During a visit from a dairy cow and calf on April 5, students at Dailard Elementary learned firsthand the role of agriculture in the food supply, the journey of milk and dairy foods from the farm to the table and school cafeteria, and the importance of a balanced diet.
Dairy Council of California’s Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies bring a real cow and calf to elementary schools, agriculture days and fairs throughout California. These learning labs teach kindergarten through sixth-grade students about food literacy, milk and dairy foods, cow care on the farm, food groups, the milking process and agriculture technology. English-language arts, math and science are integrated into the lesson, which aligns with Common Core state standards.
Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies are provided at no cost to schools by Dairy Council of California, an organization supported by California dairy farm families and milk processors that strives to elevate the health of children and families in California through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits.
Mobile Dairy Classroom complements other nutrition education programs offered by Dairy Council of California, including free, in-classroom nutrition curriculum. When Mobile Dairy Classroom is paired with classroom lessons designed to build healthy eating behaviors from all five food groups, students can make a powerful food literacy connection.
“In an age when children spend so much time in front of screens, an in-person, hands-on learning experience with a cow and calf makes a lasting impact on children,” said Steve Miller, the Mobile Dairy Classroom instructor who taught the assembly at Dailard Elementary. “Learning about agriculture and nutrition in an interactive setting helps students appreciate the food in the cafeteria and California agriculture’s contribution to health.”
The connection to food literacy continues in the school cafeteria where Dairy Council of California and partners like California Department of Education and University of California Cooperative Extension provide technical assistance through the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, a program that encourages students to make better nutrition decisions by changing the way food choices are presented in cafeterias.
Today, Mobile Dairy Classroom reaches more than 453,000 students, with six instructors who travel to elementary schools, agriculture days and fairs throughout California. The assemblies are part of dairy farm families’ and milk processors’ efforts to give back to the community.