Moo U answers livestock questions


A booth for guided livestock tours, Moo U, at this year's McLean County Fair / CIFN photo.

BLOOMINGTON – Common questions about animal agriculture are answered during summer fair season by a company known as Moo U Guided Livestock Tours LLC.


Owner and tour guide Jeannene Xanthus was at this year’s McLean County Fair in early August to guide visitors through the livestock barns. Moo U is the only professional livestock tour company which has grown over the years. Tours are free and open to everyone, they just ask adults to accompany children under 12.


“We have a lot of fun facts,” explained Xanthus. “We’ll tell you the difference between what makes it a cow. They’re all cattle we are going to see in the barn but they’re not all cows.”


Xanthus and her staff also address the differences between pigs and hogs and the by-products we get from them. Another common question is how many eggs a chicken gives us in a week.


“Some people think that they give us a couple dozen a week – I want those chickens,” chuckled Xanthus.


Since many are far removed from the family farm, there are fewer farmers and ranchers producing on less land. Farmers truly feed the world and need to educate others where food comes from, as it does not just magically appear at the grocery store.


In the past, people had grandparents or even an aunt and uncle on the farm and this is not the case today.


“People don’t realize all of the by-products we get from our production livestock. We use them every day in our daily lives,” adds Xanthus.


Moo U keeps a busy schedule as they travel to fairs all over the country each summer. Following McLean County, they planned to travel to the Colorado State Fair, Kansas State Fair and back home to the big fair in Texas which runs for 24 days.


“That’s a long haul for us so after that, I’ll take a little rest and we start over again,” said Xanthus.


The business is always hiring employees with ag backgrounds and they often have interns from different ag colleges. It is a paid internship that allows the students to travel.


“It is an eye-opener for them to see how much the general public is removed from agriculture.”


Moo U started about 18 years ago. The Xanthus children were in 4-H and FFA and Xanthus was actually one of the first girls to be involved with FFA.


“Being an exhibitor from a county fair to a national show, I noticed the general public would come through and have lots of valid questions,” noted Xanthus. “Nobody was really there to answer them.”


After Xanthus’s children went off to college, she thought it would be a good opportunity to go into business and start this venture.


More information on the Celeste, Texas company can be found at www.mooutours.com.

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