Bowman students spend time with bovine friend

Dairy Council hopes to teach about origin of milk and nutrition, instructor says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Some local students got a lesson in all things cow and milk in Auburn Tuesday. The Dairy Council of California’s Mobile Dairy Classroom visited Bowman Charter School with Milky Way, a 5-year-old cow. The organization’s two assemblies covered information about cows, milk production and nutrition with lots of interaction from the kids and a chance to pet Milky Way at the end of the presentation. Kimberlee Youman, mobile dairy classroom instructor for the council, talked with students about the cow’s digestion, including how food travels through the four compartments of one stomach, and eventually turns into milk. Youman explained the different parts of the cow and made the students laugh when she mentioned the cow can stick out its tongue and clean out its nose. Youman also demonstrated the milking process and made kids squeal when she squirted some in their direction. Connie Wilson, who teaches the special day classes at Bowman, said she first heard about the assemblies through what she teaches in her classroom. “I utilize their curriculum that is for nutrition,” Wilson said. “I just happened to e-mail a contact with the Dairy Council, and she said they did offer assemblies.” Youman said both the curriculum and the assemblies are free. “I think they will have a greater knowledge of where their food comes from,” Wilson said of students attending the assemblies. “With the funds that are being cut to education, it’s really wonderful they offer this free of charge.” Third-grader Caylee Smith, 8, said she had never seen a cow that close before. “I think it was really cool seeing a cow and petting it,” Caylee said. “It felt really soft.” Third-grader Kendra Pearson, 8, said she also enjoyed having Milky Way on campus and that she learned several things. “Because no pets are allowed at school, so it was kind of cool to see a real life cow, because I have never seen one,” Pearson said. “I learned that the milk was warm, not cold, when it comes out. I liked how she named her Milky Way, and I didn’t know that they barfed (food) back up and chewed it again. And I learned they have four pockets (in their stomachs).” When Youman started talking about milking, how to do it and that dairy machines are used to milk cows, all students, and some of the adults, made the milking motions along with her. “I want them to know that milk does not come from the grocery store … and the healthy benefits of milk and why they should be drinking milk,” Youman said after the assembly. Sixth-grader Nick Pierce, 12, said he also learned several things during the assembly. “I thought it was great to learn where we get (milk) from,” Nick said. “I thought the nice part was knowing that they don’t (milk) by hand, they do it by machine. I thought it was great to learn that she already had three babies and she was going to have a fourth.” Cameron Lentz, 11, also a sixth-grader, said seeing a cow on campus was “kind of awesome” because it’s not something you see every day. “I think it made all the kids know where their milk comes from,” Cameron said. Third-grader Alexander Figueroa, 8, said he thought the cow felt soft when he touched it and he was surprised to learn that cows can swat flies with their tails. Youman said the Mobile Dairy Classroom has been around since the 1930s and originated in Los Angeles. Wilson said she was very happy with the assemblies. “It was great, and the kids were very responsive and very engaged, which is nice,” she said. Reach Bridget Jones at ---------------------------------------------------- For information about the Dairy Council of California and the Mobile Dairy Classroom, visit