The Moo in Milk

Lisa Guglielmi

Lisa Guglielmi, area supervisor of the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm at the Milwaukee County Zoo, feeds corn to Elaine, a Guernsey cow. The Zoo has the only working dairy farm in the city of Milwaukee.

What do cows like to do at the Milwaukee County Zoo? Greet YOU with a friendly “MOO” and make MILK of course, too!

Did you know that the Zoo has its own dairy farm? You may be drinking some of its milk. It’s the only working dairy farm in the city of Milwaukee. And the farm is a place where you can learn all about cows and milk. Watch a real cow being milked! Play with Belle the Dairy Cow. She’ll teach you all about a cow’s anatomy, or body parts. Look for the giant milk, cheese and ice cream fence posts in the Munchkin Dairy Farm, presented by Northwestern Mutual Foundation.

Then bring dairy farm fun home with you and have a dairy party with friends! Lead friends in a milk-tasting science experiment. Discover some foods and drinks that contain cow’s milk. And take a look behind the scenes of the farm by reading the story you’ll find below.


The Milk Challenge

(4 people minimum)
Science can be both fun and delicious. Try this experiment at your dairy party. You, the host, can be the scientist and your friends can taste-test four kinds of milk. Can they tell which is which? It’s a milk mystery! Note: Ask an adult to take you to the grocery store to buy milk and cream.


  • 4 plastic cups (about 6-ounce size) for each taste tester
  • Permanent marker
  • Cartons of skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk and heavy whipping cream (preferably of the same brand)
  • Pen, paper and answer chart


  • Taste testers, line up 4 cups on table. Label side of each cup 1, 2, 3 or 4 with permanent marker.
  • Scientist, fill each cup ¼ of the way with a different kind of milk. Do not use the same order for all the testers. Write down on your chart which milk goes with which cup number for each person.
  • Taste testers, carefully sip each cup of milk. Get a good taste of each one. Write your milk guesses on the side of each cup. Use these labels: “S” for skim milk, “2%” for 2% milk, “W” for whole milk, and “H” for heavy whipping cream.
  • Scientist, check everyone’s answers with the answer chart.
  • Which type of milk was the easiest to guess? The hardest to guess?



Bonus Milk Challenge:

Can you guess the percentage of total butterfat in skim milk, 2% milk, whole milk and heavy whipping cream? Click here for the answers.



Tim, 4, licks a scoop of ice cream made from milk.

Tim, 4, licks a scoop of ice cream made from milk.

Dairy or Not?

Did you get a healthy dose of dairy today? Dairy products contain milk and give you lots of the calcium and protein you need. Calcium builds strong bones. Circle the foods below that do NOT contain cow’s milk.

  • Ice cream
  • Goat’s milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Cheese slices
  • Yogurt
  • Marshmallows
  • Sour cream

Click here for the answers.