By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Students Visit Dairy
Placeholder Image
Students enrolled in a dairy science class at Riverbank High's summer school wound up their book learning with a visit to a local dairy recently, the day before summer school closed for the season.

Summer school supervisor Olivia Vigil arranged the visit to the Vander Schaaf Dairy on Murphy Road near Escalon through family connections her family is in the dairy business. She got the help of Modesto Junior College student Rafael Sanchez who is majoring in dairy science and summer school leaders Karina Montoya and Carmen Sanchez.

Students saw a cow giving birth to a baby which they named "Dot" (for a mark on its forehead) and fed another recent newborn with a bottle.

Dairy owner John Vander Schaaf has some 1500 milking cows. In addition to watching the milking process, students met a Brahma bull; inspected a cornfield that contributes to the animals' feed, got to see their food carefully mixed for good nutrition and the arrangement of the animals' stalls complete with proper bedding so the cows' udders do not become infected.

They learned some signs a cow is pregnant such as a greenish tinge to the tail.

Vigil explained they even mimicked the action of milking a cow by putting a sponge inside a rubber glove with holes pierced in the finger tips so the milk would squirt out as they squeezed.

The 18 students ranging from sixth to 12th grade included Sergio Jimenez, Cesar Fernandez, Jesus Aguiniga, Javier Luna, Edgar Azevedo, Jesus Garcia, Jose Garcia, Rolando Carrillo, Tyler Williams, Esteban Reyes, Draven Walker, Raquel Colon, Giovanny Martinez, Theo Luu, Noe Garcia, Fabian Verdin, Lupita Rodriguez, Andres Gonzalez and Erwin Azevedo.