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Montclaire residents enjoy udderly educational visit

Haydn James resident with MP James Newbury

Montclaire aged care home recently played host to some ‘dairy fine’ visitors in an immersive educational morning tea as part of the innovative STEM program developed for residents.

It was all hands-on deck as Buttercup, from ‘Animals on the Move’ in Gembrook gave residents a chance to experience in-person cow milking and butter making.

Resident Hadyn, who grew up on a farm near Deniliquin with six dairy cows, particularly enjoyed the morning.

As someone who has always loved cows, and knew how to pacify them, he was able to provide some expert assistance to local MP James Newbury on how to milk a cow.

“When I was a child, I started to help milk the cows in the morning, it was just what you did growing up on a farm. You were always up early to do chores,” he recalled.

“You always should talk to a cow before you milk it - it helps keep them calm and know who you are.

“After we milked the cows, the milk would then go into larger storage containers for home use and for pick up. I also remember Mum sometimes separating the milk and watching the cream come up to the top.”

Lifestyle services coordinator Julie Roppola says the idea was born from some residents not being able to eat certain dairy foods, and missing items such as soft cheese.

“I thought as part of our STEM education we could organise to teach the residents more about dairy products,” she said.

“Dairy Australia covered where it comes from, how we can make simple modifications to continue to include our favourite dairy products, and the importance of dairy in a balanced diet, which were all topics we feel it is important to address.”

Head chef Manich, alongside Princeton View chef Susan, created a luxurious high tea featuring caramelised tarts with brie, scones with brie and blueberry, cream cheese cookies, and a spread of cheeses, allowing residents to experience some of their old favourites in brand new ways.

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