The day before Thanksgiving was short sleeve seventy degree weather. At the afternoon feeding,our baby calves were kicking up their heels and acting like it was spring. Fifteen hours later when I returned for the morning feeding,the temperature had dropped to twenty-six degrees and windy with a light mist. Extreme temperature changes are very stressful to baby calves and dairy moms. Extreme weather changes create added stress that increases the susceptibility to respiratory illness. When a baby calf is sick, we follow a care plan provided by our veterinarian. Antibiotic medication is given under prescription just like I would give my child. I document treatment for any calf that receives medication. As I think about all the statements being made about the use of antibiotics in animals causing resistance to antibiotics in humans, I am very concerned that our ability to treat and care for our animals will be taken away which will eventually eliminate our ability to maintain herd health. Making sure our animals are healthy and producing a healthy product for consumers is part of sustainability of our farm. As a mother,nurse, farmer and fellow human, I want the most accurate information based on sound scientific evidence when making such serious changes to our food production system. I would also add a dose of common sense !
Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Earlier this year, the Benton County Farm Bureau Women's Committee donated money and canned food to the Northwest Arkansas Foodbank. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am truly blessed to be living and working on a dairy farm with my family. I am very proud to be in the two percent of the population that is producing the safest,most affordable and most abundant food. Although we are a very blessed nation,I am very aware of my fellow Americans that are struggling to have enough to eat for themselves or their families. I am very thankful for the agencies,companies,community groups and individuals that are making it possible for less fortunate Americans to have access to food during these difficult economic times.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thinking back to our wedding day, dairy promotion could have been written into our wedding vows since it has been an ongoing part of our marriage and life on the farm. When Ryan and I married in 1984, dairy promotion was known as the voluntary nickel program. Ryan contributed a nickel per hundred pounds of milk produced on the farm. The National Dairy Checkoff program (http://www.dairycheckoff.com/) was created in 1985 by dairy farmers, for farmers and is funded by America's dairy farm families---and only by dairy farmers. Today each dairy farm family contributes 15 cents per one hundred pounds of milk produced on each farm. Dairy check0ff money is used for programs at the national and state/regional levels. We have witnessed a phenomenal evolution of not only how our product is promoted but the development of products to meet the health and wellness needs of consumers. More than fifty percent of the checkoff budget is allocated to advancing dairy health and wellness efforts that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines of Americans. Products such as reduced-fat cheese,reduced-sodium cheese and reduced-sugar flavored milk were developed with dairy farmer funding to meet consumer need. Dairy farmers are currently investing in the overall health of children by the most recent in-school Fuel-Up to Play 60 program that aims to help children's health by bringing healthy eating and physical activity to more than 64,000 schools. Partnering with the NFL for the Fuel-Up program and working with other food companies allows us to make the most of every dairy farmer dollar. Providing a nutritious product that meets the consumer's need is what dairy promotion is all about! I invite you to visit the Midwest Dairy website for a sampling of useful consumer dairy information compliments of dairy farmers like me--http://www.midwestdairy.com. I'm thankful to be celebrating twenty six years of marriage and dairy promotion during this Thanksgiving week. In 1984, we didn't have dairy promotion in the vows but we did serve milk,cheese, and crackers at the reception!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Although our farming community has changed with the urban growth of our area, we still enjoy many special relationships with the businesses that support agriculture. Yesterday we drove thirty miles to Fayetteville to celebrate the retirement of Willis,G.C. and Larry from Williams Tractor. These three men had a total of one hundred eighteen year of experience working for this implement and tractor dealership. It was a special event for our family because of the relationships developed over sixty four years. Willis holds the record for the most years working for the dealership and we consider him as an extended family member. In 1946 Willis delivered the first New Holland square baler to our farm and has continued to be the resident expert serving four generations of our family. We appreciate all of the businesses that support our farm in a variety of ways and treasure the friendships!
Monday, November 8, 2010
If you ever travel to Des Moines,Iowa, you must take a detour to the quaint town of Perry,Iowa. This past weekend I attended the I_Blog Conference at the Hotel Pattee in Perry with two other dairy moms. Hotel Pattee has a rich history and is very unique. Each guest room is decorated depicting the people or places in the community of Perry. I stayed in the Band Room which was sheer delight! The headboard to my bed was made of musical instruments; the lampshades were made of drums and the band leaders hat with a fancy red plume! During the conference I gained great information about blogging and met a wide variety of very creative women. It is hard to believe that Spotted Cow Review is almost a year old! As I was returning home yesterday, I thought a lot about how writing has caused me to think about where I live and work and the blessings of my life. In the next few weeks, I am planning to make some changes to my blog space. As a dairy farmer, agricultural advocate,a wife,a mother,a church pianist, a nurse,a Farm Bureau volunteer,a friend--my life is rich and very blessed. Thank-you for reading my blog! My dairy mom friends and I served delicious Blues Buster Smoothies and promoted dairy for one of the conference breaks with the help of our Midwest Dairy friends. You can find more nutrient-rich recipes at http://www.dairymakessense.com/.
Blues Buster Smoothie
1 6-ounce container low-fat blueberry flavored yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice
2/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3-4 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy!