Create a seed starter from your milk carton
Check out this handy guide from Carton to Garden to get your own seedlings started!
Check out this handy guide from Carton to Garden to get your own seedlings started!
In light of distance learning, spring field trips have been cancelled, and all education has moved online. But, you can still visit a farm—virtually of course. Check out these links to see Oregon dairy producers (and friends) doing what they do best- making delicious dairy products for your fridge.
In this video, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Jaime connects us with Darleen from Abiqua Acres: Mann’s Guernsey Dairy in Marion County shows you their beautiful Guernsey dairy cows who are milked by robots! The camera even gets a kiss from the cow named Darleen.
Also in Marion County is Oregon 1st Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, who will give you a tour of her family’s dairy. Explore cattle feed, maternity pens and feeding calves with a special appearance from the cutest barn cat.
Next, travel to Harrold’s Dairy in Lane County to visit with Bobbi, a fourth generation dairy farmer who is introducing her dairy to 8th grade students at Coburg Community Charter School through AgLink’s Adopt a Farmer Program.
You can find more educational videos for your virtual classroom on the Oregon Dairy Women’s Facebook page, where Oregon’s Dairy Princess Ambassador, Jaime, and First Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, will teach you about all dairy cow breeds and cow nutrition, milk from farm to table, MyPlate nutrition, and so much more in this four part series.
You can view virtual tours for all grade levels from Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, including a look into Rickreall Dairy’s automated calf barn, and a lesson for Jr. High students on cow nutrition.
And, for more educational resources highlighting dairies across the U.S., check out Discovery Education’s new STEM curriculum.
Did you hear the one about the banker who was arrested for embezzling $100,000 to pay for his daughter’s college education? The judge asked him, “Where were you going to get the rest of the money?”
Jokes aside, the cost of higher education is no laughing matter, and every little bit of financial aid can make a big difference. Luckily, help is available if you know where to look … and you just found the right place.
If you’re interested in studying dairy or agriculture, you may be eligible to apply for one or more of these scholarships:
The college or university you attend may also have scholarships reserved for students in your specific field of study, so it is definitely worth checking. If you know of others we missed that should be added to this list, please let us know and we’ll add them.
In the end, choosing a career in agriculture should prove to be a very wise decision. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 60,000 job openings in agriculture annually, and only 35,000 graduates to fill them.
What do you get when you combine a fun and informative creamery tour with dairy farmers and princesses, and top it off with delicious cheese samples and ice cream? At the special Oregon Dairy Day event at Tillamook Creamery on October 20, you got 200 very excited Girl Scouts and family members. They were there to be among the first-ever to earn the new “Oregon Dairy” patch.
Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, in partnership with the Tillamook County Creamery Association and Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, designed this new patch program to educate girls about STEM concepts, farms and food production, and the Oregon dairy industry.
The patch program encourages Girl Scouts to learn through five hands-on steps: visit a dairy farm, discover how milk is transformed into dairy products, explore dairy nutrition, and learn about careers in the industry, from dairy farmer to food scientist to food marketer. The program concludes with a taste test.
Volunteers from the Tillamook staff, along with the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassadors, hosted interactive stations at the Tillamook Creamery Farm Experience Center to help the Girl Scouts earn their patch.
The first station featured a visit with local dairy farmers, Taryn Martin and Logan Lancaster. They were available to answer any questions the Girl Scouts had regarding milking, cow care and farm practices. “I really enjoyed the event,” said Taryn Martin. “When I was finished for the day, I had met parents and Girl Scouts from all over Oregon and Washington and was impressed at how far some of them had traveled for the experience and education. It was so much fun to answer questions from both the parents and the scouts!”
Girl Scouts also visited a station focused on nutrition and balanced diets. Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador First Alternate Megan Sprute explained how and why milk is a good source of calcium, nutrients, and vitamins.
To learn about different careers in the industry, the Girl Scouts conducted food science experiments, creating their very own yogurt flavor, complete with a variety of toppings (including edible glitter sprinkles)! They were also able to visit with a veterinarian to learn about cow care and a scientist to learn how to use a microscope to look for bacteria. The dairy scientist explained that all bad bacteria is kept out of milk.
The Girl Scouts finished their patch requirements by taking a tour of the Tillamook Creamery, where they watched the milk turn into cheese and the employees prepare packages for shipment. And of course, they were able to taste test samples of delicious Tillamook cheese and ice cream.
“The Oregon Dairy Patch program is a great opportunity for girls to discover the local food chain. It encourages them to be curious about where their food comes from, and what it takes to get it from the farm to the factory to their table,” said Lisa Gilham-Luginbill, Program Manager for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. “We hope they’ll learn something new along the way, and perhaps discover an interest or future career in the process.”
Fresh off of the school bus, wide-eyed youngsters set foot on a dairy farm for the very first time. They’re taking in all of the sights, and yes, the smells.
The farmer welcomes the students to her dairy and asks, “Do you know where milk comes from?
”Their most common answer? “The grocery store!”
This response shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that 98% of the U.S. population are generations removed from the farm. Tours are an excellent way to better inform and educate students about something that directly affects them and their families every day: where their food comes from.
“Most of the kids have never been on a farm. They have never seen farm animals in person,” said Melissa Collman, a dairy farmer in Boring, Oregon. “And even though our dairy isn’t very far away, we are miles apart as far as what they have experienced in life.”
As you might imagine, dairy farm tours can also be a source of humor, so we asked several Oregon dairy farmers and tour guides to tell us about some of the funny things they’ve heard or experienced while leading a tour.
JAMIE BANSEN, FOREST GLEN JERSEYS
Jamie and her dog, Olive, recently hosted a large group including students who had never set foot on a farm, let alone a dairy farm. Like a quick draw in the Old West, these middle schoolers quickly reached for their smartphones to snap photos and video along the way.
Students were amazed that manure is beneficial as a source of energy, bedding and fertilizer. “So wait, cow poop can make electricity and be sold for money?” a student asked. His serious question quickly devolved into laughter as a cow demonstrated the first step of that process.
After one of the girls expressed surprise about how quiet and happy the cows seemed, she decided, “I don’t want to go back to school. I want to pet cows all day.”
STACY FOSTER, RICKREALL DAIRY
Kids have told her they want to live at her dairy and become a farmer. They also want to bring calves home … until they’re reminded that they soon turn in to large cows.
“Some are amazed that we only have cows on our farm, since the only other farmer they know is Old McDonald,” she said. When the kids ask to see the other animals, like chickens, her answer makes the parent chaperones laugh. “Those animals don’t like to be milked, so they live on a different farm.”
CASEY SCHOCH, SCHOCH DAIRY AND CREAMERY
”Many of the kids ask to see the brown cows that make the chocolate milk, she said, but followed that it isn’t just the kids who ask funny questions.
“I actually had a mom ask me in all seriousness why we don’t milk the bulls,” said Casey, “I then tried to explain that similar to human females, only female cows have the correct parts for producing milk.”
MELISSA COLLMAN, CLOUD CAP DAIRY
Beyond the innocent and funny questions like whether boy cows make milk, Melissa expressed concern that students often echo some bizarre myths about dairy farming spread on social media and blog posts.
A student approached Melissa on a tour about rumors he heard about strange ingredients in milk. “So I milked a cow in front of this little boy, and he got to see for himself,” she said. “He was shocked.”
“It’s really important that we as farmers help educate consumers and future generations,” she said. “The funny questions and comments I hear on farm tours just reaffirm that any time we spend with the kids is time well spent.”
Catch a glimpse of some children discovering a dairy farm for the very first time in the video below.
This summer, School nutrition directors, teachers, and administrators from Oregon and Idaho toured Cloud Cap Farms as a part of a special event called the “Fuel Up to Play 60 Pro Bowl.”
The Pro Bowl was a two-day event for school wellness champions to learn more about promoting healthy eating and physical activity through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The tour was organized by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and Dairy West.
“The primary purpose of these tours is to dispel myths. And there’s the opportunity to ask any of the questions that you might have,” said Jenifer Cruickshank from OSU’s Extension Service.
The farm tour was led by Melissa Collman, a fourth generation dairy farmer. Cloud Cap Farms is an organic dairy located outside of Portland in Boring, Oregon. They milk 200 cows twice a day, and the farm has been in operation for 94 years.
As one of the Oregon Dairy Farmer Association’s Young Dairy Leaders, Melissa is an active “agvocate.” She has participated in many events promoting youth health and wellness, advocating for agriculture, and boosting awareness and support for dairy. She also works for Organic Valley, helping innovate and educate in the organic food system.
With a goal to help Pro Bowl attendees learn firsthand about food systems, and the farms and farmers who provide nutritious food and ingredients to their schools, Melissa shared about the importance of cow care to provide quality milk. “The healthier [the cow] is, the healthier her milk is,” Melissa explained.
“It’s amazing to see the care that all these cows get to make sure that the milk we are getting is safe and healthy and good for us,” shared Anne Leavens, the Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Central Point School District. “Milk is a huge part of our meal program,” said Leavens. “You don’t think about how much work goes into the food that we are getting every day.”
The Pro Bowl participants all agreed they learned more about food systems, healthy eating and physical activity strategies to share with students and staff at their schools.
“Anytime questions about milk, or even dairy cattle, come up, they’ve got a nice firm basis now to answer questions for other people,” said Cruickshank. “Because they can say, ‘I’ve been on a dairy, and this is what I saw.’”
A red plate set at the supper table is a time honored tradition among American families to recognize someone who deserved special praise.
4 years ago, OSU’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventative Health amplified that tradition to start the Moore Family Center Founder’s Red Plate Award. An award designed to recognize professionals who work to help individuals and communities live healthier through good nutrition.
This year’s Red Plate Award was given to Anne Goetze RDN, LD, FAND, OSU alumni and Sr. Director of Nutrition Affairs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC). But she humbly deflects the praise. “I have worked for dairy farm families for many years and am grateful for their commitment to healthy communities. They tend their land, animals and natural resources just as they tend their families, with love and an eye for the future.”
Anne has been committed to Oregon dairy farmers through ODNC for 28 years, educating the public about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. “We absolutely believe dairy products are an irreplaceable part of a healthy diet,” Anne says, “and we’re working to educate Oregonians about how they’re part of a sustainable food system.”
Anne’s work through ODNC influences the nutrition field through farm to table messaging. “It’s the choices people make that impact whether or not we’re going to have farms [in the future].”
An article written by Hanna Knowles, OSU’s assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, says, “Anne’s influence within the nutrition field is wide-ranging. She strives to be a relevant and strategic resource for dairy processors by helping them interpret consumer research, apply new nutrition policies and develop product innovations. She provides current and future dietitians with continuing education and is a conduit for health and nutrition education in Oregon.”
“I learned from the very best, from birth to today,” says Anne, “and I am very grateful to work for Oregon’s dairy farmers.”
It was a unanimous decision to honor Anne with the Red Plate award. Endowed Director of the Moore Family Center, Emily Ho said, “Anne leads with heart, dedication and infectious enthusiasm, which has activated countless others to join the cause of improved health in Oregon.”
by DeDe Poynor, Oregon State University Dietetic Intern
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.
Remember those old videos of Ed Sullivan introducing the Beatles? Well, it wasn’t quite that boisterous when the students of Martin Luther King K-8 School in Portland learned that they were selected to receive a brand new iPad Learning Lab. But it was close.
The donation was made possible through a charitable Jacksons Food Stores program called “Milk Builds Strong Schools,” which set aside five percent of milk gallon sales in stores throughout Oregon from October 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017. The program is supported by Dairy Farmers of Washington, Darigold and Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
The Learning Lab includes 10 new iPad Pro devices with Apple Pencils and a mobile cart that can store, charge, and sync up to 30 iPad devices. This was the second year a school in Oregon was selected, the fourth year for schools in Washington and the first year ever for schools in Utah and Idaho. Martin Luther King K-8 was randomly selected in a drawing of all public schools in Oregon.
“Our partnership with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council allowed us to create a campaign that benefits an Oregon school and promotes education through technology,” said Cory Jackson, president of Jacksons Food Stores.
Kiara Single, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador, participated in the assembly and helped with the big announcement. She shared some facts about dairy farming in Oregon with students, and said it was fitting that milk made the donation possible since this year marks the 20th anniversary of milk as Oregon’s Official State Beverage.
Each year, Oregon dairy farmers participate in a program called Adopt a Farmer through Oregon Aglink to help promote agriculture through educating middle school students. Five Oregon dairy farm families are currently participating in this year’s program giving students the opportunity to experience a dairy farm firsthand.
The five dairies include:
In addition to offering tours of their farms, these dairy farmers visit their adoptive classroom two to three times throughout the school year to engage students in the science behind farming. They participate in activities related to soil, water, conservation, irrigation, genetics, the farm-to-table continuum and economics.
Learn more about one of Oregon’s dairy farmers, Melissa Collman of Cloud Cap Farms and her participation in the program.