||Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by Zoey Brooks
Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115
Wisconsin Cattleman's Conference
Feb. 20, 2015
Tonight I attended the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s and Cattlewomen’s Association Winter Conference to help host “Beef Challenge Trivia”. Although most in the room were directly involved with Wisconsin’s beef industry, there was something new to learn for everyone.
Try your hand at these few questions: “What is a steak cooked to 145 degrees considered?”, “What are the three USDA Grades?”, and “Fresh ginger, pineapple, kiwis, and figs are all considered natural what?”. If you guessed “Medium Rare”, “Prime, Choice, Select”, and “Natural tenderizers”, respectively, you’re correct!
It was great to talk with our state's beef producers and learn more about their operations and family history. All of these producers take great pride in their livestock and strive to provide customers with the best possible product. Learn more about Wisconsin Beef here!
Taste of Wisconsin
Feb. 17, 2015
Local Brown County businesses were recognized and agriculture was celebrated tonight at the 2nd Annual Taste of Wisconsin. This event, showcasing local area restaurants that incorporate Wisconsin products in their menu items, was put on by Brown County Dairy Promotions WI and UW Extension.
I teamed up with WNCY's Charli Mckenzie (who I grew up listening to in the mornings!) to share fun agricultural facts with attendees throughout the evening. Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Diana Schleis, also made her first official appearance at the event!
Events such as these reiterate the importance of buying local and supporting local agriculture and area businesses. These efforts keep money right here in Wisconsin and help to provide all of us with the Wisconsin way of life. If you're looking for a place for lunch or dinner this week, choose to support a local business and local agriculture in your area!
Milwaukee Public School Blitz
Feb. 13, 2015
Today marks the final day of my weeklong school blitz in Milwaukee. I visited with 17 Milwaukee Public Schools and shared with them many of the foods our farmers grow in Wisconsin and how each of these foods provides important nutrients to our bodies.
As Milwaukee is a very urban environment, this was a great opportunity to teach these students about our agriculture industry and where their food comes from. For many of these students, it was their first exposure to how food is produced in Wisconsin. As Alice, it is so rewarding to see the light bulbs go on for these students when they make a connection as to how one of the foods they enjoy everyday is produced.
Members of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board were also out and about in classrooms this week and we totaled visits to over 30 Milwaukee schools. Together, we reached more than 2,000 students. "Mapping Out a Healthy Wisconsin" will travel next to Waukesha County schools in just two weeks!
"Do Cranberries Grow in Water?"
Feb. 08, 2015
This is a question I'm often asked by 4th grade students as we discuss Wisconsin's state fruit. Cranberries growing in water is a common misconception as these bright red berries are most visible during the fall harvest season, floating in bogs across Central and Western Wisconsin.
Cranberries, in fact, do not grow in water. They grow on low-lying vines in slightly acidic soils. The water comes into play during harvest season to float the berries upward on their vines. Four distinct air pockets in a cranberry make the berry buoyant for easy harvest.
I shared this fun fact outside of the classroom this morning with NBC 15's Morning Show. Even though it's not harvest season here in February, it's still important to share how these cranberries were grown, harvested, and processed to be available for delicious recipes year round!
Taking Cranberries Beyond Thanksgiving
Feb. 03, 2015
The start of February kicks off the start of my Cranberry Campaign across Wisconsin to share the nutritious, and delicious, benefits of our state fruit!
I visited WKOW, WNFM, WDRB, and WPDR this morning to share with listeners and viewers how to take this berry beyond the Thanksgiving table. Juice, wine, and sweetened dried cranberries are popular ways to easily enjoy cranberries. They are also versatile for many different recipes, especially those for sweets and baked goods. Because cranberries are naturally tart, they help to balance the sweetness of these desserts for a delicious treat!
Cranberries are also packed with antioxidants for heart and immune health and contain high levels of polyphenols and hippuric acid that have antibacterial effects for the body. Stay tuned to learn more about cranberries throughout February!
American Dairy Science Association - SAD
Jan. 31, 2015
I had the great opportunity to speak to over 500 Dairy Science students from across the Midwest at the Student Affiliate Division of the American Dairy Science Association's annual convention this evening.
UW-Platteville served as the host school for this year's convention, highlighting Wisconsin as America's Dairyland. As the keynote speaker, I encouraged all of the students to be proactive instead of reactive when advocating for the dairy industry. By sharing their own individual stories on a daily basis, these students can help share the entire dairy industry's story.
It's safe to say that the future of the dairy industry is in good hands with these students. It was great to be surrounded by a group of young people who are so passionate about dairy and want to be a part of the industry in the future!
Taste of Elegance
Jan. 29, 2015
The Wisconsin Pork Association hosted its 27th Annual Taste of Elegance during the Corn and Soy Expo in the Wisconsin Dells tonight. Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition that features eight local chefs who prepare unique pork dishes to highlight pork as a versatile meat for their menus.
I emceed the event and was able to personally interview each chef on the entrée they prepared for the evening. I was also able to taste test my way around the event- every entrée was award winning in my book!
Congratulations to Chef Mitchel Weber of Piggy's Restaurant and Blues Lounge in La Crosse for taking home the night's top honor, Chef Par Excellence. His entrée, "Azzimato Maiale", a coppa salami wrapped filet of pork, accompanied by braised pork cheek agnolotti and a roasted pork demi glaze, also took home People's Choice Award.
Kick off of Dane County School Blitz
Jan. 23, 2015
Today marks the start of my first school blitz of the year. I will be visiting 23 different 4th grade classrooms in Dane County throughout next week- a total of 1,326 students!
Kegonsa Elementary in Stoughton was my first stop this morning. I met with 4 classes and took them on a road trip around the state of Wisconsin, making stops in certain areas of the state that are known for producing a certain Wisconsin product. This fun, interactive trip is part of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's "Mapping out a Healthy Wisconsin" presentation.
I also made a stop at Highpoint Christian School in Madison to visit with 4th graders. At the end of our road trip, every student came away learning a new product that Wisconsin produces and where in the state it's produced.
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Contact the Alice In Dairyland Program at:
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115