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Got Milk?

Students, Friends and Family stormed the Linn County STEM Festival despite Iowa Weather!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) and Linn County Farm Bureau Education Outreach co-hosted a booth at the Linn County STEM Festival, an evening focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Linn County STEM Festival was brought to us in partnership by Southeast Iowa STEM Region, Cedar Rapids Community School District, Kirkwood Linn Regional Center and Workplace Learning Center.

The annual festival offers community members the opportunity to experience STEM careers through hands-on breakout sessions, activity booths and conversations with local experienced professionals.

Our activity, “Got Milk?” focused on the dairy industry. Students used conventionally pasteurized 2% milk and Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk to observe how different temperatures (room temperature, cool and freezing) affect the growth of spoilage bacteria. Students also learned about the importance of quality control and pasteurization in keeping food safe.

Pasteurization is a heat treatment performed at the milk processing plant which destroys harmful bacteria without affecting the quality of the milk. Milk may be pasteruized to kill bacteria using a low heat method (145*F for 30 minutes) or a high heat method (162*F for 15 seconds).

UHT milk is heated to at least 280*F for 1 to 2 seconds, then packaged in sterile, airtight containers, making it shelf stable.

During the activity, students had the opportunity to compare the taste of fresh 2% to fresh UHT milk.

Did you know? Bacteria can grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This range of temperatures is often called the “Danger Zone.”

Processes like pasteurization and UHT are put in place to destroy harmful bacteria. By using technology, we can extend the life of our milk products.

Show what you know quiz:

1. What is a young female dairy cow called? A) steer, B) Bull, C) heifer or D) sow?

2. What does gestation mean? A) pregnancy, B) digestion, C) grazing or D) nutrition

3. What kind of animals chew their cud? A) dairy, B) bovine, C) ruminants or D) pigs

4. What does pasteurization mean? A) to kill bacteria by quickly heating and then cooling, B) allowing cattle to graze freely in a pasture or C) the process of putting milk in containers?

5. Which of the following is NOT a breed of dairy cattle? A) Holstein, B) Guernsey, C) Capybara or D) Brown Swiss?


1) C

2) A

3) C

4) A

5) C

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