Celebrating dairy: Individuals, organizations donate to school lunch programs

Brookwood FFA members Hanna Brey, Dylan DeWitt and Nate DeWitt deliver milk in Ontario. (Contributed photo) 

Brookwood’s Dylan DeWitt and Nate DeWitt take part in the milk challenge. (Contributed photo) 

Brookwood FFA members Franklin Wildes, Cora Brandau and Alyssa Ottum get ready to deliver the chapter’s milk donation. (Contributed photo) 

Royall FFA Treasurer Katelyn Klipstein delivers milk donated by the Royall FFA to families in the Royall School District. (Contributed photo) 

Royall FFA members challenge the Royal Bank to donate milk to the Elroy Food Pantry. (Contributed photo) 

Donations raised by the Wallermans are set aside for the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District. (Contributed photo) 

A flurry of dairy donations has been made to local schools over the past few weeks. The following are some examples of how local groups and farmers are directing dairy products to kids.

Ridgeville Holsteins Two raises donations

What dairy farmer would not prefer seeing their product in the tummies of hungry children rather than seeing it dumped on the ground?

Amanda and Doug Wallerman of Ridgeville Holsteins Too were able to avoid that unpleasant experience recently. The Wallermans sought donations from the many suppliers they work with on their farm. With that money, they purchased milk from Grassland Dairy. Working through the Valley Ville 4-H Club, which Amanda leads, they were able to donate 900 gallons of milk, 225 pounds of cheese curds, 217 pounds of cottage cheese and 150 pounds of butter to the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District food program.

Help for packaging also came from Nordic Creamery in Westby and from Grassland. Amanda said she hopes to continue the project if the school proceeds with a summer food program.

The following local businesses and individuals gave donations so that dairy products could be included in N-O-W meals for five weeks: Ridgeville Holsteins Too, Doug and Amanda Wallerman, Retzlaff Transport, Preston Dairy Equipment, Rite Spot Bar & Grill, Monroe County Holstein Breeders, Sparta Dental Center, Deer Creek Dental Clinic, Star Blends, Zoellick Home Repair, Joshua Goede, Fred and DeAnne Kepler, David and Wanda Cline, Carrol and Mary Wallerman, Bryan Stremcha, Dinger’s Ag Repair, DeWitt Show Pigs, Buff’s Quality Hoof Trimming, Account 4 It, Pierce-Vale Farms, DNA Real Estate, Green Repair, Herricks Enterprises, Tomah Large-Animal Vet Clinic, St. Joseph Equipment, Valle-Ville 4-H Club, Keith Giraud, Dora Lanier, Lyda Lanier and Sullivan Custom Farming.

Kendall area farm families donate to schools

Six farm families near Kendall purchased 250 pounds of butter to donate to the Royall and Wonewoc school districts. Jeannie Jones organized the effort, and Rich and Mary Houzner, Ken and Mary Cook, Brian Friske, Garrett Nielsen and Ron and Patty Leis contributed toward the purchase. All of the farmers ship their milk to Grassland.

Jones said she was inspired by the recent FFA milk challenges and wanted to find other ways to promote dairy.

Each family in both school districts received one pound of butter.

Royall FFA donates milk

The Royall FFA has participated in two milk challenges this school year, the first of which has been ongoing since the end of January, and the other just occurred a few weeks ago.  

 The FFA’s first milk challenge was called “The 8-Gallon Milk Challenge” because that is how many gallons the Elroy Food Pantry goes through each week.  It started on Jan. 30, when the Royall FFA donated 8 gallons of milk to the Elroy Food Pantry. 

The Royall FFA challenged Royal Bank, which donated the next week.  Each week, a different business is challenged to donate the milk, and then that business challenges someone else. 

Since January, the challenge has gained the support of individuals in the Elroy and Kendall communities who want to donate milk.  The following are businesses and individuals who have donated to date:  Royall FFA, Royal Bank, Miller Heating & Air, Waterman Auto Body, Lindemann Hauling, Inc., Brown Bus Service, Bardo Custom Blending, Elroy Kwik Trip, Sprinkman’s,  Lynette Vlasak and Sally Dana, the Kendall Lions Club and Linda and Terry Parrish. 

Donations are scheduled to be made by Joyce Finucan, St. John’s Lutheran Church and 3 Sisters Treasures of Kendall. 

Adviser Beth Kolodzinski said, “So the challenge is still going strong, and we hope to keep it going for a long time.”

 In the second challenge, the Royall FFA purchased 89 gallons of milk and donated and delivered it to the families in the Royall School District who are receiving school meals.

Brookwood FFA does milk challenge

The Brookwood FFA did a milk challenge “as a way to support our dairy farmers during this pandemic, but also to provide nutrient-dense dairy products to our families that were receiving meals through the lunch program,” said adviser Bailey Hart. “(We were) essentially helping farmers and our community all at once.”

The FFA purchased its milk through Kwik Trip in Tomah, donating 135 gallons.

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