Annabelle, the life-sized model of a milking cow that is central to the “Marvelous Milk” exhibit.
The York County Heritage Trust and Rutter’s Farm Stores, York, Pa., have opened an interactive dairy exhibit called “Marvelous Milk: From the Farm to Your Table.”
Funded by a $55,000 donation from Rutter’s, the exhibit, which is at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum, in the museum’s Bradley Agricultural Gallery, presents the history of dairy farming in York County and the concept of where milk originates. Central to the exhibit is a life-sized model of a milking cow. Children can practice milking, as the life-like bovine delivers fluid from its udders into a stainless steel milking pail.
The exhibit’s highlights also include a children’s reading area, featuring large bales of hay in place of chairs; a video that highlights dairy farming history in York County; a weighing game that allows children to determine how much milk is found in treats such as ice cream; an interactive timeline game that shows how milk gets from farm to home; interactive flip charts and electronic presentations that scroll through fun facts and test one’s milk trivia knowledge; and a game that challenges participants to guess the age of old Rutter’s milk bottles shown in a series of pictures.
The cow is named Annabelle, which was the name that won Rutter’s “name our cow” contest last spring. Brianna Crumling, who submitted the name won a $100 Rutter’s gift card and a year-long family membership from the trust. The second- and third-place entries received $50 and $25 gift cards, respectively, and family day passes from the trust.
“We’re grateful to Rutter’s for creating an exhibit that brings the trust’s history education mission to fruition,” said Joan Mummert, president and CEO of the trust. “It capitalizes on new educational innovations to capture a child’s attention while imparting lasting lessons. We’re eager to watch excited children milk a cow while gaining knowledge about contemporary and historic dairy farming.”
The new exhibit builds on a previous collaboration between Rutter’s and the trust-the Rutter’s Discovery Center that opened in 2007 at the Historical Society Museum in York.
“History is a big part of what connects Rutter’s to its customers and to York County,” said Todd Rutter, president of Rutter’s Dairy. “Generations have grown up with Rutter’s milk in the refrigerator and on the dinner table. This exhibit does a great job of honoring York County’s dairy history while also representing it as a dynamic, ongoing part of our daily lives.”
Rutter’s traces its roots to a nine-generation family farm that dates to 1747. Rutter’s Dairy, which began in 1921, serves customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware. Rutter’s Farm Stores, which debuted in 1967 as an outlet for Rutter’s Dairy products, operates 56 convenience stores in central Pennsylvania.
The York County Heritage Trust is an educational institution that preserves and uses its collections, historic sites and museums to inspire people to explore the history and culture of York County.