State Fair's Dairy Lane shows the hard work that goes into Wisconsin's billion dollar dairy industry
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin is proud of the agriculture, especially when it comes to dairy. That is obvious at the Wisconsin State Fair. Dairy Lane is a whole section of the fair with multiple cattle barns and even a product pavilion.
You can see both sides of the process from milking a cow to drinking that pasteurized milk.
"It really gives people the opportunity to see how cows are milked and taken care of." said Nicole Barlass, president of the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotion Board.
You can see cows from calf to adulthood, and learn about how they're cared for with an interactive exhibit.
Exhibitors with the 4H programs from around the state work hard from dawn to dusk prepping their cattle for shows and competitions.
For exhibitors, being around and taking care of cattle is an everyday thing, but for many people it's not.
"So for them to come up and actually see how big a dairy cow is, yet how docile she is-- she's usually calm. The ability to pet the cows and the calves and learn more about them is so fun."
There are four milking demonstrations a day at the parlor.
And a stop by the product pavilion shows you the finish product of all the dairy farmers hard work. Everthing sold inside is made in Wisconsin and the proceeds from grilled cheese and milkshakes goes towards supporting the 4H exhibitors. But there's more than dairy inside.
"A lot of people maybe don't know all of the wonderful things we have in Wisconsin. Maybe you grew up in the city and you don't get to see the cranberry marshes, so to actually see that come to fruition-- we see the products that come out of those cranberries, we see the juices" said Jennifer Verhulst, a customer service representative at the Wisconsin State Fair. "It's a wonderful thing for us that maybe don't get a hands-on or a good look at those products."