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Driving Miss Minnie; Cow moos her way into the hearts of Roosevelt students
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Roosevelt School kids in Hoisington watch while Miss Minnie the cow is milked. No one is allowed to touch her to keep germs away. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

HOISINGTON — Miss Minnie travels the state in the comfort of a 30 foot trailer, teaching kids about where ice cream really come from. She doesn’t get car sick either, but lays down, snacks on hay, and enjoys the ride.
“Moo, moo,” Miss Minnie said to the kids when they arrived, walking from Roosevelt School. She is a five-year-old Jersey cow.
“Good morning Miss Minnie,” the kids said.
Callie Unruh, instructor for the Mobile Dairy Classroom, chauffeurs Miss Minnie around the state. She teaches the kids facts about the source of milk, and while one may buy it at the store, it takes a cow to make it.
As the distance between the farm and the table grows larger, kids today have less of a connection to farm animals, and Miss Minnie provides kids the opportunity to see a cow in real life. She tours at no cost to the schools by the Southwest Dairy Farmers.
Unruh whose family owns a dairy farm and who recently graduated from college, said that she thinks her generation was among the last to have contact with a family farm.
And so, 276 Hoisington kids learned how dairy products makes strong muscles, bones and teeth, offering nine essential vitamins and nutrients.
“Drink your milk,” Unruh advised. Telling the students to hold up three fingers, she said, “Three is the magic number. That’s how
many servings we need daily.”
Later, she reminded them once again to hold up three fingers-something that they will probably remember the rest of their lives.
Unruh told the kids that they can get three servings through yogurt, cheese and milk.
The kids saw a live demonstration of a machine milking a cow and the cleaning process necessary for safety- no “ews” allowed.
Miss Minnie is milked twice a day, and the milk comes out at 101.5 degrees and is quickly cooled. In 72 hours, the milk is in the store-never having been touched by human hands.
Although fit, Miss Minnie eats 70 pounds of food a day and drinks an entire bath tub full of water each day.