Lloyd and Jane Gunter of Conway stayed busy on Friday, as dietetic students from all over the United States visited their dairy farm for a special tour.
The Gunter Dairy Farm served as one of the locations for the Beef and Dairy Farm Tours and Media Training, sponsored by the Missouri Beef Council and Midwest Dairy. Students from Cox Health College arrived in the morning for the tour, while the Missouri State University and the University of Missouri students came later in the afternoon. During the tour, the Gunters explained the process of how their dairy cows feed and produce milk. Their son, David Gunter, also helped out by answering additional questions students had.
“Stacy Dohle contacted us about the tour,” said Lloyd Gunter. “I’ve known her for a long time. Our son, David, was an intern for her when she was with KTTS Radio in Springfield.”
Dohle serves as manager of farmer relations for Midwest Dairy. She explained the tour is done yearly as a way to expose dietetic interns to agriculture.
“We have students from Cox Health, Missouri State University and the University of Missouri,” said Dohle. “We try to get them out and see the world of agriculture because they’re getting ready to get out into their profession, so they’re clinical, community, sports, dietitians. We want to make sure they have all the facts and the information they need.”
She added students gather information from the internet, and the tours serve as an opportunity to meet the people behind it all. Following the visit to Gunter Farm, students visited Miller Hereford Farm in Lebanon. In the afternoon, they finished the day off with media training at the Laclede Electric Cooperative. Lakin Simmerman and Anna Kis, two students with the Cox Health College, started a month ago in the program, but they enjoyed the tour.
"We really liked coming out here and seeing how dairy cows work," said Simmerman. “This is kind of like a field trip for us, but it’s a lot of fun.”
As for the Gunter family, Jane Gunter noted the tour is important because they’re educating the educators on healthy food and nutrition.
"Two of them are going into a private practice, as a dietitian nutritionist, so people can go into their office and learn what they should be eating and doing," said Gunter. "Some of them are going to be working with a hospital. One of them has plans to become a hospital administrator. We’re educating the educators so that they have accurate information about how we handle our farms and care for our cows."