Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

                                                             
                                           
                                     Everyday is an adventure when you are two years old.


I'm thankful for every "Grandma"  moment I 
spend with Hattie down on the dairy farm
looking at the calves,



picking crab apples to feed the squirrels,
or


playing hide and go seek on a crisp fall day.
We are blessed in so many ways to share our family
 farm experience with the next generation.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that even though the view across the pasture of
 our 4th generation  dairy  farm has changed dramatically this past year,

                           
                                our family farm values of providing high-quality milk by
                                             caring for our animals and the land has not.
                                           
                                   
                                                           
                                                 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Fall Dairy Recipe

Happy Fall,Ya'll!  As I was browsing through the recipes on the Midwest Dairy website, I found a recipe just made for filling the kitchen with the smell of fall...Baked Apples with Cinnamon Yogurt Topping. 

Just reading the recipe brought back memories of my childhood when my Mother would bake apples in the fall or winter. The sweet smell of cinnamon and apples would fill the house. I'm ready to make some fall memories with a little dairy...how about you?


Baked Apples with Cinnamon Yogurt Topping


Ingredients:
4 Granny smith or Gala Apples with or       without skin
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Directions:

For Baked Apples
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Core and thinly slice apples. Place apples in a medium bowl and toss with apple juice. Mix brown sugar, cornstarch,cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in small bowl. Sprinkle over apples and stir gently until apples are coated.

Pour apples into prepared baking dish. Bake 40 minutes or until apples are slightly browned at edges and sauce is bubbling.

For Yogurt Topping
2 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Line a colander with several paper towels and place over a bowl to catch drips. Pour yogurt into colander and allow to drain refrigerated about 30 minutes. Spoon yogurt into a small bowl and stir in honey and cinnamon.
For each serving, top 1/4  of the warm apples with 1/4 of the yogurt topping.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Foggy mornings are sometimes challenging when you are looking 
for new calves that may have arrived in the early morning hours.
The gathering of these expectant cows around the new baby  was a 
beacon as the fog began to lift.


It's that mothering instinct that always shines.

                                       
                                       I'm thankful for the beauty of new life as we transition
                                                into the fall season down on the dairy farm.
                                                                                   
                                                   

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

We were happy to see Gittlein's custom chopper pull into the first corn field yesterday. 
Harvesting of any crop is a big deal but our corn crop is especially
 important to our dairy cows diet   through the winter and early spring.

All the corn we raise is chopped and hauled from the field to the 
silo on the dairy farm.The chopped corn will go through a
 fermenting process and become the silage that our  dairy cows 
will enjoy eating with other grains and hay.

It was my good fortune to be offered a ride around the field 
with my oldest son Cody.This was our view  of the chopper as 
we drove down the field side by side so the corn could be
 blown from the chopper into the truck.


With three trucks running to haul the corn to the silo,
it gave us opportunity to catch up on a little mother-son communication
 as we waited for our turn to pull up to the chopper.


                                              I'm thankful for the harvest of a good corn crop,
                                      the unexpected opportunities to spend time with my family,
                                                                                  and

                                                           
                                                     to share  life down on the dairy farm
                                                              with multiple generations.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

When my job of delivering net wrap to the field was complete,
 I took advantage of the opportunity to ride around  with Ryan
 in the truck and trailer to haul bales to the wrapper.
This crop of hay-grazer will be used to feed our dairy cows this
fall and winter in their daily feed ration.


Even though we work together every day on the farm, 
we're not often all working on the same job.


I savored the moments as I watched the farmers working together.
  
                       
                                             
                                       I'm thankful for this crop that grew in spite of the drought
                                                                               and
                                           for the steadfast faith and hard work of the farmer.                                                                               

                           
                                         

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Even though we have a daily routine that includes milking our cows
 and feeding all the animals on the farm, today was anything but ordinary.
During fall or spring calving season, 
it's not unusual to have from one to three calves born.
Today we had a total of nine new babies!

It was anything but a routine afternoon  as Ryan and I worked to
give each new calf a bottle of colostrum and vaccinations to prevent illness.


I'm thankful for these kind of interruptions of our daily routine
that bring smiles to our dairy farmer faces
                                                                                  and

                                         for the new crop of calves for Hattie  to help  feed!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Emergencies involving large animals can occur at any time in any community.
Who do we call when we need help?
Agencies that deal with public safety.
Last week  the Benton County Farm Bureau Women's Committee,
Benton County Cooperative Extension, Farmer's Cooperative and Purina 
were  involved in organizing a training event  for our emergency workers
to learn how to handle large animals in emergency situations.


Experts in animal handling provided hands on training to 
men and women who work
for our community fire departments, police departments,
 and county sheriff''s office.

                                   
                                           I'm thankful for the sponsors of this event and the
                                                   men and women who took advantage of
                                              specialized training for large animal rescue.
                             

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September's Smoothie


How are you celebrating  the first day of September?

So far, we're celebrating birthdays down on the Arkansas dairy farm.
I think that calls for a September Smoothie!


If you need a quick,nutritious, refreshment  for your action packed Saturday,
try a Apple Yogurt Smoothie I'm sharing from Midwest Dairy


                                 Apple Yogurt Smoothie



Ingredients:
                                                       2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt                                                         
1 medium Granny smith apple,cored,
    peeled and diced
  1/2 cup orange juice
  2 tablespoons honey
 5-6 ice cubes.

                                                                       Directions: 
                                Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
                                                                 Pour into 2 tall glasses. 
                            Garnish with sliced almonds, fresh mint and dollop of honey, if desired.

                                                          Happy September!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

As we hurried to get the baby calves fed before the storm moved in,
 I noticed this heifer standing away from the rest of the herd.


It's a pretty typical behavior of a cow or heifer  in the process of calving.
On closer examination, my suspicions were confirmed.
Within an hour, without any assistance this
heifer gave birth.


I'm thankful for the miracles we experience everyday
 down on the dairy farm.
                                                   
                                   

Sunday, August 26, 2018

August Hay Day

It looked like Saturday morning was the day,
an August Hay Day.
I could see the determination on  my son's face as he prepared 
the machinery and moved to the field.
No matter what, hay cutting was happening.

If you drove across Northwest Arkansas on this August Hay Day,
it was obvious that many farmers were feeling that same determination
 with hay fields mowed or in the process of being mowed.



We've been waiting for nearly two weeks for the prediction of 
scattered rain showers to move out so hay harvest could begin.
Drought conditions during April and the usual hay cutting 
months of May and June, have created a hay shortage for
 farmers across Northwest Arkansas.


It's the unexpected rain in August that has made our
makin' hay when the sun shines  possible.
It's even possible that August rains will produce enough hay to 
replenish what was lost in our  first cutting.

That calls for a celebration down on the dairy farm
--an August Hay Day!






                               
                                                   

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Can you believe it's August?

That was my very thought as I walked down the driveway and noticed 
these soon to be mama cows resting in the thick green grass.
In June when the pastures looked like we were in August,
I would never have believed that we would have any 
grass going into late summer.

I'm so thankful for the rains we have enjoyed these last two weeks,
for green pastures and growing crops that will feed our 
dairy cows this fall and winter, 

and
 the  cooler temperatures that are enjoyed by cows and farmers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday


Sitting in the petting zoo last Saturday watching the kids and adults holding 
the chicks and milking the cow, I thought a lot about the evolution 
of the Benton County Farm Bureau Petting Zoo.



Benton County Farm Bureau has sponsored a free petting zoo 
at the Benton County Fair since the 1990's.
Janice Shofner, our Women's Committee Chair at the time,
had the great idea of providing a petting zoo to educate kids and adults about
Benton County agriculture.

Our first zoo was in a tent under the big old tree at the
 fairgrounds in downtown Bentonville. 
Our current petting zoo at the Benton County Fair is under
 a tall red-iron structure with plenty of room for chicks,
calves,pigs, a couple of cows
 and a lot of kids!

I'm thankful for dedicated Farm Bureau members
 that continue to  see the value of the petting zoo in educating 
kids and adults about agriculture.




                                                     Even our Benton County Fair Queen
                                                                      loves  the chicks!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Have you ever grown your own carrot?
It was a first for  Hattie and me.

Mother planted a short row of carrots early in the summer.
We thought they had washed away in one of our unexpected
 rain showers soon after planting but to our pleasant surprise, 
five plants survived.

It was a proud carrot picking day for Hattie and my Mother!


I'm thankful  for these life lessons 
we are being allowed to share with Hattie
and

                                                             
                                                  the joy a grandchild brings to the family.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Benton County Fair Alive

If you don't think the Benton County Fair is alive,
you should see the activity on the day before the fair opens.
It's buzzing with volunteers setting up for all of the entries
 into categories of  competitions and commercial exhibits.

As I walked through the commercial building today to 
volunteer for the set-up of a booth,
I realized the impact this community event has had on my life.

As a native of Northwest Arkansas, I have participated in the 
Benton County Fair in a variety of ways.
As a child, I rode Girl Scout floats in the fair parade, participated in the 
Miss Benton County Fair Pageant,served as a volunteer 4-H adult leader, 
worked with our sons showing dairy cattle during their 4-H experience
  and  served in  the  Benton County Farm Bureau Petting Zoo.

I've got great memories of not just the fair, but the people that 
work to make the fair a success for our community.



This year's fair theme says it all:
Making Memories and Celebrating Community

If you've never been to the Benton County Fair, I hope you will come to 
celebrate with our community and make your own memories.
Sponsors have made it possible to offer free admission to the fair.
The Benton County Farm Bureau  Free Petting Zoo is open each evening
 from 5-9 p.m Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
You can find the schedule of events at:





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It was  a date with the farmer...
the Sunday afternoon crop check.
Our date time was spent driving 
to different fields that are growing the crops 
our dairy cows will be enjoying this fall and winter.

With so little rain in the days after planting the crops,
we were happy to see this field of healthy hay-grazer 
that will be baled and wrapped in a few short weeks.


As Ryan walked through the middle of the field checking 
for bugs that might be grazing on the crop,
 my thoughts turned to the unique life we lead.
It's not  everyone  that  goes on a bug finding date!

                                             
                                             I'm thankful for the rain that we have received
                                                in the last two weeks to save our crops and
                                         for the farmer with unwavering faith and optimism.
                                             

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

In the first week of June one of our cows gave birth to a very small bull  calf.
He didn't breathe well and couldn't stand up.
Although we didn't really have a lot of hope that he would live, 
it was decided to put him in the barn instead of a hutch to care for him.
Each day he drank a little more milk and with help stood for brief moments.

In just a few days, he was the favorite calf!
He became known as "Big".

To Hattie's delight, 
Big loves being fed grain by hand


and 
sharing a kiss.

                                             
                                     I'm thankful for these sweet experiences with my family
                                                                down on the dairy farm.
                                                                         

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Rain or shin, hot or cold, calf feeding is an everyday chore down on the dairy farm.
I'm thankful that my day begins with feeding our baby calves their milk.
It's an experience that always brings a smile when you watch 
their tails wag in appreciation for their nutritious milk.


We transition them from a bottle to a bucket after three
 days in their private calf hutch but milk is fed twice daily for eight
 to ten weeks with the addition of grain and water.

As I  approached the calves this morning, I think I heard them say,
"Got Milk?"


Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Before I married a farmer,
a rain gauge was just  one of those free items you received from 
the local bank or insurance company. 
My how time and experience change 
what we think and what we value.

We no longer seem to be offered the free rain gauge
but the rain gauge has become an important and valued tool in my 
farm wife toolbox.

Emptying the rain gauge during a drought 
has become my favorite job!
It's one of those happy heart moments 
down on the dairy farm.


I'm thankful for the two inch rain we received this past week,


for the fact that the rain allowed  time in the shop for machinery repair,



for the slightly cooler temperatures for our cows to enjoy
 even though it was a brief cool-down,

                                                   
                                                                              and
                                             for refreshing our thirsty land and farmer souls.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy July 4th!

We've got the best of both worlds...
the freedom to farm 


and 
to celebrate our freedom and love of country
all in the same day on this July 4th!

                                                           
                                                              Happy July 4th 
                               from down on the dairy farm!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July's Favorite Flavor


What's so great about July?
It's Ice Cream Month!

I can't think of a better way to transition from celebrating 
all things dairy during  June Dairy Month to enjoying
 a variety of  very dairy ice cream flavors.


According to  The History of Ice Cream 
 "the first official account of ice cream in America comes from a letter 
written in 1744 by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen. 

Manufacturing of ice cream became an industry in 1851 by a 
Baltimore milk dealer named Jacob Fussell. Like other American 
industries, ice cream production increased because of technological 
innovations, including steam power , mechanical refrigeration,
the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, 
and new freezing processes and equipment.

Today's total frozen dairy annual production in the
 United States is more than 1.6 billion gallons."




What's your favorite ice cream  flavor?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Farmers from across the United States gathered in Grand Rapids, Michigan
this week to attend the National Commodity Conference hosted by Michigan Farm Bureau.

It's an opportunity for different commodity groups to share information, 
discuss issues that impact their farming operations,
 and develop potential policy ideas to present during the grassroots
 policy development process of Farm Bureau.

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall gave us an overview 
of issues we are facing in agriculture. Things are tough in agriculture but 
President Duvall has the ability to tell the truth and
 season it with hope for our future.

I  met with the dairy commodity group for information and discussion
about trade,immigration, and milk price.
You don't find all the answers at any meeting, 
but
 we can gain strength and insight from talking
 with others on shared problems and concerns.


I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with others on behalf of dairy farmers,



to experience  the beauty of other places,


to learn about agriculture in other states,
and


                                             to be home  down on the Arkansas  dairy farm.