PITTBSURG — Jitterbug is a dairy cow and she came to visit Westside Elementary School on Monday.
She pretty much eats what she wants — oats, tortilla chips and her favorite, Oreos.

SouthWest Dairy Mobile Dairy Classroom Instructor Callie Toews shared with the students facts about cows, some which may be surprising to people — such as the treats.

Jitterbug can drink a whole bathtub full of water a day and has four stomachs. The students watched her chew her cud, which is partly digested food returned from her first stomach for further chewing.

One of Jitterbug’s important duties is to have a baby, otherwise she wouldn’t have milk to give, Toews said.

Toews said dairy cows, like Jitterbug, can produce enough milk for four calves. That is why Jitterbug is milked often because her calf only needs approximately four to five gallons.  

There are different ways Jitterbug can be milked, the most common at her farm is by an automatic robot which allows cows to freely decide when they want milked. It also measures things like temperature and the cow’s milking frequency.

At the SouthWest Dairy Farm, Jitterbug’s calf goes to calf daycare. When calves get older they go to cow kindergarten.

Not only did Toews share facts about cows, she shared about the different career options in farming. These fields can go from designing tractors to veterinarians.

The SouthWest Dairy Farmers mobile classrooms travel nine states, and are headquartered in Texas. The presentation is free of charge for all schools.
“They feel like it’s the best way to educate people, to do it right in front of them exactly the way we do it on the farm,” Toews said. “Kids don’t get to see a live cow a lot of the times, so it’s great to bring one with us and show them the exact process that goes on at the farm to give them those products.”

On Monday, kindergarten through fifth grade at Westside had the opportunity to learn about Jitterbug, and watch her chew her cud and be milked.
"We would like to thank the Southwest Dairy Farmers for spending the day with us,” Westside Principal Ann Lee said. “Many of our students have never seen a cow up close.
“This mobile lab allowed our kids to experience how farmers milk a cow and learn how milk goes from the farm to the table. It was a wonderful opportunity for our kids."
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.