COVID-19 has sent shockwaves throughout the dairy industry, as school feeding programs and food service markets have disappeared overnight. With millions of children out of school, Dairy Council of California — like many in the dairy community across the country — is adopting innovative approaches to ensure children can still learn about the importance of consuming nutritious foods like milk and dairy as a part of healthy eating patterns.
School children can now take a virtual field trip to a dairy farm, thanks to Dairy Council of California, California Milk Advisory Board and the Mobile Dairy Classroom — the original “farm-to-school program.” During the virtual field trips, students learn about dairy farming, including how milk and dairy foods are produced and the nutritional benefits of dairy foods.
First stop on the 45-minute virtual field trip is the Mobile Dairy Classroom, where students learn all about cows, from their anatomy to how they produce milk. Students can then zoom over to a real California dairy farm. There, students meet real farmers and see how dairy cows are fed and milked, learn how farmers care for their dairy cows, and discover the sustainability measures dairy farmers implement on their farms. Students also have the opportunity to engage with farmers and ask questions. Field trips, offered Monday through Thursday with two sessions offered each day, are available through June. To participate, register here.
Dairy Council of California is also offering a roundup of free online nutrition resources, including games, activities, and curriculum, as well as a variety of resources to teach agricultural literacy at home.
Community health is at the heart of Dairy Council of California’s values, and we believe the health of children, families, and communities is a top priority. We recognize the importance of mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19; and through technology, innovation, and creativity, we believe we can continue to help students learn from home and elevate their health by instilling lifelong healthy eating habits, which include milk and dairy foods.