Farm Fun Day at High Mountain Meadows

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On Wednesday, July 24, 4-H was treated to a Farm Fun Day at High Mountain Meadows farm. High Mountain Meadows is a working goat dairy and USDA certified cheese-processing operation located in Clay County. Donna Gains, owner and operator, took participants on a tour of the milking room and cheese processing building.. Youth were treated to a glass of goat’s milk and Donna explained the stages the milk went through to become cheese. They saw the pasteurizer and the piece of equipment that kept records of the process. They learned that it takes a gallon of milk to make a pound of cheese. Nothing is wasted in the process. Even the whey is used as part of a green process to fertilize the grazing pasture. (Whey is the liquid leftover from making the cheese.)

 The goat herd has been growing this summer. Four new kids were born in July. Small enough to be held, the participants were able to hold and pet the new arrivals. The group walked with the goats to the grazing pasture and the toured the rest of the property where they saw potatoes, corn, fruit trees and berries growing.

 In addition to goats, Donna raises rabbits, free range chickens and provides a home for two horses. The youth met the other animals and were able to spend time learning how to brush a horse and hold a rabbit.

 After completing a round of goat trivia and lunch, there were a lot of laughs from an interesting game of charades. The best part of the visit resulted in our youth learning about the source of food and what it takes to produce it. Food is not just something that shows up on the grocery store shelf.

 If you are interested in having your child participate in 4-H, please call the Clay County Cooperative Extension Office at 828-389-6305 or come by and visit us at 36 Davis Loop, (in the old sheriff’s department building across from the Old Jail Museum.

To see pictures from our event, go to this link:  http://youtu.be/WG8DzUl50No  or visit Clay County 4-H facebook page.