Farm to Table: Summer days are great day to enjoy dairy products and strawberries!

On the longest day of the year, I was able to enjoy the sunset from thousands of feet in the air as I returned from a wonderful National Agriculture in the Classroom annual conference in Little Rock, AR. It was an amazing opportunity to learn more about not only agriculture in Arkansas, but also gather new ideas to use for programming as it applies to Iowa agriculture. In addition to workshops, we were also able to take part in tours including Keo Fish Farm, the world’s largest producer of hybrid striped bass, and Riceland Foods, the world’s largest miller of rice. Finally, an exciting announcement was made announcing that in 2021 the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference will be held right in our very own backyard. For the first time in history, Iowa is going to host the annual conference that brings over 500 educators from across the country together to enhance agricultural literacy. So, teacher friends, mark your calendars for June 28–July 1, 2021!

Looking forward to a low-key weekend to get caught up after being gone for most of the week, I checked in at home to see what everyone else had planned. I found out I was coming home to 30 quarts of strawberries! So, I thought I better pull out some strawberry recipes.

June is National Dairy Month, and it’s a perfect time to celebrate one of our favorite dairy products – milk! Whether putting it on a favorite cereal, chugging ice-cold chocolate milk after a workout or enjoying a glass with dinner (or in your favorite latte!), milk has something for everyone. Many summer desserts and smoothies are also great ways to enjoy milk.

Nutrient-rich dairy products are one of the most affordable sources of nutrition and make healthy eating easy. Together, milk, cheese, and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients.

A great way to enjoy both berries and milk is by making a Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie! My favorite Strawberry Pie recipe is one I acquired as a new bride – way before Pinterest! I was substitute teaching at Kellogg Elementary when Nancy Nikkel served this special treat for teacher appreciation week.

(By Julie Van Manen)

Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothies

Recipe and photo from Midwest Dairy.

Grocery list

  • 1 c. low-fat yogurt
  • 1 c. frozen raspberries, unsweetened
  • 1 c. frozen strawberries, unsweetened
  • 3/4 c. low-fat milk
  • 1 c. ice (about 12 cubes)

Recipe and photo from Midwest Dairy.

The How-To:

  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.


Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

Recipe from Nancy Nikkel.

Grocery list

  • 1 baked pie shell
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 – 3 oz. box strawberry Jell-O
  • 3-4 c. strawberries

The How-To:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and water.
  • Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about two minutes or until clear.
  • Remove from heat; stir in Jell-O until dissolved. Cool.
  • Place sliced strawberries in pie shell and pour Jell-O­ mixture over berries. Chill.
  • Serve with whipped topping.


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