Students at Kennesaw State University got an up-close view of where their milk comes from, thanks to an amenable bovine named Molly. The black-and-white, 3-year-old cow from Sandy Creek Dairy in Watkinsville was in an air-conditioned trailer near the school’s Campus Green to raise awareness of the Great American Milk Drive, which helps families in need receive milk.
Registered dietitian Lanier Dabruzzi with the Southeast Dairy Association said about 20 percent of the population in Georgia doesn’t get enough to eat. While a healthy diet has three servings of milk a day, Dabruzzi said needy families typically only get a gallon of milk a year.
“Milk is one of the most requested foods in food banks, but it’s rarely donated because of its perishability and refrigeration issues,” Dabruzzi said.
She said students who donated about $5 would help guarantee a family struggling with hunger receive a gallon of milk.
However, Molly’s milk was for demonstration purposes only because it was not pasteurized or refrigerated, according to Nicole Karstedt with Georgia’s Mobile Dairy Classroom.
Karstedt, who grew up on a dairy farm in Madison, showed students how a cow is milked by hand — a process she said would take about an hour to do — and then hooked Molly up with a machine that pumped milk into a large glass container.
She shared facts about dairy cows and milk production, including the fact cows are milked two to three times a day, netting about four gallons in a single milking, and that they have calves about once a year. If they didn’t, the cow’s would stop making milk, something she says often surprises people who watch the demonstrations.
“They just think they just start making milk,” Karstedt said.
Junior Crystal Terry took time to pet Molly. The journalism major said she was surprised how often cows are milked and learned “how the different kinds of milk are made.”
Karstedt said the fat is initially separated from the milk, then certain percentages are added back in, such as 2 percent milk or lowfat milk, which is 1 percent.
Melissa McMahon, the assistant director of marketing for KSU’s culinary hospitality services, said she it “just made sense” to invite Molly to the university and participate in the milk drive because students care for and are involved in the community.
She also said KSU “works closely with the Southeastern Dairy Association because KSU locally sources its milk as well as other local and organic products.”
Meanwhile, Karstedt said it is important to remind people “milk doesn’t just come from the store.”