More than 2,000 people had loads of dairy fun at The Great Dairy Adventure July 17 at the Michigan State University Pavilion in East Lansing. They learned how milk travels from the farm to their table within 48 hours.
Families, children on field trips from daycare centers and summer camps, and the general public had the opportunity to milk a cow, create art projects and enjoy free dairy treats while learning about the nutritional importance of dairy in their diet. A highlight for many was the ability to pet a dairy calf.
“Each year, the entire dairy community works together to bring this free event to mid-Michigan, adding new activities and expanding on favorites,” says Carla McLachlan, program and events manager, MSU Department of Animal Science. “Families had fun participating in the Fun Runs, creating dairy crafts and enjoying dairy foods.”
Learning, fun for consumers
Michigan is home to nearly 1,400 dairy farm families who care for their cows each day. Michigan dairy farmers and dairy community members who hosted the event also shared details of how they care for cows, what they love about dairy farming, and they answered questions about dairy farms and milk. New this year was an “Ask a farmer” booth, where attendees could talk directly to Michigan farmers.
“As a member of a Michigan dairy farm family, I appreciate that the Great Dairy Adventure provides another avenue for us to share our passion,” says Jolene Griffin, United Dairy Industry of Michigan director of industry relations. “It’s an opportunity to connect directly to those who purchase the dairy foods we provide and show them how we care for our animals.”
Heather, a mother of two, had this to say about the event: “What I like about the Great Dairy Adventure is that the event gives us, as a family, a chance to learn not only where our milk comes from, but how it’s processed. We learned about things like cleaning the equipment, what the dairy cows eat, and how big the cows actually are up close. When you don’t grow up on a dairy farm, there are so many things you don’t think about, besides where milk is in the store. Great Dairy Adventure helps to give us a small glimpse into a very important industry.”
Watch for details on next year’s Great Dairy Adventure at milkmeansmore.org
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