Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day is Everyday

                                          Down on the dairy farm, Earth Day is everyday.
                                            Every day in each season  is filled with tasks
                                         that utilize the land for sustaining our family farm.
                               
                                       It's our job as caretakers of the Earth to use our natural
                                            resources wisely and strive to leave the land in
                                                 better condition for the next generation.
                                             
                                       As farmers, we take our job seriously  and recognize
                                       that we are blessed to have the responsibility of being
                                               caretakers of the Earth and producers of food
                                                              for families across America.
                                         














                                                                Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Watching my family of farmers work together vaccinating and worming 
cattle with  our veterinarian  is one of my favorite spring
 time pictures down on the dairy farm. 
These periodic checkups and vaccinations work to prevent illness 
and insure high-quality milk from healthy cows.

After receiving vaccinations, the calves are sorted and moved to new pastures.


When moving calves to new pastures it is not uncommon for
 them to find the hole in the fence that the farmer missed seeing.

I'm very  thankful for the great neighbors that live around us.
They not only call to let us know we have cattle out but offer help 
in rounding them up so we can haul them home until the fence is repaired.


                                                     
                                            There's no doubt, dairy farmers are on call 24/7.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Just when we thought winter was over,
it snowed.

I'm thankful that it was just a little April snow
that  melted in a few short hours,

that all of the new calves born during this crazy  weather week 
 have been born without complications,


and 
real spring is finally emerging just in time for
the two year old to teach us a few new ways

                                                       to enjoy life down on the dairy farm.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday


Last week I was invited to speak to students at Kirksey Middle School 
about dairy farming. Students at this school are involved in the
 Fuel Up to Play 60 program that is proudly sponsored by the dairy checkoff,
 the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

I am thankful for this in-school health and wellness program that 
encourages physical activity and good nutrition among youth and 
utilizes our dairy farmer dollars to make a difference for all of us.



I never get tired of sharing  about our Spotted Cows,
 life down on the dairy farm and how we work
 everyday to produce high-quality milk.


Monday, April 2, 2018

April's Foodie Holidays

Had you heard that April brings a lot more than  showers and spring flowers?
According to my friends at Midwest Dairy and the Kansas Farm Food Connection,
we've got  5 Foodie Holidays to enjoy in April!

April 2--National PB and J Day

   April 11--National Cheese Fondue Day

 April 12--National Grilled Cheese Day

 April 20--National Cheddar Fries Day

     April 30--National Oatmeal Cookie Day

It's no April Fool's joke...
each special holiday is made for enjoying dairy foods!


                               
                                          I'm pledging to celebrate these special  dairy holidays.
                                                                     How about you?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dairymom'sThankful Thursday

                               
                        What's not to love about this picture of spring down on the dairy farm!
                             


We have calves born through out the year but spring calving adds a 
little more stress as we closely watch our heifers give birth to their first calf.
We're on call 24/7  to ensure a healthy delivery.


I'm thankful for the awesome responsibility we have to care
 for our cows, heifers and calves and  to share the life experiences with 
the next generation of our family farm.




Monday, March 26, 2018

Talk Saves Lives


Did you know that people working in agriculture are on the list for being the highest risk for suicide?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people working in agriculture, which includes farmers,farm laborers,ranchers,fishermen and lumber harvesters, take their lives at a higher rate than any other occupation.  I did not realize this until  listening to a presentation at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Women's Leadership conference earlier this month.



Suicide. It's not anything I want to really think about or talk about but it is a reality that I want to understand and learn how to help myself, my family and my friends. Suicide is a health issue. It can be the result of a genetic risk, depression, prolonged stress or a combination of these factors.

It's easy to see why farmers are at high risk for suicide.According to Mike Rosman, an Iowa farmer and psychologist who has dedicated a great part of his life to helping farmers in crisis states," people engaged in farming have a strong urge to supply essentials for human life, such as food and materials for clothing,shelter, fuel and to hang on to their land and other resources needed to produce these goods at all cost. When farmers can't fulfill  this purpose, they feel despair. The drive that makes a farmer successful is the same that increases factors that sometimes lead to suicide."

We never really know how others may be thinking or feeling but if you are aware of changes in how they are talking, behaving or exhibiting increased moodiness, it's time to talk. It's been found that --Talk Saves Lives.

 During these stressful times for those of us involved in agriculture or any other occupation, it's critical to make mental health a priority. Self care strengthens our mental health. Make a point to get exercise,  the proper amount of sleep, consume a healthy diet and manage  stress. When things just don't seem right--see a doctor, get an evaluation, discuss treatment options and find what works best for you.

It's never too late to reach out for help. Talk Saves Lives.

You can find help by  contacting  the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or
use the crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's been a week of celebrations for us down on the dairy farm.

Monday we celebrated  my sweet Mother's 87th birthday.


Tuesday we celebrated National Ag Day 
 with the birth of several calves


 and the arrival of spring in Northwest Arkansas.

                               
                                 I'm thankful for the special days of celebration that allow us to
                                    pause from our daily routine and realize the blessings that we
                                                           often take for granted.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Arkansas Grown Fruit Smoothie


One of our workshops at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Leadership Conference was a cooking workshop promoting the use of Arkansas grown foods.Our cooking expert, Arkansas Cooperative Extension Agent Leigh Ann Bullington, was highlighting  Arkansas fruits and vegetables. It didn't take the dairy farmers in the room too long to point out that milk was also a featured Arkansas product!


It would be hard to have a smoothie without dairy products and the featured fruit at the workshop was strawberry. The strawberry smoothie  was delicious and made us all look forward to trying all the other Arkansas fruits that will be available soon.



Arkansas Grown Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh or frozen Arkansas grown fruit
  (blackberries,blueberries,strawberries,peaches
     or other fruit of your choice) no sugar added
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/4-1/2 cup ice, to desired consistency

Directions:
Add all ingredients to the blender pitcher and mix until desired consistency.


Tip: If you think it needs to be a little sweeter, you might add a little Arkansas honey!






Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday


"Many Farms,One Voice" 
was the theme for the 2018 Arkansas Farm Bureau  Women's
 Leadership Conference in Little Rock  last weekend.

Farm Bureau women from across the state gathered to learn more about
 how to use our collective voices in promoting agriculture and educating
 others how we work everyday on the farm to ensure we have plenty
 of food,fiber and fuel for all of our families.



I'm thankful for these women and my friends from across the state 
that choose to spend their time and talents to share their passion about 
agriculture and speak with one voice
about a subject that impacts each of us everyday.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday


We felt just a tease of spring this past week with temperatures 
above 60 degrees for a couple of days and the birth of a calf.
Even though we see calves born throughout the year,
it was the perfect reminder of many good things to come!


Spring brings the birth of many calves from the heifers we have raised 
from birth. These first calf heifers have been cared for
 everyday of their lives for at least two years before giving birth.
Our heifer birthing watch started this week with the arrival
 of 10 heifers  to the pasture by the house.

All of our heifer calves grow up to become the cows that 
produce  high-quality milk,
so we make it a priority to get them off to a healthy start.


I'm thankful for the many signs of  hope that are provided when
we so desperately need them down on the dairy farm.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Who would have thought that the lights of the new Walmart.com warehouse
 would be lighting up my bedroom at night down on the dairy farm!
As you look to the east of the calf hutches and the pasture where 
our pregnant cows rest, you can see the new structure. 

This gigantic change to the neighborhood began last summer when we
 realized we could see Highway 12 after all the trees were removed. 
I'm still adjusting to the new landscape
but


I'm thankful that the cows and calves aren't bothered
one bit by the change of scenery 
and 


                                 
                             our commitment to providing high-quality milk by caring for our
                         cows and the land continue regardless of the rapid changes around us.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The ordinary days down on the dairy farm become extraordinary when 
viewed through the eyes of an inquisitive nearly  2 year old.

The blandness of winter scenery becomes more vivid as Hattie Claire and I 
talk about all that we see looking from our perch on the windowsill. 
We're not talking in great detail about all the ways we manage cow manure to
 help improve air and water quality or how we care for our cows everyday but 
we share an appreciation of all the activities and the farmers working at every task.

This week ,when looking to the left, our conversation was about the big tractor
 working to spread cow manure for anticipated green spring grass. 


To the right we saw  the cows busy eating their daily grain .


Tractors and cows just couldn't compare with the excitement of 
seeing the bright red headed woodpecker in the tree by the window.


                                   I'm thankful  for the opportunity we have to share life down
                                    on the dairy farm with the next generation and to enjoy the
                                                      spark of color in the dead of winter.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday


It was a dreary,gray,drizzly start to our calf feeding chore time this morning.
As I looked to the dry pasture to see if we had any new calves born in the night, 
I spotted 6 young deer running together at the north end of the pasture
 trying to figure out how to get over the electric fence.

The deer moved so quickly and gracefully.
 I wished I had been able to capture a better picture of their beauty and grace but 
my phone /camera  was buried in my coveralls to protect it from the drizzle.

   
                                          You can see a faint outline of the deer inside the heart.
                                           It was obvious that fences are no obstacle to the deer.
                                           
                                    I'm thankful for the moments of surprise that warm the heart
                                           and send a special message of love that God provides
                                                   down on the dairy farm when least expected.
                                         

                                                     Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

We're Open!

We're Open!
There's no question about what will happen down on the dairy farm
when inclement weather shuts down the  normal activities of our community.
Bundled up with several layers of warm clothes and boots to give us traction on the ice,
you  will find us doing what we do every day...


feeding calves,


milking cows,

feeding cows, 
and 

                                                                 
                              taking pride in our commitment to provide high-quality milk that
                              plays a critical role in the diets of adults and children by providing
                             nine essential nutrients, including calcium,magnesium, potassium
                             and phosphorus,in addition to 48 percent of the daily value of protein.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

We kicked off our Benton County Farm Bureau membership drive this week  with the 
signing of a proclamation by Benton County Judge Barry Moerhing to declare
 February 5-9 Farm Bureau Week.

I'm thankful to serve in an organization  that 
promotes and educates about agriculture 
and 


works for all citizens through legislative activities that impact
 our everyday lives in the city, the county 
or


                                                                down on the dairy farm.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Permitted to Farm

                   
                       Like it or not, rules and regulations are a part of our everyday lives.
                           In fact, we are permitted to farm because we follow the rules that
                                protect the environment for us, our neighbors and our cows.

                       
                 We've been following the rules and regulations  of the Arkansas Department
                          of Environmental Quality with a Regulation 5 Permit since 1985.
                         The Regulation 5 Permit allows our dairy farm  to store liquid
                                     and dry manure that is produced by our dairy cows.

                                Our facility was designed by a professional engineer to
                            make sure that storage was adequate and designed specifically
                               to protect the environment and preserve our water quality.

                   A nutrient management plan that has been designed by a soil specialist
                        guides the amount,source, placement and timing of manure on fields.

                             
                                
                                     Whether you are a dairy farmer or a hog farmer,
                               we love the land, live to protect it and follow the rules so
                                                      we are permitted to farm.
                                 


















Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Life is often confusing but I'm thankful  
you can count on the cows to point you in the right direction,


provide entertainment when they   show up in the wrong place,


show up  on the wrong side of the fence


and  according to researchers, 
still  produce  the most complete and balanced source of protein,
fat and carbohydrates compared with the assortment of dairy imitation drinks.



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It was a week filled with listening and learning  about agriculture issues.


Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach spoke to 
agriculture and business leaders about  the impact of trade 
on Arkansas farms at the
 Arkansas World Trade Center in Rogers,


Dr. Mark Stephenson spoke about the changing landscape of dairy markets
 at the Heart of America Dairy Expo in Springfield, Missouri,

and
Arkansas Farm Bureau Vice President spoke about
the current threat to  our Right to Farm in Arkansas at the
 Winter Commodity Conference in North Little Rock.


                                         
                                          I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a member of
                                           organizations  that support our farms and farmers
                                            and for the routine days down on the dairy farm.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

There's beauty in everyday.
On the dairy farm, that beauty usually includes cows and calves.
I'm thankful for the beautiful sunsets that provide a perfect backdrop 


for our extraordinary  

 
ordinary days.