What Grade is Your Milk?

Milk inspection

    Have you ever heard people talk about dairy foods in terms of what grade they are? For example, milk is often labeled "Grade A." You may have wondered what this means. Depending on how a dairy farmer runs his/her operations, the milk is labeled a certain grade. Grade A is the term used for the highest quality milk, Grade B for the next level, and so on. In order for a farmer's milk to be considered Grade A, certain rules set by the government must be met. Inspectors come out to the farm to make sure that all of the equipment and milk are kept sanitized and the cows are in good condition. Thus, a farmer must spend time making sure that everything is clean.

Moo Wonder icon Moo Wonders
  • A good dairy cow gives about 6.25 gallons of milk each day; each gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds. If a cow produces milk for 10 months (305 days) and rests for two months, how many pounds of milk does she give in a year?
  • One dairy farmer produces enough food to feed 10 families year.
strawWith a partner, call or write a letter to your local dairy processing plant asking for information about the various grades of milk, and share your findings with the rest of the class. Some questions you may want to consider:
  • How many grades of milk are there?
  • What are the differences between the different grades?
  • What are the uses for the different grades of milk?
  • Who regulates milk quality?


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