WINNEQUAH, Wisconsin (WXOW) - In this segment of Wisconsin Dairy News some students at Winnequah Elementary are learning where their favorite foods come from.
Alice in Dairyland is using an interactive program developed by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the State Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection to teach 4th graders across the state.
Katie Wirkus, 64th Alice in Dairyland says, "Here in Wisconsin, Dairy Farms are very important to our state. Each year they contribute over $26.5 billion dollars to our state's economy."
Every year Alice in Dairyland heads to classrooms across the state to teach kids the importance of agriculture and the dairy industry in Wisconsin.
"I learned that before milk is made into cheese it has to have stuff added to it," says one student.
And when it comes to cheese, most students are surprised to learn that Wisconsin has…
"Over 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese!"
These fourth graders are learning about all the food that Wisconsin produces, and it's not only the students who are learning.
"Even just watching the presentation today I learned a ton of things that I didn't know before," says one 4th grader.
Learning about where their food comes from is not only giving these kids a boost of knowledge it's giving them a sense of pride in their state.
Another 4th grader says, "It makes me proud because I live here, and it makes me proud because I'm part of Wisconsin!"
And technology is helping as well!
Katie Wirkus says, "The Smart Board makes it more interactive and we can show different pictures and also the video. The students love to see the video that comes up whether it's milking the cow, whether it's how cheese is made."
Whether its technology or meeting Alice in person, these kids are definitely learning the importance of Wisconsin's dairy and agricultural traditions.
"The fact that we study Wisconsin in fourth grade, they really do start to take a sense of pride from their state and where they come from."
Although Katie Wirkus' reign will end soon, the new "Alice" will take over and continue to spread the economic impact of Wisconsin's dairy and agricultural heritage.
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