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January 31, 2014

Milk on the mind

Did you know that cheddar is the most widely-purchased and consumed cheese in the world?

Well, if you didn't, you could learn that little factoid and watch some cow milking at the Southwest Dairy Farmers setup at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

Stop by the Milking Parlor between Cattle Barn 1 and 2 and you'll find a group of mobile dairy farmers educating the public and providing some comedic relief.  

"We need to get back to the basics. Drink milk. Eat a little dirt. Build a fort. Go outside and get dirty," said Todd Griffin, a local Southwest Dairy Farmer. 

After meeting with the Southwest Dairy Farmers, you'll walk away with some interesting tidbits about milk such as: farmers near potato chip, chocolate and peanut factories often mix scraps of chocolate bars, peanut shells and potato chips with corn, hay and grass feed. 

The sweet and salty additives provide cheap protein for the cows, said Callie Umruh, a Kansas native and Southwest Dairy Farmer. 

While a 101.5 temperature would be cause for concern for humans, it's perfectly normal for cows. Fresh milk is sent to cooling tanks where it's cooled to 36 degrees before shipment. 

It takes no more than 72 hours to send that milk to stores where it is shelved and ready for purchase.

And what's more, chocolate milk is just as beneficial as regular milk. Just don't tell the kids.

– Monica S. Nagy

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