Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Farming is dangerous business.
It seems especially dangerous when moving large,wide
equipment from field to field when it requires moving on
 narrow country roads or entering a highway that is full of 
vehicles that are not too happy to share the road with 
a slower moving tractor.

One of my jobs this last week was to follow the tractor
 and planter as we moved to the next field. I held my breath
 a few times on the dirt road when we met a car or truck
 but my fits of anxiety were worth it just getting to
 enjoy the canopy of trees that shaded
 this old country road. 

I'm thankful for these moments of inspiration
provided by the beauty around us,

for the farmer that loves to plant a crop for his cows to enjoy,

                                          for the curiosity of heifers when you open the gate
                                                                 to the field next door!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Monday was 'test' day down on the dairy farm .
It wasn't a pass or fail test like you might have in school but rather 
a fact gathering test to give us information about the production of
each cow being milked on the farm.

Greg, our Mid-South Dairy Records technician, arrived 
before milking time to set up his meters and prepare to 
take a sample of milk from each cow.

All of the information gathered about each cow's milk is transferred into
a computer program that is part of our herd's record keeping system.

I'm thankful for the dedicated service Greg provides 
for our farm to assure we produce high-quality milk,
and for the years of friendship that make us more like family. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Just as we do everyday, we're starting our July 4th celebration with feeding our calves
and getting the cows milked.  It's what we do everyday of the year but
that's not to say we won't be having fun later!

July 4th is a very special remembrance of the freedom we have 
to farm and do what we love.
I am thankful for the life we enjoy everyday on the farm and
to be involved in an occupation that provides nutritious milk
 for your family and mine.

I hope you have a very happy and safe July 4th!

                                                                         Happy July 4th!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Key Lime Pound Cake

 A  few weeks ago, I found this delicious Key Lime Pound Cake while scrolling on Facebook.
Many thanks to the author of The Irreverent Kitchen for sharing this dairy packed recipe!

From the reviews of family and friends, I'm adding this to my cake recipe collection!

Key Lime Pound Cake with Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

4 sticks butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature                                                         
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
1/4 cup evaporated milk
4 teaspoons key lime zest,minced
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cover inside of 10 inch tube pan with non-stick spray.
Beat butter with stand-up or electric hand-held mixer until light in color and fluffy.
One at a time, add the eggs and beat only until yellow disappears.
Stir juice, milk,zest and vanilla together.
Now mixing by hand, gradually add flour to the butter egg mixture alternating with the key lime juice
and milk mixture. Begin and end with flour. Mix well but just enough to incorporate all ingredients.
Pour evenly into the tube pan and tap pan on the counter to loosen any air bubbles.
Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
cool on a cooling rack for 20-25 minutes in the pan then transfer from pan to cooling rack and allow to cool another hour or until completely cool.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

3-4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar,sifted
1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
2-3 teaspoons key lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla

Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until well mixed.
Add confectioner's sugar  and beat well until completely smooth and fluffy.
Add key lime juice, zest, and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Ice cake.
The excess icing was used to fill the middle hole of the cake and when the cake is served, icing can
be dolloped next to the side of a slice of cake.

                                               Don't forget your dips of vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

To cut or not to cut? 
That has been the question most discussed 
during this season of rain not only down on the dairy farm
but by farmers across  Benton County and many parts of Arkansas.
Hay is an important crop for all livestock farmers and growing
it is an important part of  our farm's  sustainability.

Many fields are still too wet to cut but after much discussion
it was decided to take our chances and start with the small field 
next to the house so it can be fertilized for the next cutting.

Too much rain has created the need for more creative planning and
adjusting our usual work schedules but
I'm thankful for the rain because without it,
nothing grows.

Too much or too little of anything, reminds us who is in control.
Even the lilies know that! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

I come from a long line of homemade ice cream eaters.
When I was small child, it was my delight to fight with the 
visiting cousin on who would sit on the ice cream freezer 
while our Papa (our Grandpa)  turned the crank.

The next best memory was helping to clean the paddle 
that was full of creamy ice cream.
Our electric ice cream freezer has changed the work 
that goes into making the ice cream, but our 
 memory making continues with the next generation.

As you can see, this was serious business for my Mother
and my granddaughter Hattie!

                                          I'm thankful for the holidays that bring us together
                                              as a family and  these special milk memories
                                                         made down on the dairy farm!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Happy Father's Day

From down on the dairy farm,
from our family to yours,

                                                       Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                    We've been celebrating June Dairy Month since the first
                                      day of June but it's now official in Arkansas according
                                    to the proclamation signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson
                                                        at the Capital in Little Rock.
                                                             Heidi from Hiland Dairy
                                                brought a lot of smiles for the camera!

and shared a variety of award winning Hiland dairy 
products with the Governor.

                                               I'm thankful to be an Arkansas dairy farmer
                                             and for those that work in the dairy industry to
                                           make sure nutritious and delicious  dairy products
                                             are available everyday  for Arkansas consumers.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                         Arkansas Farm Bureau celebrated June Dairy Month
                                     by sponsoring the Dairy Foods Contest today in Little Rock.
                                            This contest has been a youth activity sponsored
                                            by Arkansas Farm Bureau  for more than 60 years.
                                         As a dairy farmer, I was honored to be one of three judges
                                               with the task of selecting the best dairy  recipe prepared
                                            and served by 4-H contestants from across the state.
                                                           It was a hard but very delightful  job!

                                        Today's first place winner of the Main Dish category
                                                              was Kalin Key of Eldorado. 
                                        Her recipe was "Almost Cajun Creamy Shrimp and Grits."
                                          I loved her explanation of the title--" I live close to the
                                                         Louisiana line, so it's almost Cajun".

                                              I'm thankful for Arkansas Farm Bureau's work
                                               to provide learning experiences for our youth
promotion of dairy!


Saturday, June 1, 2019

World Milk Day

                                             What better way to kick off June Dairy Month
                                                      than by celebrating World Milk Day! 

                                                      Through out the month of June, we are
                                          celebrating the amazing things real dairy has done.
                                   One of our ways to celebrate is to ask you to join us in
                                       providing milk to   kids facing hunger this summer.

                                More than 18 million kids may miss out on milk's nutrition
                          when  they lose access to free and reduced-price meal programs
                           at school. Milk is one of the most requested items at food banks.
                                but despite the demand, it's one of the least donated items.

You can celebrate and provide nourishment to kids by donating at

Happy World Milk Day!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

If you didn't watch the weather reporters on TV, 
you could watch the farmers in Northwest Arkansas to make 
the prediction we were going to have a few days of
 sunshine and dry weather by the amount of hay being cut,
 baled or wrapped in this past week.

I'm thankful...
 for these few days of dry weather that 
enabled us to begin the season of hay cutting,baling and wrapping,
that will feed our dairy cattle through this next year,

for the rain and sunshine that make the flowers bloom in May,

and for the blessings I have received
in 64 years!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Everyday

We might not be farming today if it were not for the
 brave men and women who sacrificed for our freedom.

As I walk by the old hay barn everyday where Ryan's Mother
 milked cows during World War II, I can only imagine
the pain and suffering of our friends and neighbors who 
endured the loss of their friends  and  family members during 
times of war.

I can never repay them but I will never forget them.

Memorial Day is not just a day...
it is everyday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                          An ordinary day down on the dairy farm is full
                                                            of extraordinary activities.
                                        It is the Mother's behavior of licking her calf that gives
                                        the new baby strength and encouragement to stand up
                                      for the first time usually within the first hour after birth.

I'm thankful for the reminder of how important a little 
encouragement can be to all of us!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

What's up Buttercup ?
I don't know the origin of that phrase but if you have noticed there is a lot 
of Buttercup weed in pastures all across Northwest Arkansas.
It's not unusual to see some Buttercup weed in the spring, but
this year's crop is outstanding! 
It is pretty but unfortunately, it is a weed and will require a plan
to get rid of it. Pasture management is  an ongoing
job of every farmer and changes each year with our always 
changing weather conditions.

I'm thankful for the science and research that provide
the ways to manage pastures safely and effectively
and the help farmers receive from our Benton County Extension
 agents in making management decisions that impact our farms.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

I'm looking forward to sitting around the table with my family
in celebration of Mother's Day.
It's our family tradition down on the dairy farm.

As I have been making preparation for our gathering,
it has been a sweet time of reflection of how 
blessed I am to have a sweet Mother who  loves me,

a mother-in-love who  raised the farmer I married,
  and the opportunity to be a mother and a grandmother. 

                                                       Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

A new calf doesn't always follow Mama 
but you can usually count on 

Mama to show up if you get a little too close.
I have great respect and appreciation  for this maternal instinct.

I'm thankful that we have the opportunity to enjoy 
the land and animals  that live with us and around us.

                                            We love the land and work to protect our natural
                                                       resources down on the dairy farm.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Don't you just love the month of May?
Spring showers bring the beautiful flowers, budding trees,
green grass and the all too prevalent allergies.

Although my Mother  transplanted the iris from the garden 
last spring to the bottom of the mailbox, we were not
really sure what color iris would bloom.
To our surprise, the blooms are in the shades of purple.

I'm thankful for the daily reminders of how God is in control.

Today's scripture on my kitchen calendar emphasized my thoughts:
"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like on of these. 
If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow
is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, 
O you of little faith?"
                   --Luke 12:27-28

                                                 From down on the dairy farm, Happy May!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Even though you don't see any black spots on this new calf, it is a Holstein.
There's nothing prettier than a pure  white calf  on bright spring green grass.
Each calf is unique and has characteristics of its parents.
In fact, every calf's spots or markings are unique to them.

What I love about all of the dairy cows, no matter what kind or color,
they provide us with delicious, nutritious  milk.

I'm thankful for the new spring calf crop
and the milk that is produced for all of us to enjoy.

What kind of world would it be without 
butter and cream cheese to use when baking Easter
 goodies like Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Earth Day is Everyday

Everyday is Earth Day down on the dairy farm. 

We celebrate Earth Day by how we provide everyday care
 for the land by utilizing science and best management
 practices that make economic sense, help the environment
  and are socially responsible to our community.

Everything we do makes a difference  such as:

protecting air quality by following proper manure storage practices,

recycling manure to fertilize crop and pasture land,

growing crops with recycled manure that builds the
organic materials in the soil and improves water retention,

reducing the carbon footprint of milk by 63 percent due to 
improvements in animal feeding,animal health programs
and overall farm management practices.
                                                           When you get right down to it,
                                                      we celebrate Earth Day Everyday,
                                                            for the next generation.

Happy Earth Day Everyday!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

We experience new life on the dairy  farm year round, 
but there's nothing like seeing new calves born in the spring
on a carpet of new green grass and the beauty around us. 

Our expectant mothers have been watched closely 
   to insure a healthy delivery.
 It's always exciting to meet our new baby!

Our days are filled with routine chores and common every
day challenges but I'm thankful for the blessings of new life,
for the smiles and laughter of children

                                                           the Hope of the Easter season.

                                                             From down on the dairy farm,
                                                               Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Tractors are used every day down on the dairy farm for a variety of jobs.
Although we have more than one tractor, the little Ford tractor 
serves to bring the dairy  cows to the milking barn twice each day.
No doubt it's  a priority to repair the wheel. 

Unfortunately, we don't plan on these common events
but it does teach us about being flexible and making the most 
of every day--good or bad.
I'll admit, I'm still a student on handling being flexible.

When we are most discouraged or hit with an unexpected event,

I'm thankful for the signs  and  gifts God
freely provides to us on a daily,moment by moment schedule.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Farmer

Ever heard of Action Jackson?
Well, this is the Arkansas Farm Bureau version of  Action Jackson,
that is, Matt Jackson, Agriculture Educator!

Kindergarten students at Pea Ridge Primary School
listened intently to all that Mr. Matt shared with them about
 the dairy cow and how to milk her. 

     My job was easy--I was the local dairy farmer
who brought Cow hats,coloring books and crayons provided by
Midwest Dairy!
Hugs and smiles from a child definitely give you star power.

                                            I'm thankful for the portion of our Farm Bureau
                                            membership dollars that are spent for educating
                                             children and  adults  and for the opportunities
                                                            to share our agriculture story.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

It was the perfect spring morning to walk across the pasture to 
find this baby snuggled down in the loose hay around the manger.
As usual, Mama stayed between me and the calf just in case 
I should act wild and crazy or the farm  dogs following me got too close!

                                           I am thankful for new life down on the dairy farm

                                                                 for the gifts of spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Whether you are nearly 3  or celebrating your 88th year,
birthdays are special occasions down on the dairy farm.

I'm finding that with each family  birthday celebration,
life becomes sweeter and richer as each year passes.

I'm thankful for the sweet relationship I  share with my
Mother and my granddaughter Hattie


                                             for the birthdays that are just in time to help us
                                                                      kick off spring!