Local dairy farm provides breakfast for students

Klaria Holmes, Staff Writer

Students got a taste of local sausage and dairy on Sept. 30 when the Brown Family Dairy business brought the breakfast items from their farm to the school.

“It was an easy decision. We want our children of the community to know where they can get fresh local milk in their county,” said Shane Brown of Brown Family Dairy via email.

Brown, who is new to the business, joined to help out his brother and sister-in-law.

“I got into the Brown Family Dairy business about a year ago just helping part-time. This is my brother, Billy Ray, and my sister-in-law, Paula’s business. He asked me about four months ago to come on board full-time. I do the sales part and the delivering and I milk the cows on the night shift,” Brown said.

Unlike most traditional dairy farms, Brown doesn’t homogenize their milk, leaving the cream in their whole milk. According to www.dairyfarmingtoday.org, the process of homogenization is “reducing the size of the fat globules into minuscule portions that are dispersed evenly throughout the milk. Homogenization usually is achieved by pumping milk through small openings under very high pressure.”

“I was contacted by a friend that said Oxford School District was interested in possibly trying out our local fresh milk, so I went by and visited with Mr. Tim Howington,” Brown said. “Plus, we as local farmers love knowing that our children in the school systems have the knowledge and access to fresh, local foods.”

Tim Howington, the Director of Child Nutrition, saw a large increase in the amount of students that attended breakfast.

“For the month of September, we averaged serving 325 breakfasts per day. On Friday, September 30th, the morning of our ‘Lafayette County Hot & Spicy Sausage Breakfast’ promotion, we served 393 breakfasts, a 21% increase in the number of breakfasts served,” Howington said.

Howington believes that having a local breakfast will help benefit the students of OHS as far as behavioral problems and test scores go.

“There is ample research available that supports the theory that students do better in school when they eat a good, nutritious breakfast,” Howington said. “After a good breakfast, kids concentrate better, do better on tests, and are less likely to have discipline problems.”

Sophomore Laniya Flemons, who ate the farm breakfast, found a favorite among the local foods that the Brown Family Dairy group brought.

“I liked the sausage,” Flemons said.

Howington is looking to continue to bring local farm foods to the schools each month in the future.

“Developing and maintaining working relationships with local farmers is very important to our program. Therefore, we would like to run a new Farm-To-School promotion each month highlighting our usage of locally-procured fresh produce,” Howington said. “Ms. Eleanor Green, Director of Good Food for Oxford Schools, leads our Farm-To-School Program.  She has done a good job connecting with local farmers and bringing fresh local produce to our school cafeterias.”