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Students get cheesy education

Students get cheesy education

Lodi High School students separate the curds from the whey at Hilmar Cheese Company on Thursday as part of the cheese making activity. Pictured from left to right: Jessica Orejel, Rebecca Kinney a...

POSTED October 30, 2010 12:09 a.m.

Lodi High School students got a better understanding of the cheese making process Thursday during a new educational tour at Hilmar Cheese Company.

“It is interesting learning how to make cheese,” said Angelique Grady, sophomore at Lodi High School. “I never knew how to make cheese. I didn’t know so much whey could come out of cheese.”

The cheese making activity wasn’t only fun, it also taught students about how a food they eat everyday is made while following state curriculum standards.

“It is good to know how we get everything,” said Jessica Orejel, sophomore at Lodi High School.

Students in the fourth grade and above can participate in the tour and cheese making activity at Hilmar Cheese Company where they use the scientific method of observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, gathering data and finding a conclusion.

The activity integrates reading, writing, critical thinking, teamwork and decision making where food safety is a big focus along with nutrition concepts. The entire tour is about 90 minutes long and costs $3 per student.

Students also get to take a tour of the facility where they learn about different types of cows, the milk produced and how cows live.

On Thursday, Grady learned that cows live a comfortable life with cushioned mats and fans for a cool breeze.

“I have wanted to be a vet since I was 2 years old,” she said. “It is nice to know that people treat cows well and they are comfortable.” 

But the cheese making activity is just one of the school tours that Hilmar Cheese Company offers throughout the year. They also have a tour and ice cream making activity available for students in kindergarten through adult. The tour is also 90 minutes long with a cost of $3 per student.

School tours are available Monday through Friday in the months of January through October. Tour times start at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

For those who can’t afford the $3 per student, there are grants available at

The school tours are only available for students and staff and not open to the public. There is a public ice cream making activity open to everyone at 11 a.m. on Nov. 22 through Nov. 28 with Thanksgiving Day closed. It is also open to the public at 11 a.m. on Dec. 27 through Dec. 31.

To schedule a school tour, go online at and click “Visitor Center” and “Tours” or call 656-1197.

There are also free weekend public tours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2105.

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