The only listener at story time who wasn’t sweating in the heat last week was Tiny, a 900-pound jersey milk cow. Tiny has soft brown skin, large eyes and a long, long tongue. Like others cows, Tiny doesn’t sweat, even though she drinks enough water to fill a bathtub each day to tolerate the Texas summer.
We don’t get many four-legged visitors to the library, but last week Southwest Dairy Farmers brought their mobile dairy classroom to the library for story time.
A traveling milking parlor, the classroom trailer carries Tiny, a large TV monitor and milking equipment. Trained instructors use the mobile classroom to show children how to milk a cow and how milk goes from the farm to the consumer.
When Tiny eats well, consuming 90 pounds of grass, corn and hay each day, she can produce 100 glasses of milk. Ninety pounds of food is equal to 210 baked potatoes!
Kaylor Campbell, a new graduate of Tarleton University, has transported Tiny to more than 20 libraries this summer.
Kaylor is a sweet-faced blonde with a wholesome smile that fits her job as a milk promoter. Tiny and Kaylor travel throughout Ellis, Johnson and Navarro counties providing complementary educational presentations for libraries and schools.
Tiny’s ears perked up and moved in response to the children’s questions about whether the milking machine made her uncomfortable. “No, she likes it!” Kaylor explained. And, in response, Tiny’s soft brown eyes closed in pleasure as the four automatic nozzles attached to her began to pump fresh milk into a clear glass jar.
Images on the outdoor TV screen explained how math, science and nutrition are all part of the dairy industry.
The Mobile Dairy Classroom is a division of the Southwest Dairy Museum, Inc., a nonprofit, educational program funded by dairymen across the Southwest.
Kaylor and Tiny represent one of 14 mobile dairy classrooms that drew more than 800,000 people in several states during 2011.
During her lifetime, Tiny could produce about 200,000 glasses of milk.
The kids watched, udderly fascinated, as Tiny produced squirt after squirt of pure, creamy milk. Tiny stared back with a look bovine indifference.
The Summer Reading club continues each Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. Circus tickets and reading prizes are available to all who participate. Family friendly movies are scheduled at 2 p.m. each Wednesday.
Zooniversity, Percussionist Mark Shelton, the Midlothian Police, and Bernadette the Bubble Performer are scheduled throughout July and early August for story time.
Please call 972-775-3417 for more information.
Susie Casstevens serves as the librarian for the AH Meadows Public and High School Library. Contact Susie at 972-775-3417 ext 1061 or visit the web at library.midlothian-isd.net