Alice in Dairyland visits Sauk Trail

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Approximately 60 fourth-graders at Sauk Trail had  the opportunity to learn about "Mapping out a Healthy Wisconsin" with an interactive classroom lesson delivered by Alice in Dairyland on Monday, Jan. 30.

The lesson plan was developed by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) and the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

Ann O’Leary, Wisconsin's 69th Alice in Dairyland will led the interactive lessons as part of the Dane County Alice Blitz. The lively trivia game format highlights the impact of agriculture on the state's economy and quizzes students on 16 healthy food choices grown or produced in Wisconsin.

O'Leary spoke to students for more than 30 minutes. Among the facts she shared:

  • 1 in 9 adults in Wisconsin work in agriculture although not all are farmers.
  • The state's dairy industry generates $43.4 billion in annual economic activity.
  • The state produces more than 600 varieties of cheese.
  • Wisconsin is the No. 1 producer in the United States of carrots, cranberries, cheddar cheese and green beans.
  • There are more cows in the state than there are children in schools.

"We are enthusiastic about this proven educational program," said Laura Wilford, director of Wisconsin Dairy Council (WDC).  "Mapping out a Healthy Wisconsin" is a fun, action-packed fourth grade classroom presentation.  It's structured to complement the basic grade level Wisconsin curriculum and to expand students' knowledge about agriculture and nutrition."

"Mapping out a Healthy Wisconsin" challenges students' mathematical skills by
teaching, for example, that the state's dairy business generates $43.4
billion in annual economic activity and the dairy industry produces more than
600 varieties, types and styles of Wisconsin cheese.  In addition, students
learn the health benefits of many of their favorite farm products such as
milk, cranberries, potatoes and green beans.

O'Leary is scheduled to give the same presentation to Northside fourth-graders on Wednesday afternoon.

Alice in Dairyland is a one-year, full-time public relations professional employed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Alice in Dairyland travels more than 40,000 miles annually throughout the state, promoting Wisconsin agriculture to various audiences, including 10,000 fourth-graders. O'Leary is a native of Evansville and graduated from Carthage College in 2014.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, a non-profit organization funded by the dairy farmers of Wisconsin, promotes the consumption of milk and other dairy products.  Wisconsin Dairy Council is the nutrition education department of WMMB.