Irvin Acosta-Arizmendi, Lexton Pham, and Mckenzie Dissinger from Mrs. Groharing’s third grade class at Oregon Elementary are making cottage cheese through an Ag in the Classroom activity.

Farmers share ‘The Art of Cheesemaking’
Oregon third grade students recently visited a beef and dairy farm. Thank you to Snodgrass Dairy and Nordman Feedlots for opening up their farms and sharing their farming experience with these students!
In order to prepare for their tours they learned more about beef and dairy cows. To find out more about dairy cows students discovered how cheese is made. They heated milk, added rennet, and lemon juice.
The acidic nature of the lemon juice caused curds to form. Along with curds there was a liquid called whey. The curds and whey were separated. The curds were put in the refrigerator for students to try once they cooled.
This activity was used to demonstrate the practice at a cheese factory. At the factory milk is pasteurized, a starter culture and rennet is added. After the curds form, the whey is separated. The whey is shipped to other food processors and used in candy, ice cream, and bakery goods. The cheese is cut into small pieces, and put into a mixer filled with hot water. The cheese melts into a big mound. The blocks of cheese are put into forms to cool. They look like loaves of bread. Finally they are put into a salt brine bath.
Agriculture in the Classroom is a program to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society. Students learn that thousands of farm products are in the world around them—on their plate, in the clothes they wear, in the medicine that makes them well, and in earth-friendly fuels and plastics.
Ag in the Classroom is offered through the University of Illinois Extension in partnership with Ogle County Farm Bureau, Carroll County Farm Bureau, Carroll County Soil & Water, and Ogle County Soil & Water.
For more information about the program, call the Ogle County Extension Office at 815-732-2191 or visit the Extension website at

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