Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Omaha Adventure

This past weekend we had yet another dairy event here in Nebraska, Moo at the Zoo! It is an event held in Omaha at the Henry Doorly Zoo in partnership with the Nebraska Midwest Dairy Association. It is a fairly new event and I was pretty impressed seeing it for the first time.

Moo at the Zoo

Henry Doorly is one of the top zoo’s in the U.S. (depending on the person you talk to of course). But it really is impressive how progressive and realistic the zoo is. They are always pushing to do new things that no one else has done. But this last weekend was a sort of Ag weekend at the zoo. They brought in tractors and ag promotion groups (pork producers etc) to set up booths and interact with people. And they also set up a huge tent to bring some dairy animals in. They decided they wanted to bring six of the dairy breeds in for people to see and pet. So they had contacted my family about a month ago to get a Guernsey heifer, so we gave them one of my brother’s yearlings “Mini”. Mini was a twin, so she was a little thing, but the other twin was stillborn. My brother would let her out during chores and she would follow him around all afternoon so she became kind of a pet so we hoped she would be social enough to let people pet her.

Nebraska Dairy Princess with 'Mini' talking to
people about dairy

So as a member of the Dairy Ambassador program and a pretty active dairy advocate in Nebraska they asked me to work a few hours. So I convinced my sister, Andi, and brother Vin (Vince) to come to Omaha with me for the afternoon. So Andi and I spent Saturday afternoon just walking around handing out ‘I met a Dairy Farmer’ stickers to little kids, Vin kind of just walked around and stared at people (typical high school boy). We would use this opportunity to answer any questions about the cows or just share some fun facts with them! We got some pretty interesting questions like “Why are these cows anorexic?” or “This cow here (a Brown Swiss) has got to be an ox?” It was actually a really cool event to get so many inner city Omaha people out to see these cows and feel free to ask questions. It was also great that there were over 10 Nebraska dairy families that worked over the weekend talking to people, 60 people total. And it was also a great weekend to have it because the Olympic Swim trials were just a little ways down the road so there were some visitors at the zoo from that event.

Andi handing out stickers and talking to some little kids

Kids trying not to scare away the Holstein

The 'cheesy' sign outside the tent

Moo at the Zoo crew (from left): Vin, Andi,
Anastasia, Me, Emma, Emma's sister

Speaking of Swim trials, two of my favorite aunts (and an uncle) took me to the trial on Saturday night and holy smokes it was awesome!! Firstly these swimmers are sooooo freaking fast, it just blows my mind. Secondly some of the guys are incredibly good looking, I always appreciate a sport where the guys don’t wear shirts and don’t really need to haha. But I do have a favorite (I think he’s probably most girl’s favorites)  Ryan Lochte. But I was impressed with him for a couple of different reasons. One was that after he won one of his events he gave away his flowers, bear, and medal to random kids in the crowd. How awesome is that? Another reason is that on national TV he promoted dairy (it’s not hard to win over my heart haha). So that was a pretty cool experience, can’t wait until London!!

A couple fun facts for you!
- Henry Doorly Zoo draws 1.6 million people per year
-The swim trials had 167,000 people at 15 sessions in 8 days. A new record for the trials (yay Omaha)!


  1. As one of your "favorite aunts", I have to say how proud I am of you. I know that compliments are out of character for our family, so don't expect a whole lot more!!! Love ya!

  2. Mel, you are one of my favorite nieces!! JEAH, telling those kids how awesome Ag is.

  3. Melisa - another great post! Nice job!