Enterprise observes World School Milk Day

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Got milk?

     Enterprise Attendance Center celebrated World School Milk Day Wednesday with arts and crafts, milk mustaches and a live calf at the school.

     World School Milk Day has been observed in the United States and elsewhere for 13 years, but this was the first time the occasion was marked at a Lincoln County School, according to Lincoln County Schools Child Nutrition Supervisor Tommy Wallace.

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     Its purpose is to celebrate the importance of milk in children’s diets as well as recognizing the farm families that work hard to provide dairy products. Southwest Mississippi is known as the “Milk Pitcher” of the state, as Walthall, Lincoln, Amite and Pike counties produce the most milk of any region in the state.

     “It was important to celebrate because milk is healthy,” Wallace said about school milk day. “It’s good for calcium and bones.”

      Wallace said milk day encourages students to drink more milk and also helps the dairy association.

     Enterprise Attendance Center hosted Tippy, a 7-day-old calf from Ard’s Dairy in Ruth. Kindergarteners were able to come out and pet Tippy and see the calf up close.

     A dairy-themed art contest was also held at the school, with additional contests to be held before the end of the week.

     Students from Molly Goldman’s intro to agriculture class won the art contest by building a “cow” from pieces of metal and welding them together. They then painted the cow with maroon and yellow spots, Enterprise’s school colors.

     Enterprise Principal Shannon Eubanks said the day had multiple purposes.

     “Students learned what goes into dairy products,” he said. “It allowed them to see where milk comes from and it goes along with child nutrition. It’s better for children to drink milk than soft drinks. We hope this helps push milk with the students.”

     Eubanks said Wednesday’s lessons will go beyond the walls of the school.

     “It also helps push our economy and the dairy farmers and introduces the children to that,” he said.”

     Pat Ard, of Ard’s Dairy, said he has been in the dairy business since 1972, with his family being involved since the 1940s.

     Ard said his dairy milks about 165 cows twice a day and produces 18,000 pounds of milk per cow per year. He said he wanted to help educate children about dairy products.

     “I hope we were able to teach the kids about dairy products and where they come from,” Ard said.

     Eubanks said the event went well and he hopes he can continue it in the future.

     “Staff members are always excited about pushing things that get kids excited,” he said. “It also lets students focus on animals and helps develop well-rounded students. I believe how people treat animals are how they treat people when they get older. That’s a life lesson.”

     While only Enterprise held World School Milk Day events this year, Wallace said he believes the event can grow in the future.

     “We’ll expand it next year and do two or three schools,” he said. “Within three years, I think we’ll be able to have something at all four county schools.”