You may not realize the process of how that nice, big glass of milk made it to your table. Thanks to LiveWell Colorado and the Western Diary Association, I had the opportunity to tour a local dairy farm in July.
Milk is a common must have beverage. Believe it or not, dairy farms are actually very common here in Colorado. Some people think that the milk that comes from a single cow is unrewarding and therefore takes a while to get a lot of milk. However, that is not the case. Did you know cows can produce up to three and a half gallons of milk in just 15 minutes? That’s one big glass of milk!
The process of milking a cow is quite thorough. First, the cows are washed and prepared for milking. Then, workers milk the cows using electric milkers. Finally, the cows get washed again. Some dairy farms milk cows 24 hours a day, while others farms don’t. The dairy farms that milk all 24 hours can milk each of their cows up to four times a day! Not only is that good for the farm, it helps the cows, too!
Organic dairy farms cannot use any antibiotics if the cows are sick or are struggling, whereas cows at farms that don’t focus on being organic can use medication to help their cows. But don’t be fooled: just because they use antibiotics, doesn’t mean that they use them every chance they get. Antibiotics are only used if necessary, and even then they can’t use that cow’s milk for a while, and the cow’s milk is tested numerous times before brought to your table.
Speaking of your table, milk typically only travels, at most, 48 hours from Colorado’s dairy farms to your local super market. At last, your get to enjoy your big glass with any meal!
If you’re looking for something educational to do this summer, I highly recommend visiting one of Colorado’s many, local dairy farms. It’s a fun, informative experience.
Lauren is a sixth grader with a passion for writing. She loves skiing, biking, and drawing.