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ELC third-graders learn about farming

By Staff | Sep 12, 2008

Third-grade teacher Theresa Nerem talked about corn to students that included Tyson Moeller and Trevor Friesner, right. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

If you’re going to the fair, you had better know what you’re looking at.

That’s why Estherville Lincoln Central third-graders had a briefing session Thursday before their trip to the Clay County Fair Friday.

Lisa Schmidt talked about cattle in her presentation, “Wow that Cow! or What cattle do for our lives and world.

Schmidt offered some interesting facts about cattle. One was that glue, lipstick and baseball gloves all come from cattle.

Calves are weaned at about six months. If a mother cow doesn’t have enough milk because she has twins or doesn’t claim a calf or if she dies, calves then have to be bottle fed.

Just as cattle work hard to turn grass, hay and corn into milk or meat, people don’t waste any part of the cow during processing. Leather is made from hides and makeup from fat. The bones are used for glue, marshmallows, and Jell-O.

Mrs. Theresa Nerem talked about corn and had the students unscramble words that had to do with raising corn.

Mrs. Nerem said there are 25,000 corn plants on an acre, or a piece of land the size of a football field. Each bushel of corn has 90,000 kernels.

Corn is used to make tires, paint, glue, windshield washer fluid and other items. While sweet corn is used for human consumption, field corn is fed to livestock and used to make other products for humans.

About 25 percent of corn is exported and 60 percent is fed to livestock. Antarctica is the only continent that does not grow corn, she said.

It takes 150 bushels of corn to produce fructose for 61,950 cans of soda. The average American consumes the equivalent of three to four pounds of corn or corn products a day, whether or not we realize it. In our lifetimes, each of us will eat 45 football fields of corn and corn products.