Friday, August 31, 2012

The Cow Says Moo

Hannah Holstein at the Minnesota State Fair
Day 4

Caution! People Crossing

John and I spent the afternoon sharing our stories and experiences of dairy farming, and answered many questions too. We volunteered at the Moo Booth at the Minnesota State Fair. The Moo Booth gives farmers the opportunity to volunteer to inform and educate fair visitors about dairy farming. It's our way of connecting with consumers to hear what their questions and concerns are, and it gives consumers a chance to meet a dairy farmer face-to-face.

Young fair-goers spin the Moolette Wheel
What does a cow say? Where does milk come from? These were some of the questions I asked young fair-goers that stopped at the "Moolette Wheel" in the Moo Booth. I got a lot of questions about our farm, "How many cows do you have? Where do you live? Really, there is a farm that close to the city? Do you help milk the cows?" (120, Hastings, Yes, and Yes!)

Dave and I got the detectives started on their search.

After tending the Moolette Wheel, I also took a turn at the C.S.I. (Cow Scene Investigation) station. Here Dave Weinand, from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and I greeted folks to the Mooth Booth and handed out trivia question forms which were a list of questions about dairy. The answers could be found throughout the booth. After a little detective work the fair visitors brought the forms back for us to check and discuss their answers, and of course there were prizes! What a fun way to learn the basics of "cowology."
John discusses the milking process
 John spent his afternoon talking with visitors at the Milking Parlor. People were asking about how the drought is affecting farming. Others wanted to know the current milk price, and others asked questions about proper, safe handling of milk. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm consumers have for our products, and the concern they have for the farming industry. John also enjoyed the retired farmers that stopped by to reminisce a bit.

After our volunteer time, we headed straight to the Dairy Goodness Bar. Hannah Holstein voted for twist cones and neither John or I argued with that decision!

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