July 3, 2008

A-FAN open house a success

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska -- A-FAN -- was one of the sponsors at an open house at Prairieland Dairy near Firth last Saturday. This is a really fun event that allows people to see how a real dairy works -- and what it contributes to the community. This was the fifth open house for Prairieland, which milks about 1,300 head.

There was face painting, milk mustache photos, a corn pile to play in, a hay bale castle, petting zoo, semi tractor rides and a free lunch (with milk and ice cream, of course!).

Tours of the milking facility and barns were fascinating. Did you know electronic ankle bracelets keep track of cow movements? If a cow takes a lot more steps than normal, it's time for her to be bred. Or that within minutes, milk from the cow is cooled from 102 degrees (cow temperature) to 34 degrees and loaded onto a truck? This keeps the milk fresh. And tasty.

If you've heard of A2 milk, you're familiar with Prairieland, as this is where it's produced.

A-FAN handed out green backpacks that included a lot of information on the importance of the livestock industry to Nebraska. Good stuff. This is a shot of the food tent and some of the crowd.

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