Roxy the cow stood patiently Monday as elementary students looked her over from head to hoof.
She came to Mildred Perkins School in northwest Modesto through a program sponsored by the Dairy Council of California.
Roxy stayed in her open-sided trailer as handler Heston Nunes described her anatomy, her care and the processing of her milk.
The third- through fifth-graders at the schoolyard lesson were impressed.
"I discovered butter that comes from milk," said Mikee Aquino.
"I discovered ice cream from cows," said Alfredo Villegas.
"I discovered they have 32 teeth," said Devin Smelo.
Roxy is a 4-year-old Brown Swiss borrowed from the Marchy Dairy near Ceres. At about 2,000 pounds, she is about 500 pounds heavier than the typical member of the breed.
The students got a surprise at the end of the lesson -- a chance to pet Cassie, a 2-month-old Holstein calf from the same farm.
The dairy council reaches more than 350,000 students a year with the program, which started in the Los Angeles area in the 1930s. Nunes and five colleagues work full time in various parts of California.
The program aims to promote consumption of milk, the top-grossing farm product in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and statewide.
"It's all a good source of calcium that you need for strong teeth and bones," Nunes told the students.
He described how Roxy's four-chamber stomach digests about 100 pounds of hay and other feed a day. He squirted a little milk from one of her udders, which provide about 10 gallons daily.
Nunes, who grew up on a Modesto-area farm that raises replacement heifers for dairy farmers, has been with the program for three years.
Roxy is one of half a dozen cows he uses in his presentations between Sacramento and Fresno.
"She's seen several thousand kids already, so she doesn't get too excited," he said. "Brown Swiss are pretty docile."
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2385.