Old MacDonald Has a Cow at the California State Fair Kaiser Permanente Farm
Old MacDonald Has a Cow at the California State Fair Kaiser Permanente Farm

Dairy Council of California adds education component with award from CalAgPlate Grant Program 

Five Food Group California Agriculture Mural Dairy Nutrition Education UnitSACRAMENTO, Calif., April 3, 2018/PR Newswire/ — April is National Garden Month and what better way to celebrate than at the 3.5-acre California State Fair Kaiser Permanente Farm.  A new dairy station has been added to spring and fall school tours of The Farm this year.

Milk is California’s top agricultural product, and nearly 20 percent of the nation’s milk supply comes from California. Since dairy makes such an important contribution to California’s economy and provides many health benefits for schoolchildren and adults, a dairy station has been added to The Farm tours. The curriculum includes the importance of dairy consumption and dairy farming. Kids also experience hand-milking a cow with “Cali” the mechanical cow, generously donated by the California Milk Advisory Board.

“California leads the nation in the number of unique products our farmers and growers produce,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture. “We are delighted to know that the AgPlate funds were put to good use ensuring that our schoolchildren get access to dairy education and nutrition at The Farm.”  

Last year, over 3,800 elementary students participated in tours of The Farm with their teachers, parents and siblings, with even more attendance projected for the 2018–2019 school year. Spring 2018 tours of The Farm run from April 9 to May 17 and fall tours from September 10 to October 18. Educators interested in school tours of the California State Fair Kaiser Permanente Farm should visit the website at CAStateFair.org/FarmTours/.

“This addition really compliments the students’ experiences at The Farm and enhances agriculture education for K-6 students.” said Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager at California Exposition and State Fair. “We are grateful for the CalAgPlate Program and Dairy Council of California for this welcome addition.”

“National Garden Month is a great time to visit The Farm, and the new dairy station is a prime example of how Dairy Council of California seeks to educate California’s children and parents more times and more ways,” said Tammy Anderson-Wise, CEO of Dairy Council of California. “This nutrition education and agriculture experience will help children value the efforts that go into producing the milk they select in the school cafeteria and at home, while understanding its contribution to a healthy, balanced diet.” 

The dairy station will also be set up in the Baby Barn at the upcoming 2018 California State Fair, July 13–29.

Dairy Council of California developed the dairy unit at the California State Fair Kaiser Permanente Farm thanks to a grant from the CalAgPlate Grant Program. This program uses funds from the sale of specialized agriculture-themed license plates through the California Department of Motor Vehicles to promote agricultural education and leadership activities for students at the kindergarten through 12th grade, post-secondary and adult education levels. Visit CDFA.ca.gov/eGov/CalAgPlate/ for details.

ALERT TO MEDIA: On April 23, 2018, media are invited to join Secretary Ross and students from Elk Grove Unified School District for a tour of The Farm and dairy station. Contact Sara Floor, Dairy Council of CA at 916.263.3560 or SFloor@DairyCouncilofCA.org for more information.

About Dairy Council of California 
For nearly a century, Dairy Council of California has empowered stakeholders, including educators, health professionals and communities, to elevate the health of children and parents through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. Funded by California's dairy farm families and local milk processors, Dairy Council of California's science-based nutrition education resources, Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies, training programs and online tools reach millions in California and throughout the United States. Learn more at HealthyEating.org.