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May, 2013

Food For Thought

In This Issue
Learn About Ice Cream
Making Ice Cream
Addressing Ag Misconceptions
Help Support NHAITC
Make a Donation 
Like us on Facebook
Ice Cream Resources 


Granite State Dairy Promotion 


Facts, history, consumer information, educational resources and the NH Ice Cream Trail map.


International Dairy Foods Association 


See the News & Views section, Ice Cream Media Kit for History of ice cream, ice cream making process, trends, etc.


Some of NH's ice cream producers:

This is a partial list.  Inclusion or exclusion of businesses from this list in no way indicates an endorsement or lack of support to any specific company.  This is offered as a sample of the hard working dairy product providers in our state.


Blake's Creamery www.blakesicecream.com Ice cream maker in Manchester, NH


Sandwich Creamery www.sandwichcreamery.com Ice cream maker in Sandwich, NH


Walpole Creamery www.walpolecreamery.com Ice cream maker in Walpole, NH


Ice Cream Trivia 

July is National Ice Cream Month


9% of milk produced by US dairy farmers goes to making ice cream


Vanilla is the most popular flavor, mint chocolate chip and cookies & cream are next.


In 2011 1.53 million gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts were produced in the US.


The milk used for ice cream must contain at least 10% milkfat; gourmet or super premium ice cream contains at least 12% milkfat.


The major ingredient in ice cream is air.


The U.S. consumes an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year, more than any other country.


An average dairy cow can produce enough milk in her lifetime to make more than 9000 gallons of ice cream.


5% of ice cream eaters share thdog eating ice creameir ice cream with a pet.



NHAITC Calendar


May 7: School to Farm Day at Brookdale Farm in Hollis (full)


May 16-17: School to Farm Days at Carter Hill Orchards in Concord

May 20 - Ag Awareness Day, Woodsville Elementary School

June 4 - Ag Awareness Day, Haverhill Cooperative Middle School

June 4-6: School to Farm Days at UNH, Durham



4th grade teachers, contact us to sign up for the School to Farm event nearest you.


June 25-28: National Ag in the Classroom Conference,  Minneapolis, MN  

On-line registration is open: www.agclassroom.org/conference2013


Addressing Early Misconceptions About Agriculture 

by Deb Robie 


According to a recent publication of the American Farm Bureau, throughout history, people existed in close contact with the environment. They lived close to the soil, with the necessary sunlight and water to produce their own food. This is no longer the case. The highly scientific and technological advances of the 20th century have meant sweeping changes in life expectancy and lifestyle. As the United States population disconnected from the land after World War II, people began to understand less and less about agriculture and what is necessary to produce a bountiful supply of food. Those who do not understand how their food is produced and the challenges associated with that production can be easily misled, leading the public to make misinformed choices.


There are many misconceptions about the food system, even about the most basic questions and issues. From their earliest experience, children begin to establish misconceptions about agriculture and food. From television and advertising to pre-school books and animation, children generate ideas and stereotypes about farms, ranches and food production. They get the wrong impression of what farms and ranches are, what goes on there, and how vital farmers and ranchers are to our nation. For example, kindergarteners will identify the man in the bibbed overalls as the farmer and the tool most commonly used on a farm as a hoe. Research has demonstrated that if misconceptions are not addressed, new learning is built upon falsehoods and learners end up with very confused beliefs and ideas.


What is perceived as clever, creative, cute or comedic by an advertiser is often absorbed as factual by children and even by adult viewers. Access to information on the Internet will exacerbate misconceptions unless students learn accurate information at an early age. The need is there and it is our job to help educate the next generation of agriculturally literate consumers.


How would you do at answering the following questions if you were addressing a young audience? What kind of cow makes chocolate milk? What does a farmer or rancher look like? Where does an egg come from? Do you need a rooster to get a chick?


You might think these are silly questions with simple answers but to a young person they are not silly at all and the real answers might surprise them. At a recent presentation for our Ag Literacy program an adult commented that they didn't realize cows had anything to do with agriculture. It makes sense that our young folks are sometimes confused if even adults don't know about agriculture.


NH Ag in the Classroom has the resources necessary to help educate our young people, and, their parents in many cases. I have had the opportunity to see and use some of the best agriculturally accurate curriculums that are out there and available, many of them FREE, just for the asking. Pre-packaged, downloadable, teacher approved, user friendly and did I mention FREE in most cases. Fellow Ag in the Classroom staff from other states designed many of these programs. They cover every subject area from Art to Zoology, Pre-K through 12. Something as simple as agriculturally accurate reading books for the general classroom to complete thematic units are available. Did I mention FREE in many cases!!


All we need is a foot in the door to a classroom and we can help dispel many of the Early Misconceptions about Agriculture. Contact our state office or if in Grafton County contact me, Deb Robie  (see below).


NH Ag in the Classroom

Ruth Smith, Statewide Coordinator



295 Sheep Davis Road

Concord, NH  03301


Deb Robie, Grafton County Coordinator



Throughout the first few months of 2013, we have focused on dairy farming as our theme for the annual Agriculture Literature project. Dairy farmers, including NH Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill, and other volunteers have visited classrooms throughout the state, reading Mini Milk Maids on the Mooove to thousands of elementary school children. Teachers, parents and adult community members have also learned about the history of dairy farming in NH through Steve Taylor's programs "Cows and Communities". Though this program is winding down for the year, in preparation for National Dairy Month in June, this issue will focus on the ever popular dairy product: ice cream! With warmer weather coming, it's a great time of year to learn about, think about and of course eat this wonderful frozen treat.


We want to offer thanks again to all those who helped with our Ag Lit program. Granite State Dairy Promotion and Cabot Creamery provided important funding to offset the cost of books and teacher resource packets. The NH Humanities Council provided a grant to fund Steve Taylor's programs. The NH Farm Bureau through their county boards, Associated Women, Young Farmers and individual members purchased and distributed hundreds of the books to schools in all 10 counties. Dairy farmers, including dairy goat farmers, members of 4-H clubs, Agriculture Commissions, and dozens of individuals donated time, knowledge and enthusiasm to help children learn about what it takes to get milk into our glasses, ice cream in our cones and cheese on our pizza. We couldn't do this program (the most far reaching of anything we do) without this great herd of volunteers and supporters. Thanks to all of you!


May launches a busy season of School to Farm events. See the calendar listing for specific dates and locations. There is still space in the UNH event so any 4th grade teachers within reach of Durham who are interested in bringing students to this fun-filled and educational opportunity, please contact me.


May is also a time for NECAP testing in many districts. Agriculture is a theme that can be integrated into any area of curriculum and provides a base for learning basic skills in a meaningful way. We can help you teach what you're required to teach for the tests, but offer methods that are fun for students and educators too. During the summer months we will also be meshing our programs with the new Next Generation Science Standards. Stay tuned for updates in coming issues of Food for Thought.


Happy Spring,



Ruth Smith, Statewide Coordinator

NH Agriculture in the Classroom


I Scream, You Scream... Learn about Ice Cream


As with every aspect of agriculture, there are many ways to approach learning about ice cream. The history of its invention is long and spans many time periods and geographical regions. The economic aspects of ice cream production and sales illustrate the importance of this product in our culture. Learning how ice cream is actually made can offer fun ways to teach about biology (how the cow produces milk), and physics (how the milk changes from a liquid to a solid). A nutritional lens can throw a new light on the pros and cons of eating ice cream. Of course you'll want to experience some hands-on learning with this topic. Don't forget to include options for the lactose intolerant students in your class.



Dairy based ice cream likely grew out of early frozen treats that included snow or ice mixed with fruit, honey and nectar. Examples of these date back to Alexander the Great and the 4th Century BC Roman Emperor Nero. The Chinese King Tang (AD 618-97) had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Marco Polo (1254-1324) is credited with bringing a sherbet-like recipe to Italy from his travels in the Far East. Ice cream probably evolved from that recipe in Europe during the 16th century. England's King Charles I served ice cream regularly.


By 1660 ice cream became more available to common people, not just the elite. The first official record of ice cream appearing in America was 1744. The first presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served ice cream to their guests. At the dawn of our nation, in 1776, the first Ice Cream Parlor was opened. When ice houses became more commonly used, around 1800, ice harvesting and storage enabled a larger portion of the population to enjoy ice cream.


Making ice cream was made easier when in 1846 Nancy Johnson patented a hand-cranked freezer, which developed the basic method we still used today. ice cream maker By 1851 that home-based process had grown and the first large scale commercial ice cream plant was opened in Baltimore. Additional advancements in steam power, mechanization, refrigeration and transport allowed for ever increasing production and distribution.


The popularity of ice cream led to the accidental debut of the ice cream cone at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. The ice cream vendor had run out of dishes and a neighboring vendor who made waffle cookies began rolling his wafers into cones to hold the ice cream. A revolution had begun. 

Making Ice Cream


Ice Cream in a Bag

1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
6 tablespoons salt
1 Quart-sized zip-seal bag
1 Gallon-sized sip-seal bag
*Optional: 1-2 Tbsp granulated flavor (chocolate milk mix, brown sugar, etc)
1. Put milk, vanilla, sugar and optional flavor into quart-sized bag. Seal well.
2. Fill gallon-sized bag halfway with ice. Add salt (rock salt works best).
3. Put quart-sized bag into gallon bag, top with more ice and seal well.
4. Shake until ice cream thickens. This will take about 10 minutes. Be careful your hands don't get too cold! Use towels if necessary.



Ice Cream in a Blender

2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup non-fat dry powdered milk
1/4 cup flavor (chocolate milk powder, honey, brown sugar, etc.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups ice cubes or frozen fruit chunks
1. Add milk, powders and sugar to the blender. Blend together on medium speed for 10 seconds.
2. Add vanilla and ice or fruit and blend on highest speed until consistency of soft serve ice cream. If ingredients get stuck stop blender and move ingredients around and try again.
3. This ice cream may be frozen for later, but consistency will be best if eaten immediately.



Ice Cream in a Can

Ingredients and supplies:

1 pint of half and half (milk can be used instead)

1 egg, beaten (optional)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, or 1/4 cup of strawberries

1-pound coffee can with lid

3-pound coffee can with lid

duct tape

Crushed ice and rock salt


Add all of the above ingredients to the 1 pound coffee can; mix well. Put the lid on the coffee can and secure with duct tape. Place the 1 pound coffee can into the 3 pound coffee can. Surround with crushed ice and rock salt and place the lid onto the 3 pound coffee can.

Have your kids sit on the ground and roll the can back and forth 3 to 4 feet apart. Roll it for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Check to see if the ice cream is hard; if it isn't, replace the lid, add more ice and rock salt. Roll for another 8 mins.

Remove the lid to the 1 pound can and serve in bowls.
Serves 4-6 people.

For additional options:



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NH Agriculture in the Classroom | 295 Sheep Davis Rd | Concord, New Hampshire 03301 | 603-224-1934