Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

We've had new babies in the pasture every day this week, in fact,
some days it has been 3 or 4.  Calving heifers, those first time mamas,
are often a little more challenging but I'm happy to report all have 
calved without any problems that required  assistance.

This heifer calved yesterday. She happens to be one of the "horned heifers"
in the group that are calving this month.  Somehow these heifers did not
get dehorned  when they were small calves. 

 Dehorning is done to decrease the risk of injury to other cows, 
 farmers or other humans. "Disbudding " of non-developed horn 
buds is a fairly simpleprocedure that is typically conducted
 the first few weeks after a calf is born.

Any dehorning at this point will be done by the veterinarian using
best industry practices to ensure the comfort and safety
 of the animal through sedation or anesthesia.

                                 I'm thankful that we have had no injuries to calves or farmers
                                  and for  the interesting conversations about horned heifers!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Early this summer we had a little extra help from
our cousin Ethan.  Ethan is the great grandson of our Uncle Deric who
 worked on our farm after his retirement from the Bentonville 
Casting Company and had taught Cody and Casey
 a lot of useful mechanical skills as they grew up. 

Ethan had a lot of  new experiences 
down on the dairy farm including feeding a new calf.

Unfortunately for us, school started just about the time
we began having new calves every day!

I'm thankful for the fact that Ethan wanted to come to 
the farm and experience the day to day life  down on 
the dairy farm and for the kindness and patience of my son,Cody,
who mentored Ethan and provided a great summer experience. 

I'm pretty sure Uncle Deric and Aunt Fritz would be
extremely proud of Ethan and Cody!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

You know the farmers of the family are desperate for help
when the oldest son asks me to come to the field to drive
the truck and trailer while  haygrazer bales are loaded.

It's not that I can't drive, it's my following directions that
can create problems.I knew it would be interesting
 when my instruction  from oldest son Cody was
"Stop when I honk".

The honking stopped after a few stops and I figured 
that I was doing my job so well, that honking
was no longer needed.

When we arrived at the bale wrapper with our load of bales,
my next job was to watch the wrapper and push the button
to stop the machine if I had the hand signal from Cody.
Wow, hand signals and no honking!
I was feeling so proud that I was performing my jobs so well.

When all the bales were wrapped, this was how it
looked as I looked behind me.

                                                      I'm thankful for each bale that will be
                                              enjoyed by our dairy and beef cows this winter
                                                 and for the opportunity to work beside my family.

                                             Unfortunately I did find out that my job performance
                                              may not have been as good as I thought because
                                         every time Cody honked, the red wasp would come out
                                                         of the horn in the old loader tractor.
                                                  That's how it goes down on the dairy farm!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Contest Keepsake

Just a few weeks ago I became aware of a photography contest
 advertised on the website nwaMotherlode  sponsored 
by The Smile Shoppe, a pediatric dental practice in Northwest Arkansas.
The subject was kids enjoying summer in Northwest Arkansas.

What I liked about this contest was  that  it didn't want professional pictures or 
recommend any certain kind of  photographic ability, just cute pictures of kids.
That's all it took for me to enter the picture I call, "First Kiss".

Today I picked up the prize for the winning picture!

Scott Frame and Art  presented me with a gallery wrapped
canvas of the photo I submitted.
It is so sweet to look at those puckered up lips!
I so appreciate this keepsake of granddaughter Hattie's
experience on our family dairy farm.

                                        Thank-you to nwaMotherlode for loving all the
                                                      mamas in Northwest Arkansas and
                                                  to the community support shown by
                                              the Smile Shoppe and Scott Frame and Art.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                                   Not all birthdays are celebrated with cake,

August is a celebration of  life down on the dairy farm.

This new baby was born after midnight and was taken to 
its own clean hutch, fed colostrum from its mother
and monitored   for  any health issues. Calves grow up to 
become the cows that produce milk, so we are committed 
to getting them off to a healthy start.

I'm thankful for the healthy calves born this month, 
the unexpected help bottle feeding the new August calves

                                      for the opportunity to celebrate  life down on the dairy
                                                        farm with the next generation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

"Foodie Friday"  was a fun food experience provided
during the Megaphone 19 Influencer conference.
We started the event by tasting our way through local food businesses at 
8th Street Market  and ending with cheese and wine pairing.

My favorite experience was the demonstration of Brightwater 
culinary chef Aria Kagan making Fresh Mozzarella.

Chef Kagan gave us the step by step directions.
Although she made it look easy, I think I would want to practice a few times before
the party!

Fresh Mozzarella requires the use of  a water bath made of 4 cups warm 
water plus 2 Tablespoons salt and 2 pounds of fresh Mozzarella curd.

My friend Kerri captured the fun part of this recipe perfectly as Chef Kagan 
was working with the cheese.

I may never attempt making fresh mozzarella but 
I am thankful to be a producer of the milk that brings great joy 
And provides many delicious and nutritious dairy foods.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

When I spotted this new calf lying next to the fence in the 
 early evening,she was all alone. It was only a few seconds
 before Mama joined us to make sure I was not a threat.

  I thought it was a perfect example of how the mothering instinct
 kicks in to protect her baby.The sun filtering through the trees
 seemed to put her in the spotlight!

I'm thankful for a healthy new calf  born on one of the 
hottest August days without any complication to the mother's health!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Storytelling Celebration

A little more than nine years ago  with the urging of
 Midwest Dairy, I stepped out of my comfort
zone into the world of blogging and social media 
 to tell our dairy story.  Spotted Cow Review 
has been my dairy storytelling place ever since. 

I celebrated my  storytelling adventure this past weekend
by attending the Megaphone Summit 2019 that was held in
my hometown of Bentonville.

Sponsors of the conference made it possible for a wide variety 
of speakers that presented  on all things blogging and social media
 and what I would call "self improvement".
A very big Thank-You to each sponsor and the host 
of the conference Soapbox Influence!

Over the last nine years, I have attended several blogging 
conferences hosted in Arkansas. For me, the very best part of each
conference is the people I have met and the inspiration
I feel by listening to others' stories.

                                                        Cheers to Storytelling!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Have you ever thought about the variety in a cow's diet?
Today we started chopping a field of hay grazer grass that was 
planted late this spring.

We're adding it to the milking cow's daily feed ration that has been 
formulated by our dairy nutritionist.

I call this green chop " cow candy" because it's obvious by the 
increased milk production it is benefiting both cow and farmer. 

There is much beauty in every farm activity.
As I look across the field at the farmers working together
to harvest the crop,

I'm thankful for my family of farmers 
and the crop to feed our cows.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

We couldn't have asked for better hay baling weather this past week.
It was hot and dry and the last bale was rolled up before the rain shower.

Harvesting hay requires planning that includes the time needed for cutting,
raking and baling. Watching the weather forecast is part of that planning
but sometimes even the best plan can be surprised by the pop-up shower.
We're still looking for that perfect app for weather predicting!

I'm thankful for the harvest of this dry hay that will 
provide our dairy and beef  cows with the nutrition 
needed this fall and winter.

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.