Friday, July 25, 2014
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Justifying that ice-cream craving

As National Dairy Month comes to a close, the Marshak Dairy, located in the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, offers some bovine insight that could milk interest in dairy products.

Justifying that ice-cream craving

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A calf at New Bolton displays an expression that just might be an invitation for guilt-free dairy consumption.

As National Dairy Month comes to a close, consider some factoids  about the local industry, courtesy of the Marshak Dairy, part of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The university's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, known for its state-of-the-art animal care, is home to a herd of 200 hard-working milking cows.

  New Bolton's Marshak cows eat 65 pounds of corn silage and 10 pounds of grass haylage per day - a diet that pays off handsomely.

Nationally, the average cow produces about 55 pounds of milk per day; at New Bolton, that number jumps to 70 to 75 per day. Wonder if that gourmet silage plays a role?

Producing all that milk generates a healthy thirst: each Marshak cow drinks 30 to 50 gallons of water each day, enough to fill a normal bathtub.

An experiment in feeding pasteurized waste milk to calves - an effort to decrease costs and maximize efficiency - resulted in heftier, healthier cows. A 38 percent national pneumonia rate, for example, was cut to 13 percent.

On a hot summer day during National Dairy Month, is there a better way to celebrate all that labor  than with a locally-made ice cream cone? La Michoacana in Kennett Square is an easy drive. It even has a Facebook page in case you want some flavor recommendations: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/LA-MICHOACANA-HOMEMADE-ICE-CREAM/159725455662. Bovine bon appetit!

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About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or awhelan@philly.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aubreyjwhelan.

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