The celebration started early as Cafeteria Manager Angela Lamb held a milk carton decorating contest and taste testing party featuring various dairy products during the school's breakfast period; several students and their parents were active participants in these fun events.
During lunch, Purity's "Pint Man" and Marshall County Super Hero "Mighty Milk" visited the students and distributed dairy-themed pencils and stickers. Lamb even created various stations throughout the cafeteria to help students learn more about the importance of dairy foods in a nutritious diet.
The school invited local Marshall County dairy farmers to have lunch and visit with the costumed students, who were dressed as cows and farmers. The farmers also paid for an extra carton of milk for every student who wanted one for lunch that day. The hungry diners finished their lunch with a special dessert of "Cow Pie Patties" (otherwise known as chocolate oatmeal cookies and ice cream).
The daylong celebration concluded with a school-wide assembly honoring local dairy farmers Jason Gillespie, Jonas Gillespie, John Daniel Allen, Jimmy Ogilvie, Phil Westmoreland, Jerry Gentry, Duane Floyd, Jeff Ragsdale, Andy Miller, Tony White, Tommy Roberson, Leo Strasser, Rosemary Strasser Heaton, Brianna Strasser and Danny Strasser's wife, Cara June Strasser. A surprise guest, Janice the Jersey cow, greeted the students along with her local dairy farmer family, the Strassers. The students cheered with delight as Janice entered the gymnasium and took her place in the spotlight; many of the students had never been that close to a real cow. They will certainly remember this experience for many years to come.
Local dairy farmer Jason Gillespie spoke to the students about life on a dairy farm and the importance of fueling up with milk for strong bones, teeth, and muscles. He taught the students a new chant: "Pour - One - More!" which the students repeated over and over as the other dairy farmers looked on with pride. Michael Jeans of Murfreesboro Pure Milk spoke about milk production. Marshall County Mayor Joe Liggett and dairy farmer/Tennessee Dairy Association President Tony White judged the students during a mooing contest, baby bottle drinking contest and best costume contest.
The highlight of the day was when CHES principal Dean Delk and assistant principal Dawn Kirby faced off in a milking contest. Each principal stood on opposite sides of Janice, and the children cheered them on as they milked the cow. Delk narrowly beat Kirby, but it was easy to see who the real winners were at the end of the day...the students.
The children had a great time and learned so much about the benefits of drinking milk and making dairy products a part of their daily lives. Milk is not only important to the health of children, but also to the business health of our local dairy farmers.
World School Milk Day is an international event that highlights the importance of milk in schools and the dairy farm families who work hard to provide this nutrient-rich beverage. For more information about
WSMD, visit www.southeastdairy.org.