Wednesday, April 13, 2011

City kids to visit valley farm

From the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation:

Thirty-five Oakland middle school students will leave behind their urban surroundings for a day to explore an exciting new world of Central Valley agriculture on April 15.

The students are sixth- and seventh-graders from Roosevelt Middle School and Roots Academy in Oakland. They were selected because of their involvement with REAL Choices, a local youth intervention program. The field trip is a community-focused project organized and funded by Class 40 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP).

The children will travel by bus from Oakland to Hilmar Cheese Company, the world’s largest single-site cheese and whey products manufacturing facility. They will take part in a one-and-a-half-hour educational tour of the facility, including the cheesemaking process and hands-on exhibits. The company produces more than 1.9 million pounds of cheese and processes more than 2 million gallons of milk each day.

The students will then travel to the family-owned Clauss Dairy Farms in Hilmar to take a tour of a working dairy. They will meet dairy farmers, see cows up close and view the milking process. Clauss Dairy Farms has 3,500 dairy cows and is one of the suppliers to Hilmar Cheese Company.

“This field trip is an incredible and special opportunity to expose inner-city children to things they’ve never seen before in person, such as cows being milked, cheese being made and crops being grown,” said Dan Sutton, one of the CALP Class 40 fellows. “It’s also a chance for us in agriculture to better understand how these children tackle the challenges and issues they face.”

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