Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Dairy farmers have been partying in June since the first National Milk Month in 1937. That first celebration of milk was sponsored by chain stores to help stabilize dairy demand during periods of peak production. It's been called "June Dairy Month" since 1939. You can learn more about the history of June Dairy Month at http://www.midwestdairy.com/. Dairy farm families are now celebrating in a variety of ways to share how we work everyday to produce a wholesome, nutritious product. Offering samples of the many products produced from milk is the fun part of the party!
June Dairy Month really starts on the farm with every dairy farm family. Ninety eight percent of all U.S. dairy farms are family owned.
Each dairy farm family has their own unique story about their family farm. Farming with our family is not only a business, it is our way of life. The family makes the farm! Our farm began in the early 1920's when Ryan's Grandfather purchased the farm where we live. He produced apples,pigs, chickens, and milked a few cows. Ryan's parents raised broiler chickens, milked a few cows and had a beef herd. In 1972, Ryan started milking 17 cows and has grown the dairy to 300 milking cows. Our two sons are the fourth generation to live and work on our farm. In 1972 when Ryan began dairy farming, there were over 300 dairies in Benton County. In 1985 there were 119 and today we are one of 18 dairies remaining.
We take great pride in working to provide wholesome and nutritious milk for all consumers. June Dairy Month gives us a perfect opportunity to promote our product and celebrate what we do everyday. I hope you will party with us by enjoying your favorite dairy products this month!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Vanilla ice cream is a great treat anytime but it goes very well with fresh strawberries and this pound cake recipe that I enjoy baking for my family. Hope you have a great Memorial Day holiday with your family and friends!
Crusty Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 cup butter,softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
1 8oz pkg cream cheese,softened
3 cups sifted flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and shortening; gradually add sugar,beating well at medium speed of electric mixer. Add cream cheese,beating well until light and fluffy. Alternately add flour and eggs, begining and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
Serving suggestions: strawberries or blueberries with large scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Farms and ranches provide habitat for many different kinds of wildlife. These Canadian Geese were enjoying time alone in the pasture while the dairy cows were being milked this morning. After all the stormy weather and tremendous amount of rain this week, I am thankful for the sunshine and the opportunity to enjoy the gifts of nature on our farm.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Providing a balanced diet for our dairy cows assures that our cows will be healthy and provide good quality milk. Hay is one of the important ingredients in our cow's diet. We purchase alfalfa and orchard grass hay from a farmer in Missouri who is located about 45 miles from our farm.
On our return from visiting a friend at St. John's hospital in Joplin this afternoon, Ryan and I had a hay date to sample the hay that our hay farmer baled last week. Hay sampling will provide information about the quality and nutritional value of the hay. This hay is wrapped in plastic to help preserve the nutrients. Ryan used a hay probe to sample six different bales from each row of wrapped hay. My involvement on this hay date was to follow behind the farmer and cover the entry site of the probe with Gorilla tape. A farmer's wife will do anything to spend a little quality time with the farmer!
The six samples from each row will be mixed in a bag , labeled with information about the hay and mailed tomorrow to the lab for analysis. The hay analysis will contain a long list of information about hay nutrients such as the moisture content, the percentage of dry matter and protein. All of the results from this sample will provide important nutritional information for our dairy nutritionist to use in formulating a perfect diet for our dairy cows.
Hay dates with the dairy farmer provide good nutrition for our cows and quality milk for all consumers!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Last week I was talking with second grade students about dairy cows and how dairy farmers work to produce milk. My assistant in the picture is ,Frieda, the Arkansas Farm Bureau milking cow. Just as I was talking to them about how we have a nutritionist to help us formulate our cow's diet, the school food service director and her staff came to observe our lesson in milking the cow. It was a great opportunity to talk about why healthy food choices are important to kids and cows! How do you milk a cow?
I explained that on our dairy farm:
- First the cow's udder and teats are washed, then a milking machine is attached
- Milking machines apply vacuum which gently removes milk from the cow's udder
- It takes about five minutes to milk one cow. With milking machines, farmers can milk about 100 cows per hour
- Cows are milked two times a day
Everybody gets a milking experience!
You can find more information about dairy farming at http://www.dairyfarmingtoday.org/ or dairy nutritional information at http://www.midwestdairy.com/.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
As I watched the machine wrap the alfalfa hay today for storage, I was thinking about the many different tasks that occur every day on our dairy farm. I am very thankful for all the modern machinery and equipment that helps us to feed our dairy cows, care for the land and produce a great dairy product!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I am thankful for the special relationship that we enjoy and the fact that we will be celebrating Mother's Day together.
Happy Mother's Day!
Monday, May 2, 2011
One of my favorite memories about first grade was drinking chocolate milk after our afternoon recess. When my boys started school, I found out that afternoon milk was a thing of the past. I was shocked. Thankfully they could still have their choice of white or chocolate milk for lunch. That choice was important to me then and now because as a mother I know that not every day's school lunch would be eaten by my child or any child. Milk,flavored or white, always offers a great nutritional package. As things evolve, will flavored milk completely be removed from the school menu? I hope not and here are the reasons why:
- Studies show that children who drink flavored milk drink more milk overall,have better quality diets, do not have higher intakes of added sugar or fat, and are just as likely to be at a healthy weight compared to kids who do not consume flavored milk.
- Flavored milk contains the same 9 essential nutrients found in white milk.
- With school lunch budgets feeling the increasing stress of high food prices just as our family food budgets, it would be even more costly for schools to add the additional food it would take to replace the important nutrient package of flavored milk.
As in all decision making, we need to look at the sound science and research that support decision making about nutrition. You can find more factual information about flavored milk and a great blog post written by Midwest Dairy's registered dietician Caroly Hudson titled "Flavored Milk=Nutrition in Disguise" at http://www.midwestdairy.com/0p48b1be47/dairy-makes-sense/airy.com/Op48b1be47/dairy-makes-sense.