goes back to our great-grandparents. I was raised on a dairy farm, and I married a dairy boy. It only made sense to work on his parent’s dairy and raise our kids to love dairy cows as much as we do. Raising calves, fostering them to cows, and giving them what they need to produce wonderful milk — that is the pretty basic description of what we do. But in reality it’s so much more.

When our first born arrived, I tried to stay home, but the farm needed an extra set of hands. I found myself pushing a stroller along as I fed calves, vaccinated cows, or checked heifers. Now on our third child, we start our mornings by heading to the barn to get milk to feed the calves, and end our day checking on the robots (we added robotic milkers last July). I’m very proud to have my boys working with us every day.

What’s life like for your kids on the farm?

They all have different levels of love for the farm and our way of life. My one-year-old just loves to watch the cows, and of course, sample their food.

Dairylain_2017_2048My four-year-old plays for hours with his farm toys in the sandbox. Every once in a while we catch bits of his make-believe land, where he is the ‘dad’ and he drives his loader and feeds the cows. We even get hints of a girl he likes as she makes an appearance in this pretend world to feed baby calves. When he isn’t in the sandbox, he loves to follow his dad around or ride along while I check on the heifers.

Our seven-year-old is starting to connect the dots that feeding animals and taking care of them is essential for them to not just survive but to helps us survive. When an animal is born, he is one of the first to let us know, and then help his dad move her to the barn. He helps with every task on the dairy. Some he hates (he thinks feeding calves is too boring) and others he loves (like picking out animals to train for fair).

And you’re also involved in your local schools?

Yes, I’m the local cross country head coach, and I substitute teach when I can (which is a bit rare these days with a one year old). Before my boys, I ran marathons and did triathlons all over the country. These days, it’s important for me to stay fit for my sanity and my health. Coaching running is great way to give back to the community and teach kids a way to deal with their own stress and worries.

With a master’s degree in dairy science and a love for running, I’m a bit of a quirky sub. I encourage getting outside to do work. I believe there is this huge connection to moving and learning that we don’t utilize in the classroom.

How important is nutrition to your family and your cows?

Dairylain Farms Chamberlain jerseyAs a three time mom in her 30s who still runs and bikes when she can, what’s in my food and my boys’ food is a concern. We all burn a lot of calories. I don’t want any food around that is just going to give a quick energy high and then leave me with a headache and cranky kids. Protein, carbohydrates, digestible and usable sugars, vitamins and minerals: that’s what I look for in all my food, and I try to balance the levels based on what we need and when we need it.

Good nutrition is also important to our cows. They are sort of like a pro-athlete; they will burnout if they don’t train and eat right. We feed the cows to increase milk supply naturally by giving them the correct amount of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals (and plenty of water). We have to make sure their nutrition allows them to milk plenty but doesn’t deplete their bones and body.

Do you use antibiotics or hormones?

Out of 375 milking animals, we have only one that’s getting antibiotics right now. We use antibiotics on our dairy according to the label, and no antibiotics are allowed to enter the food supply. If she gets an antibiotic shot, her milk gets dumped.

I think there is a misconception that as dairy farmers we are constantly giving shots for sickness. Really we give very few. My one year old has received more doses of antibiotics for ear infections this winter than we gave the entire milking herd for the same four months. We all work hard to give our animals the best chance to fight colds and viruses on their own. When they can’t, we call the vet and get the medication they need.

As for hormones, cows don’t need additional hormones to make them give more milk, they have enough natural ones.

How do you take care of your cows and calves?

Dairylain calf feedingWe feed them, ensure they are safe, healthy and comfortable, and we provide clean homes and bedding. We give the calves blankets and warm water in the winter and cold water in the summer. Sometimes when my kids are sick, it’s hard to leave the house to work at the dairy. But the cows and calves need us too.

Cows are not humans, and sometimes they can hurt or neglect their calves. So to the calves, we are their foster parents. They depend on us to understand their language, like a wagging tail and licking tongue means ‘I’m good!’ — droopy eyes and not getting up right away means something doesn’t feel right.

How do you care for the environment?

Improving the land around us is a big priority. Since we grow our own crops for the cows to eat, there is always plenty of land that could use more nutrients. We sample the soil to decide where nutrients are needed and that’s where we spread manure from our pens and barns. It’s natural, organic fertilizer.

We ensure that the water used in our barns for cooling milk is recycled, so the cows can have plenty to drink. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste in all forms and recycle what we can. We use solar powered electric fences to keep the heifers in, and solar powered pumps to run our pivots to keep the fields watered and the grass growing.

Are there any parting thoughts that you’d like people to know?

Dairylain_2017_1972Just as none of us are perfect parents, there are no perfect farmers. But we honestly do the best we can do on this day, and hope for the same or better tomorrow. Every day is another chance to do even better. I trust what we do, what my neighbors do, and what our fellow friends and dairy farmers across the country do. We are proud of the quality foods that we help bring to your table and ours!

RELATED STORY
Mother’s Day Brunch Idea: Better with Berry Butter

School Culinary Trainings Spice Up the Menu

Culinary Trainings with Garrett Berdan

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, a new series of five popular culinary training events are underway to help improve school cafeteria menus for Oregon students.

For the past seven years, Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, has been coaching child nutrition program professionals at regional trainings on cooking innovative, healthy meals using nutrient-rich, local foods. At the training events, participants prepare and taste test 15 actual recipes they can bring back to their students.

The preparation of healthy meals for students emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, because studies show that well-nourished kids perform better at school. Participants practice menu planning, weights and measures, knife skills and other culinary techniques.

This year’s series includes stops in Klamath Falls, Ontario, Lincoln City, Central Point and Aurora, Oregon. Trainings were held last year in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem and La Grande. Schools and childcare programs in each region are invited to participate in the two day training free of charge.

“Using quick, tasty and healthy Food Hero recipes and a little creativity, schools can really spice up their menus without breaking the bank,” said Crista Hawkins, RDN, LD, Director of School Programs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “We’ve invited a lot of guests to come and try the good food at these events, and they’re consistently impressed.”

As part of an ongoing commitment to youth wellness and education, Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 29 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state, supporting programs such as this training.

RELATED STORIES:

Ontario Culinary Workshop FUTP60 Yogurt Station
Ontario Argus Observer, April 9

Nutritious cooking: Child nutrition programs get healthy refresher course
Herald and News, March 21

Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

What I Learned on My First Visit to a Dairy Farm

by Lindsay LeBrun, Graduate Student in Clinical Nutrition, Oregon Health & Science University

Lindsay LeBrunAs a nutrition intern for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, I recently had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm outside of Salem, Oregon, during my second week on the job. Since I didn’t grow up on a farm or have a background in dairy, this tour was an opportunity for me to learn about dairy production practices. I was also eager to learn what kinds of questions kids and parents had about milk and dairy.

After the hour-long car ride down I-5 from Portland, I made my final turn into a gravel parking lot and instantly knew I had found the right place. The excited yelps of fourth graders posing for a class picture made me turn my head as I stepped from my car. With cheesy grins they assembled in front of the wooden sign proudly proclaiming our location: “Rickreall Dairy.”

Cows eatingThis class is one of many that get a firsthand look at where their favorite dairy foods come from. At Rickreall Dairy, tour leader Stacy Foster conducts more than a dozen tours of the farm during the spring. The success of the program has allowed her to now expand to offering tours in the fall, and I was joining for the last tour of the season.

Foster, whose father owns the farm, began by acknowledging that she wouldn’t have hurt feelings if the kids (or parents) plug their noses. She admits it’s stinky, but that is to be expected when over 3,500 cows call this place home. Foster then asks the group if they know what milk is good for. Almost every hand goes up, and the chosen student announces, “bones.” “That’s right,” says Foster. “Milk has calcium and vitamin D for strong bones.”

Foster then leads us straight to the where the action happens: the milking parlor. This room operates 24 hours a day to ensure each cow gets two or three daily milking sessions. Foster tells us that each cow produces roughly 10 gallons every day, and overall the dairy produces 16,500 gallons daily! “Can you guys drink all of that milk?” she asks. A few cheeky responders reply with a “yes.” Foster laughs and says, “Well, you could probably eat all of that ice cream!”

We move on to the maternity barn where the sounds of the milking machines can no longer be heard. The children are excited to see two newborn calves beginning to take their first wobbly steps. This gives Foster the chance to explain the life cycle of a cow on the farm. The kids are surprised to hear that cows don’t just grow up and give milk – like humans, they have to have a baby first. As the kids peer over the enclosures to get a closer look, parents begin raising questions for Foster. “Is organic better than conventional milk?” “Can you taste a difference between different brands?” Foster points out that all milk sold in stores is held to the same standards for safety and quality. In fact, there are 27 regulatory agencies that Rickreall Dairy works with to be in compliance.

Calf milk bottlesWe end our tour by moving into the barn that houses the calves. “Who wants to bottle feed a calf?” asks Foster. She is met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from kids and parents alike. The children each grab a bottle and file down the row of calves, who eagerly stick their head out in anticipation of the meal. The children giggle as the calves gobble all of it down, and the bottles are drained within minutes.

For most of these kids, and for me, this is the first time they have seen a dairy farm firsthand. The tours at Rickreall Dairy are a unique opportunity to help kids connect the farm to table concept. Their faces light up when presented with the idea that the cows they met today could be the same ones that made the milk in their fridge. For parents, they enjoy having questions resolved to help them make good choices in what they feed their children. As for myself, I loved gaining insight into food system production and hearing about what the consumers wanted to know. A huge thank you to Rickreall Dairy and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council for making this experience possible!

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