Brenna Nowak, a fourth grade student from River Falls, is the statewide winner of the Agriculture in the Classroom's essay contest. Wisconsin fourth and fifth graders were asked to write a 100 to 300 word essay with the theme, "If I lived on a dairy farm, I'd want people to know that…"
Brenna is the daughter of Dale Nowak and Michelle Rivard. Gina Holter is Brenna's fourth grade teacher at St. Bridget's School in River Falls.
A total of 1,953 Wisconsin students wrote essays for the competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board/Wisconsin Dairy Council, Foremost Farms USA and We Energies.
The finalist from each of Wisconsin Farm Bureau's nine districts across the state will receive a certificate and educational resources for their teacher and a classroom presentation on Wisconsin agriculture. Those finalists include:
District 1 – Macayla Church, fifth grade, Williams Bay Elementary, Williams Bay (Walworth County)
District 2 – Matthew Ryherd, fourth grade, Sacred Heart School, Reedsburg (Sauk County)
District 3 – Devon Schmitz, fifth grade, St. Mary's of Assumption School, Richland Center (Richland County)
District 4 – Morgan Becker, fifth grade, St. Peter and Paul School, Independence (Trempealeau County)
District 5 – Kayla Doll, fifth grade, Home School, Mt. Calvary (Fond du Lac County)
District 6 – Owen Simonar, fourth grade, St. Mary's School, Luxemburg (Kewaunee County)
District 7 – Benjamin Schmidt, fifth grade, St. Paul Lutheran School, Bonduel (Shawano County)
District 8 – Christy Nutt, fifth grade, Hill Road Home School, Phillips (Price County)
District 9 and State Winner- Brenna Nowak, fourth grade, St. Bridget School, River Falls (St. Croix County)
Farm Bureau's Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation's largest industry: Agriculture. Wisconsin's Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.
The Winning Essay:
If I lived on a dairy farm, I'd want people to know that…
By Brenna Nowak
St. Bridget School, River Falls
If I lived on a dairy farm, I'd want people to know that there are many things to consider to properly run a successful farm. It's a lot of work, but it can be fun.
Proper care for the animals is the most important. Good food, such as ground feed, haylage, baled hay and silage, is the basis of the cows' diet. When feeding them, they must get the right amount of food throughout the day. Young calves get milk from a bottle. As they get older, they eat hay and corn and drink water.
Caring for the animals also means that you must tend to them when they get sick. Sometimes you call the vet to get medicine to make them feel better.
To keep the cows healthy, you must keep them clean. You clean out the stalls each day and you need to clean out the old feed and manure. This can be put out into the field for nutrients for the crops.
Cows are usually milked in the morning and at night. The milk goes through a pipeline to a big tank. You must keep the pipeline and the tank clean so bacteria doesn't grow.
The main reason for a dairy farm is to provide milk. You sell the milk and it goes to a plant to be pasteurized and then people can buy it in stores. The milk also is used in foods like cheese, butter and ice cream.
I would like people to know that dairy farms are very important and can be a great place to live.
Source: Wisconsin Farm Bureau