Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thank a Veteran

Bill Anglin, my father-in-law, served in the Army during
World War II.  Part of his service time was spent in Japan
as a medic.  Bill never talked about his war experience but
we know that he witnessed much pain and suffering during his
time of service.  He was like many others that returned to their homes
and communities and went about living life to the fullest with
their families. Although  returning home was a victory ,  there was
a great awareness of and appreciation for those that gave all for 
the protection of freedom.

We continue to enjoy the freedom to farm and
live as we choose because of the brave men and women
who have served and are serving to protect our freedoms.

                                                           Many thanks to every Veteran!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

I returned from a trip to Little Rock just in time
to check on the calves during their afternoon feeding.
It was a dreary,rain threatening afternoon and already getting
dark when I made my way to the hutches.

The calves were already finished with their afternoon milk
and were enjoying the grain that had been added to their feed
bucket.  With the threat of rain, I was glad to see that 
each calf  had their head down in the feed bucket.

I'm not quite adjusted to the  Daylight Savings time change that 
occurred this past Sunday but 
I'm thankful that our calves don't seem to be bothered at all.

Their  growth and development goes right on
as long as we provide milk and grain twice daily and monitor 
closely for any illness.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Happy Halloween!

I hope your day was filled with more treats than tricks.
Other than our crazy cold last day of October weather,
the treats down on the dairy farm far outweighed the tricks.

I'm thankful for the healthy new calf that was born this morning
for the smiles brought to us by 
 the cutest Goldilocks and little Baby Bear. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

School nutrition is serious business.
I saw it first hand   last weekend when I was invited to 
attend the Missouri School Nutrition Conference  as part of a
presentation with Midwest Dairy and Domino Pizza.

Before our "My Plate,My Pizza,My Farmer"  presentation, I was awed by the food 
trade show that included a wide variety of available 
foods that schools can choose to serve.
The trick is to choose foods that fit the requirements for dietary 
guidelines, stay within the school budget and most importantly, that  the 
students will eat.

As a dairy farmer, I'm proud of the nutritious milk 
and dairy foods that we produce and for the support of
 companies like Domino's that not only love our product
 but have developed a food that meets dietary guidelines
 and tastes good. Domino's Smart Slice Pizza  is made 
fresh where local franchise stores participate in
 providing it for schools.

I had my own slice of Smart Slice and it was delicious!

I'm thankful for the support Domino's has shown to dairy farmers,
for the opportunity to share how we work on the dairy to produce 
high-quality milk, and 

for the convenience of foods that make life a little easier
when the dairy farmer takes a day off from the farm 
and a day out of  the kitchen!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                        What's prettier than a new Holstein mother and baby ?
                            The answer is a beautiful red Ayrshire with a black and white calf.

                             This was an expected outcome when you use a Holstein bull for
                                    breeding the herd of cows but it's always exciting to find
                                                              a "new " look in the field!
                            The Ayrshire cattle in our milking herd  were added by our son Cody
                                                during his 4-H dairy project years and continue
                                                                to add beauty to the herd.
                              Ayrshire cattle originated from Scotland and are known for low
                            somatic cell counts, ability to convert grass into milk efficiently,
                             and hardiness. The breed is known for easy calving and longevity.

This new baby was born the week of our two terrific lightening and storm 
events that brought a lot of rain and destruction.
I'm thankful that we had no loss of life, human or animal, during these
storm events and for the life lesson to put no faith in surge protectors!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

 Saturday afternoon was the perfect example of farmer flexibility.
You can have all kinds of plans but when the neighbor calls
to report a wandering heifer  running down the road, all plans change.

We jumped in the truck and drove up and down the road looking
for the same heifer that has been out of the pasture more than once.
After she was located in the neighbor's yard, Cody arrived with the
4-wheeler and we drove her back to the pasture. 

Of course,the heifer had no thought of going through 
the gate we had opened.She ran back to the spot where the fence
 was down and jumped over it with the grace of a deer. 
It certainly made it easy to find where the tree had
 fallen on the fence that   needed repair!

While Cody and Ryan fixed fence, all of the curious 
heifers moved in to check things out.

I loved seeing this group of bred heifers gather around 
through the timber. Each of these beauties have been raised by us
 and will give birth to their first calf in a few months.

I'm thankful that there was only one heifer that found the
way out, for our neighbors that  care enough to call
when a cow or heifer may be found wandering in the neighborhood
and for the dedicated dairy farmers committed to taking good care 
of their cows and heifers.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

It's corn  chopping time!
You may not get all excited when you see this picture but
to the family farmers and our dairy cows, harvest of this 
corn crop is  a real celebration.
  Raising a crop that  both  utilizes manure produced by the cows and 
  feeds our cows is part of the sustainability of our farming operation. 

The chopped corn is being trucked to the pit silo where it will 
ferment  for a few weeks and change into corn silage.
 Corn silage is a welcome addition to the cows' diet plan.

                                      I'm thankful for the cooperation of the weather this week,
                             for no major mechanical problems, and the safety of the trucks and
                                                           drivers on the trips to the silo.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October Treat

Even though we can buy apples year round, there's just something special when given apples from a friend's own tree.  We don't know the name of the apple but I would describe them as a mild Granny Smith--slightly tart but perfect for baking in cake or pie.  Kicking off October with a new cake recipe that filled the kitchen with smells of cinnamon and apples seemed the perfect way to celebrate the gift of fall apples. I read through a lot of recipes posted on line and even though many were very similar to the one I chose, I trusted my old cookbook,Sassafras!

The recipe was easy to make and the brown sugar icing was finger lickin' good!
I'm pretty sure this cake will be a family favorite especially when you add a dip or two
of vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Alley Spring Apple Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4  teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups peeled, chopped apples
1 cup chopped pecans

Brown Sugar Icing:
 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
 1/2 cup butter
 1/4 cup evaporated milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a bundt pan. In a large bowl, mix oil, sugar and eggs.
Add vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and salt.
Blend into oil mixture. Fold in apples and pecans. Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes.
Remove cake from pan and cool. To prepare icing, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Beat with a spoon until icing is cool. Drizzle over cake. Serves 12 to 15.

                                                        Happy October!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Last week when we ran out of room in the calf nursery area,
the new babies were brought to temporary pens in the 
feed barn.  It wasn't ideal but it provided a protected, 
individualized space for each calf. 

                                  I'm thankful that we were able to wean older calves to pasture
this week and for the hard work of all the family and employees
that moved all the calves to their individual hutches in the nursery.
My world is back to normal with all the babies
in one place!

On the flip side, I enjoyed being in the feed barn when the cows 
were  eating and enjoying their feed.  

Wouldn't you love to have someone plan and prepare every meal for you?


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.