Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Got Milk? These Kids Know; They Take Part in Real Milking Demonstration

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Got Milk? These Kids Know; They Take Part in Real Milking Demonstration

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Staff writer

It was unquestionably a moo-ving experience.

Little 5-year-old, blond-haired Chloe Snyder said it was also thrilling and "a little warm and ticklish."

It was an opportunity recentlyfor kids to milk a cow in front of the commissary grocery store at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station off Roosevelt Boulevard on the Westside.

"I thought it would be oohey-gooey, but it isn't," said Chloe as she she squirted a small stream of watery milk into a bucket. "It actually feels kind of dry. All I know is I want my own cow and I want it now."

A few youngsters got to milk a large, black heifer during a milking demonstration "to let kids far removed from agricultural society know where that milk they put in their cereal really comes from," said Scott Wallin, a spokesman for the Dairy Farmers Inc., one of the event organizers.

But dozens of youngsters seemed just as thrilled by petting the impossibly cute, 3-day-old calf resting beneath a big shade tree nearby. Adults, too, were so enamored of the big-eyed calf that the oohhhing and ahhhhhing reminded one spectator of reactions to a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Larry Bentley, director of the base commissary stores, said the official purpose of the demonstration was to "enhance awareness of the nutritional value of milk" and milk products.

"I guess it's partly a chance to educate the kids," he said. "But let's face it, it was just fun for kids to see these beautiful animals up close. They had a blast."

Darryl Register, who owns the D&D Dairy farm in Baker County, provided the cows and demonstrated a stainless steel mechanical milking device for the kids.

He and son Garrett Register attached suction cups to the cow's udder and flipped the machine on. Almost instantly white liquid began flowing through clear plastic tubing to a receptacle.

He said that on his farm he mechanically milks 24 cows at a time, three times a day, getting about six to seven gallons of milk per cow per day. …

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