Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

                                                           Everything changes with time.
                        In 1962 when my Aunt Alice graduated from Sparks School of Nursing
                                in Ft. Smith, a nurse dressed in a starched white uniform dress, 
                             white shoes and stockings, a crisp white hat and a warm wool cape.

                                    How long since you've seen a nurse dressed like that?

                              Although the dress code changed in the more than fifty year 
                                                     nursing career of my Aunt Alice,
                                   her passion to care for and about others never changed.

Aunt Alice celebrated her birthday at the feet of Jesus on December 2.
In a moment, everything changed and yet, faith and family remain steadfast. 
                                            I'm thankful for the sweet relationship I had with
                                           Aunt Alice and for the impact she had on my life.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

While I'm always thankful for rain, 
feeding calves is much better when the sun is shining!

After all the calves received their morning milk, 
Casey and I proceeded to feed the grain.
My job was tractor driving while Casey scooped a measured 
amount of grain into each calf's bucket from the tractor bucket.

I'm thankful for each of these healthy calves
 that are growing down on the dairy farm
 that my son trusts me not to run over him!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dairy FarmHer Anniversary

Although I knew I was marrying the farm and the dairy farmer 
thirty three years ago, 
I did not realize that I would become a Dairy FarmHer.

                                            It's been a thirty three year transformation from
                                        city girl to Dairy FarmHer but it's been a grand journey.
                                                 Thank-you to the dairy farmer for sharing
                                                          his passion for all things dairy!

                                 I never thought I would be teaching children about dairy farming,

providing dairy farm tours for all ages of consumers,

or working everyday  with my husband 
and our 4th generation dairy farmer sons 

down on the dairy farm producing
 high quality milk for your family and mine.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's pretty special when your Dallas cousins include feeding 
calves on the dairy farm as part of their trip to tour the University of Arkansas.
The calves enjoyed all the extra attention

we are always thankful for extra help at calf feeding time!

Faith, Family, Farming, Friends...

                                                      so much to be thankful for everyday!

                                             Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

One of my jobs on the dairy farm is to serve as a taxi driver.
I wouldn't really mind it so much if they just wouldn't call and start
with "Are you doing anything right now?"

We're working to get the last of the wheat crop planted before Thanksgiving. 
As I turned into the field on my taxi run, I could smell the dirt as the disc passed over the field.

It was the reminder I needed of how thankful I am to live
 and work with my family of  farmers down on the dairy farm.

                                          "God looked down on the earth he created and said,
                                               "I need a caretaker for this world I have made".
                                                              So God Made A Farmer
                                                                                                    --Paul Harvey

Friday, November 10, 2017

If Barns Could Talk

Ryan's mother milked in this barn during World War II when his dad was serving in Japan.
In a day of no instant communication like we have today, I can only imagine the thoughts and concerns of a young bride as she milked the cows every morning and evening.

If barns could talk...
can you imagine the stories we would hear?

It's a simple reminder to me of the sacrifices made by the
 men, women and families of the past to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today.

Thank-you to all Veterans!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

In a field of black and white spotted Holstein cattle, 
the red and white Ayrshire definitely stand out!

New babies are always welcome on the dairy farm but these red and white ones
 are reminders of the great learning experiences we have had through
 our past  involvement with our  sons'  4-H dairy projects and club activities.

                                      I'm thankful for the expansion of Cody's Ayrshire herd 
                                      and for the outstanding 4-H program in Benton County.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

When I saw Casey riding on the back of the square baler, I couldn't resist
 calling him to ask if he was just joy riding around the field.  I was lucky 
he didn't hang up on me but he nicely explained that he was making 
sure the bales kicked out so Cody wouldn't have to stop baling and 
correct the problem that had been discovered earlier.

It was the first time the small square baler has been used this year and 
we were fortunate that the mechanical problem was an easy fix.
We appreciate problems easily repaired!

I'm thankful for the way our sons can work together,  

for the cow that calved easily and waited for us at the gate,


                                                  for the sweetest Halloween visitor that
                                          brings new meaning to "there's no place like home"!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Harvest

Even though we had our first freeze of the season, we're still working
 to finish cutting hay in a few fields. 
It will take a few days of drying before it's ready to bale but it 
will still be good quality hay  that we can feed this winter.

                                Brown fields with a hint of green underneath are signs of the fall
                                season and also a reminder of how close we are to celebrating
                                the end of harvest for this year's crops down on the dairy farm.
                                                          Bring on the hot chocolate!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Farm tours are a great way to meet consumers of all ages  to share how
 we work everyday on the farm to produce safe,affordable food.

This week I was privileged to be one of the host farms for the  12th tour
 of Moms on the Farm.   Janeal Yancey, my favorite University of Arkansas 
meat scientist ,organized the first tour in 2012.  Each tour day  includes
  a visit to dairy, poultry and beef farms located in Benton or Washington County.
The finishing touch to the tour is a delicious lunch hosted by 
Arkansas Cattle Women preparing delicious beef recipes.

I'm thankful for the Moms and the few men that braved a 
chilly and windy day to learn about Arkansas farming and food production.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's milo chopping time down on the dairy farm.
I made it to the field just in time to see  today's last load of chopped milo head to the silo.
As you can see, it has grown well above my head this year.
It is a drought resistant grain  crop so with adequate rain it grows like crazy!

I'm thankful for this year's milo crop that will be used 
to feed our dairy cattle this winter 
                                        for the perfect fall weather for harvesting our crops.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dairy Q & A


What is homogenization?


Homogenization is a mechanical process that breaks up fat globules 
to a smaller size.When this process is used with milk, it distributes
 the smaller sized fat globules through out the milk producing a 
uniform consistency.  It's basically mixing the cream into the milk.

Homogenization makes the milk whiter  and more appetizing color,
 provides a more full-bodied flavor and better mouth feel and gives milk 
and other cultured milk products increased shelf stability.

Milk began being homogenized in the early 1930's when Dr.Malcolm Trout, 
a nutrition professor at Michigan State, linked the process of pasteurization
 and homogenization together. He found that homogenized milk needed
 to be pasteurized first to have an appealing taste.

While it's possible to have pasteurized milk that hasn't been homogenized and
 homogenized milk that hasn't been pasteurized, most milk found in 
 United States markets has undergone both processes.
Milk is pasteurized first to kill bacteria,
 then homogenized to give us that consistent taste.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

What would we do without farmers?

Who would raise the crops?

Who would provide the milk for my cereal?

Who would be caring for the animals?

                                                        I'm thankful that we have farmers
                                                               --all kinds of farmers--
                                         that work everyday to provide food, care for animals
                                        and protect our natural resources for all of our families.
                                              Happy National Farmers Day!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's standard treatment for pregnant cows to have a two month rest period
 before giving birth.Two weeks before the expected calving date, 
we move the cows or heifers to the field close to our 
house so we can monitor them closely.

                                                       I'm thankful for all safe arrivals
                                        for this week's new addition to the dairy farm family!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Raw Milk Truth

During last month's dairy farm tours that I provided to the Northwest Arkansas home school students and their families, I was asked several times if we sold raw milk (unpasteurized milk) from the farm.
The simple answer was NO but it provided me the opportunity to share the facts about the benefits of pasteurization. 

As a dairy farmer, mother and a nurse, I'm passionate about the importance pasteurization plays in providing safe milk and dairy products. Since the introduction of pasteurization more than a century ago, it has been recognized around the world as an essential tool for ensuring that milk and dairy foods are safe.

Although many states (including Arkansas)  are now allowing the sale of raw milk (unpasteurized milk) it is a violation of federal law to sell raw milk for consumer use across state lines.

Pasteurization has helped provide safe, nutrient rich milk, and cheese for over 100 years and because of pasteurization, less than 1.5 percent of annual food borne illness outbreaks in the United States involve dairy foods.

Here are some proven facts about milk and pasteurization:
--Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
--Pasteurization DOES save lives.
--Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
--Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reaction.
--Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk's nutritional value.

Harmful bacteria can seriously affect the health of anyone who drinks raw milk, or eats foods made from raw milk. However, the bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women, and children.

Thanks to proven science and technology tools like pasteurization, dairy farmers will continue providing safe, high-quality milk for my family and yours!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for...

Beagle, our crazy four wheel riding farm dog,

                                                                    a new fall calf,
                                                to hear the  word "cow" from the youngest
                                                        member of our dairy farm family.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Like the varied spots on our spotted Holstein cows, 
every group of dairy farm visitors are unique.

I love to see the expression on the face of the child or adult that 
suddenly understands how we work on the farm to produce
 a great product that their family enjoys.

                                       I'm thankful to  connect with consumers to share how
                                we work everyday to care for our animals, produce  nutritious
                                          milk and give them a feel for life on a family farm.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

There's nothing sweeter than watching a mother with her new baby.
It's a reminder of all the many blessings that we often 
take for granted when life gets too busy.

                                 This baby was delivered without any complications this week
                               just in time to greet a group of children making a visit to the farm.

                              I'm thankful for the blessings of life that we can share with others!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

What's not to love about sharing our dairy story?

It's not always easy to fit in a dairy farm tour but it is 
worth every minute I spend sharing with consumers
 of all ages how we work every day to produce nutritious
 milk by caring for our animals and the land we call home.

                              I'm thankful for the parents and children that brought their desire
                            to learn how we produce milk and  for sharing their beautiful smiles!
                                                   Baby calves always bring out the smiles!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Celebration

Our Labor Day celebration started early this morning with 
the arrival of three new calves.Welcoming new life on the dairy farm
 is always  a great way to start the day!

New babies are taken to their individual calf hutch where we can monitor 
them closely, make sure they receive good nutrition and are protected from 
other members of the herd and bad weather.

                                              Caring for these babies is my daily labor of love.
                           It's a priority to make sure these calves get off to a healthy start because
                                  they will grow to become the cows that produce nutritious milk.

                                                              From down on the dairy farm,

                                                              Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Even though it was almost dusk when the custom silage chopper
 pulled into the first corn field this week, it was decided to open the
 field and get the process started. 

As I waited for the chopping to begin, it suddenly seemed like fall.
As darkness covered the field, the air became chilly. 
I was wishing for jeans and a long sleeved shirt instead of my shorts.
Even a big pot of chili sounded good.
Can it really be fall in August?

We didn't haul too many loads to the silo  that first evening but 
 I am so thankful for the corn crop that will be used to 
feed our dairy cows through this fall and winter.

Ready or not---I think fall is sneaking up on us!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the August rain that has made  this second cutting 
of hay grazer forage possible,

brought a smile to the farmer's face when  finding filled out corn ears
 that will soon be turned into feed for our dairy cows,


                                 provided the opportunity to hear one of Hattie's new words,
                                                                          " rainin' "!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Do you notice anything unusual in this picture?
A mud puddle in August!

As you can see, the cows are crowding together because like
 a bunch of naughty kids,they are looking to lay down in that mud.

                                     I'm thankful for the unusual amount of rainfall we have
                                      received in August that is restoring pastures dried  by
                               summer heat, watering our crops that will be harvested this fall
                                and providing a little fun relief for our much loved dairy cows.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Although our days on the dairy farm are busy and filled with
 a variety of challenges, 

I'm thankful for the smiles that come with these two tractor drivers
 and the opportunity we have to watch the fifth generation
 embrace life on the farm.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

As I turned into the driveway late this afternoon, 
I saw this group of pregnant cows resting in the shade.
It was a perfect picture for the word content.

                                   It was obvious the cows are enjoying the lower temperature
                                            and humidity for the first two days of August.
                                  Although I know these cooler temperatures are just a pause in
                                         our usual summer heat, I'm thankful for the comfort
                                                  provided for the cows and the farmers.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dairy Farm Magic

As I was watching the hay mowing cutter go across the field yesterday, 
I thought back to late last fall when Hattie and I were watching the 
manure spreader go in a similar pattern spreading  liquid cow manure.

From brown to green...a little dairy farm manure  magic!

 Cow manure is a nutrient used to fertilize fields that are 
part of our dairy farm's nutrient management plan.

Utilizing our  cows' manure is  an important part of our farm's
 sustainability because it adds organic material to the soil, 
increases the water holding capacity of the land and
decreases the amount of commercial fertilizer that is purchased.

                                             A perfect picture of a farmer working his magic!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

There's nothing unusual about experiencing hot and humid
 weather in Northwest Arkansas during  July.

When we start the early morning at 81 degrees, 
I am thankful for the cloudy, overcast sky that offers a little relief 
for the dairy  cows while they are eating from the feed wagons

 the weed pullers in the garden!