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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom



National Dairy Month

June 18 is National Cheese Makers Day
Say Cheese!
Songs and Poems about Cows
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.
- by Ogden Nash

Milk comes from a cow's udder. It is produced after the cow gives birth to her first calf.

Milk was named Oklahoma's official state beverage on November 2, 2002.

Some common dairy cattle have markings that make them easy to recognize. Holstein cattle are probably the easiest to recognize because they are white with black spots. But dairy cattle, like beef cattle, come in many different colors.

In 2015, the average number of milk cows in Oklahoma was 40,000. Milk production ranked number 6 in value among all Oklahoma commodities, with a value of $181 million. The largest population of dairy cows in 2015 was in Tillman County.

Oklahoma dairy cows produced 697 million pounds of milk in 2014. The average Oklahoma milk cow produced 17,425 pounds of of milk in 2014.

Activity: Thumb Print Cows

Materials Needed: cow pattern, black or purple ink pad

  • Discuss: The most common breed of dairy cattle in Oklahoma is Holstein. Holstein cattle are white with black spots. Each cow's spots are unique, just as each person's thumbprints are unique.
  • Provide each student with a copy of the cow pattern.
  • Students will use the stamp pad to stamp thumbprints all over the cow pattern to make cow spots.
  • Students will color the cow's ears, face, tail and udder.
Writing Prompt

Write a metaphor for ice cream or use ice cream as a metaphor for something else.

Llewellyn, Claire, Milk: What's for Lunch, Franklin Watts, 2003. (Grades 1-3)
Coloful, high-quality photos complement the text and help tell the story. The book accurately depicts modern dairy production and processing.
Murphy, Andy, Out and About at the Dairy Farm, Picture Window, 2004. (Grades K-5)
Introduces calves, heifers and milkers with full-color illustrations and fact-filled text. Includes a topic-related activity, an index, a vocabular list and fun facts.
Peterson, Cris, Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More, Boyds Mills, 2007. (Grades PreK-2)
Clarabelle represents the average dairy cow in a modern dairy operation. The images depict a free stall cattle operation, a modern milking parlor, bulk tanks holding milk and the total feeding operation. Separate images identify the various components of Clarabelle's complete dairy ration. Includes a glossary.
Taus-Bolstad, Stacy, From Grass to Milk, Lerner, 2004. (Grades 3-5)
Simple sentences describe the process from cow to milking and processing. All the images are of modern farm equipment and modern processing operations. Includes a short glossary.