This past month, The Education Channel visited Hereford High School in order to see part of my role as the Maryland Dairy Princess. I met with the producer, Mr. Todd Porter, who was extremely excited. We began in the main hallway of the school. During a break between classes they recorded me as I distributed promotional items and responded to questions. Both the video camera and my crown intrigued students. It is uncommon for a fellow student to be on television or wear a crown.
After the hallway cleared, I gathered my materials for the next activity. A teacher allowed me to visit his class for my Three Servings of Dairy Everyday Challenge. I created this test last year as the Upper Chesapeake Dairy Princess. The administration enjoyed it and asked me to return this spring. Student volunteers took on my Three Servings of Dairy Everyday Challenge. Three boys began by tasting unidentified milk. They chose between fat free, 1 percent and 2 percent. Two of them guessed correctly. After the milk, three different students were blindfolded and tasted the cheeses. Only one girl was able to identify extra sharp cheddar, Swiss, Muenster and mozzarella. She was not provided with any of those names. Yogurt was the final challenge. The flavors were original, raspberry, peach and strawberry. The students enjoyed tasting them and asked for seconds “just to make sure they were certain.” This taste test enabled me to explain to students that dairy products come in many different varieties. All these delicious products are nutritious. I encouraged them to purchase different flavors than usual or one they tasted that day.
From Hereford, Mr. Porter, his assistant and I traveled to my farm in Maryland Line. I also changed from my heels, dress, crown and sash to boots and jeans. I told them “this is where the milk truly comes from.” They were amazed. I demonstrated how to use our automatic milkers and answered all their questions. I explained the process from a calf to a milking cow and then milk’s path from cow to our cooling tank to the milk truck. They asked about farming, and I told them farmers are fans of recycling. They use everything to its fullest potential. They also use well-managed fertilizing practices in order to take care of the environment.
Once the visitors left, I remembered how lucky I was to show off my farm and tell the crew what I do. Many children do not understand the journey milk takes. These fantastic experiences have encouraged my proud presentations of the dairy industry.
Editor's note: the video can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/BaltCoPS
-- Renee Wilson, 2011-2012 Maryland Dairy Princess