Crops of Tri County Public School students got "mooving" with milk and agriculture events to "maximaize" awareness of farming in the community.
The school’s cafeteria was udder chaos on Wednesday as students were invited to dress like cows and try different milkshakes made by members of the Tri County Wellness Committee.
The committee, which is made up from two students from grades 7-12, made their own recipes for strawberry banana surprise, chocolate covered strawberry and chocolate mint Oreo milkshakes, and the winner received bragging rights.
“Besides pride and competition between the groups, its school pride,” said Randy Schlueter, Tri County superintendent. “It’s part of our culture to be inclusive of what makes up Tri County. It’s an ag community, and history-rich with parents and grandparents.”
Students’ grandparents were invited to have lunch at the school, so they had a chance to try the milkshakes as well.
Dave Barnard, Tri County’s agriculture education teacher and FFA instructor, said many of the grandparents are local ag producers themselves.
“I think that even in a rural community like Dewitt, our kids are one, two, maybe three generations removed from production agriculture,” Barnard said. “You wouldn’t think that. It’s very important that we keep educating where food come[s] from and the careers associated.”
Barnard mentioned that the average age for a Nebraska farmer is 55.7 years old. That’s younger than the national average of 58.3, but Barnard stressed the importance of bringing younger people into farming jobs.
The milkshakes were funded by Fuel Up to Play 60, an organization by the NFL and the Midwest Dairy Council that seeks to increase nutrition and physical activity in schools. Tri County was awarded $2249.00 from the grant to host events like the milkshake competition to encourage students to try new things.
The Wellness Committee was partnered with the Tri County FFA event, because the school was also celebrating agriculture week.
Barnard said the week provides “great opportunities for the FFA to promote and outreach into the community and elementary.”
The school held poster and cow coloring contests, which allowed the FFA to teach others about agriculture.
Due to the weather, Schlueter did not believe students would be able to participate in alternate transportation to school on Friday.
“Typically you’ll see our whole south parking lot be lined with tractors. Kids ride their tractors and ATVs to school,” Schlueter said.
Beetween the FFA and Wellness Committee, students learned how important agriculture is in Nebraska.