Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dairyfarmer's Thankful Thursday

The calves don't seem to be a bit concerned with the
prediction of a thunderstorm. Each calf eagerly drank their milk and
began eating grain as soon as we delivered it to each bucket this 
morning under a slightly threatening set of storm clouds.
We are not always good at guessing what happens with the weather but
neither is the weatherman!

Although the calves tolerate the heat well, I am watching each one carefully
for signs of dehydration or lack of appetite that can be early signs of
 heat stress or illness.
These babies will grow to become the cows that produce milk, so we are 
committed to getting them off to a healthy start with daily consistent care.


I'm thankful when the rain holds off long enough
for the calves to eat their grain,


the hay to get baled,


                                       
                                    and for the fact that we can celebrate  eating and making
                                         ice cream during the predictably hot month of July!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Blessed Americans

Regardless of living in the middle of a pandemic and
the unrest in our country at this time,
we are blessed to live in this great nation and call ourselves 
Americans.

July 4th gives us the opportunity to celebrate all that 
we are as a nation and to appreciate all those that
have worked, struggled and sacrificed to bring us to this point in time. 
We are not a perfect nation because we are an imperfect people.
It is our duty to strive to be better on every level.


As we work today down on the dairy farm, 
we are celebrating the fact that we have the 

freedom to farm,
                                                   
                                     freedom to work everyday to provide food for Americans,

                                                       
                                                                                and
                                              the freedom  to  celebrate what July 4th means
                                                    with the next generation of Americans.

                                                           God Bless America!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Abundant spring rains made it difficult to harvest spring crops
creating that domino effect of too much to get done within 
the specific planting time frame. June could be compared to 
a Chinese fire drill down on the dairy farm with everyone going
in multiple directions everyday. All of the crops we raise are used
throughout the year to feed our dairy cows. 
The cows are counting on us!

I found myself working as a transport person as we moved equipment 
to the fields for planting crops that will be harvested in the fall.
Equipment adjustments are normal and often take more than one
farmer's knowledge to work out the kinks or in this case the hydraulics.


I'm thankful for these moments in time when waiting on the
farmers creates opportunities in the ordinary day
to appreciate my  farm family,


to see the joy in the small but mighty grand-girl's 
face when learning and helping to feed the calves,

                                                 and the wonder of just sitting on a bench!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Dairyfarmer's Thankful Thursday

There's nothing sweeter than watching a mama cow
welcome her new baby with a tongue licking bath.
This licking cleans and strategically moves  and helps expel 
any fluids that might be present in the calf's lungs. 
It's obvious that our Creator thinks of everything!


Within just three months,
this new baby will have out grown the individual hutch we
raise them in and need to be moved to a small pasture.
This process is what we call weaning.
Calves are usually 10 to 12 weeks old when weaned from the hutches.


Before moving the calves they are on water and pelleted feed
that is formulated for their growth and development. 
This preparation decreases the stress on the day
 we actually move them and for the adjustment to their
new surroundings.


I'm thankful for each of these healthy calves that will
one day be producing high quality milk and
for the opportunity I have to work with my two sons
everyday down on the dairy farm.



Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Father's Day!

                                   Ryan and I cherish the memories we have of our fathers.
                                Father's Day reminds us of all the ways our fathers loved us,
                               taught us and continually supported us as we experienced life.


Although our sons will have different experiences than us,
it's our hope that they too will have many memories to cherish.
We already know they are storing up all the times of 
funny experiences and crazy ideas we have shared  in life so far.

                                                                           
                                                            From down on the dairy farm,

                                                        Happy Father's Day!         
                     

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                               No matter how many times we find a new baby in the pasture,
                                      I still love to welcome each one to the farm and give
                                          a congratulations  to the mama for a job well done.

                                      Yesterday we had two new babies for the welcome party.
A double delight for a day during June Dairy Month.


Each of these mamas was raised by us. 
From the day of delivery, we are caring daily for each
one for an average of two and a half to three years before  
 the heifer will have her first calf.
High quality milk begins with a healthy animal and
that's where our job begins on day one in caring for each new calf.


                                                 Even though we have challenges every day,
                                I'm thankful for the joys of our job  down on the dairy farm
                                as we work to produce high-quality milk for my family and yours.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

It's June Dairy Month!
Hope you have been eating all the dairy foods you can!
We appreciate all the ways you and your families 
support us.

Down on the dairy farm, the calves celebrate
everyday with milk in the morning and evening.
Just like us humans, calves and cows must have
good nutritious food for growth and development.


Grain, a mixture of sweet corn that is pelleted,  
is added to their diet gradually to meet their nutritional needs.
Providing good nutrition and monitoring the growth and 
development of our calves is how we insure that we will
have healthy cows to produce milk.

As you can see, between the lines of barbwire, 
these beauties in the pasture will soon be
having calves and entering the milking herd.
Growing the milking herd is approximately a three
year project of love and dedication.


I'm thankful that even in tough times we can  
celebrate all that we love and care for each day.
We are blessed.


Happy June Dairy Month!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

We kicked off  the 2020 hay  season down on the
 dairy farm this week. I felt like we should be having a 
hay party to celebrate this season of hay production that 
has been delayed with cool, rainy weather all spring.

Hay is used in feeding our dairy cows everyday.
It is part of the special diet that is formulated by
our dairy nutritionist to make sure the cows are provided 
all the nutrients needed to produce milk and maintain health.

I'm thankful that the sun kept shining while this hay
was cut and baled before the next rain shower


and 

                                                         
                                                     that we did celebrate our first hay day
                                                 with the birthday of our head farmer and
                                                             his candle blowing helpers!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

From the minute we bring a newborn  calf into 
their own private hutch, it becomes our priority
to monitor the calf for any health issue and to 
make sure it is drinking milk  twice a day and
adding grain at the appropriate time.

Care in the hutches continues for approximately three months.
The hutch protects from weather and the pens surrounding
 them provide ample space for the calf to freely move about 
while protecting them from other members of the herd.


When the calves are transitioned out of the hutch into a small 
pasture, the training begins for living as a group,
 eating together from a grain trough and drinking at
the water tank.
My job last week was to stand in the gate and direct
 them to follow Ryan to the feed manger at feeding time.
It doesn't take very long for the calves to know
it's time for dinner!
  

I'm thankful for the opportunity we have
each day to care for our calves that will  assure a future 
of producing high-quality milk
                                                                                  and
                                                         for the little surprises down on
                                                                       the dairy farm!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Tradition of Remembrance

As a child I only associated Memorial Day with
a holiday that brought our family together for a picnic or
 the beginning of summer with the first trip to  the swimming 
pool.  Perhaps I was born a little too close to the end of World War II
 for anyone ready to talk about our fallen heroes.

I can't imagine what our country would be like today were
it not for all the men and women that have served our country 
to protect our freedoms.
Memorial Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate
their devotion to our country.

Fortunately for our family, my father-in-law
did make it home from his experience in Japan during
World War II.


Because of men like Bill, 
we have the freedom to farm and  live free.


                                                               We pause on Memorial Day
                                           to give thanks for those who have given their all.


Memorial Day...a tradition of remembrance.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dairyfarmer's Thankful Thursday

Milking our dairy cows twice a day is part of the 
daily routine down on the dairy farm.
During a pandemic, it is comforting in a crazy kind 
of way to be able to continue  a daily routine.

You may notice our employee, Jonathan, is wearing gloves.
Glove wearing has been part of our milking procedure
for a very long time to help decrease any spread of bacteria
from cow to cow.

I'm thankful that the COVID19 pandemic has 
not disrupted or changed our  daily activities and procedures,
 that our employees continue to be healthy,


the cows are being milked everyday,


and that farms and farm employees  are considered  essential 
so that we can continue to provide high-quality milk for 
my family and yours.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                       It's obvious from looking at the relaxation of our farm dogs,
                                       we need a little more excitement in these crazy COVID days!
                                       Feeding the baby calves twice a day has just worn them out.


  I'm thankful for these three dairy farm dogs that 
                                        do nothing but bring us joy on the gloomiest days,


the laugh from the son who put up with the wrong candles on 
his birthday cake,
                                         
for the opportunity to celebrate a belated birthday and 
Mother's Day with most of my family 


and
the beauty around us during these challenging 
days down on the dairy farm.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Finding this new baby hiding in the buttercups was a little like playing 
hide and seek with granddaughter Hattie. The obvious clue was the
 Holstein mother standing close by just waiting for recognition!

It's a comfort during these days of COVID19 to  experience 
normal activities down on the dairy farm.
Our daily mission of caring for our animals and producing safe, 
nutritious  high-quality milk has not changed.

I'm thankful for our dedicated employees that have come
to work everyday and for the fact that all are still healthy,


for the surprise visits from our flower loving,watering girl Hattie,


and for the beauty around us
confirming who is in control of all circumstances


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                                 Due to the social distancing of COVID-19,
                                            we have been postponing our family celebrations.
                                        Even so, that doesn't stop me from being thankful for
                                      these 32 years that we have watched our oldest son grow
                                                 and mature into a fantastic human being!
                                             

I'm thankful  for all of our special memories
down on the dairy farm,  


for the opportunity to see the next generation 
explore life on the  family farm,


                                                    and for the time we are looking forward
                                       to celebrating with the 32nd chocolate birthday cake!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                                           Resting is part of the job for these dairy cows that 
                                      are patiently waiting to give birth in just a few short days.

                                     Each of these cows were moved from the milking herd to 
                                               the "dry" herd for a two month rest before calving.
                                            They are fed a special diet, provided plenty of water 
                                       and checked frequently  for any changes in behavior that
                                                             might indicate time for calving.
                                      

Even though we started the day with no sunshine after yesterday's rain,
I'm thankful for the picture of rest that brings a calmness
to the chaos around us and that what we do every day matters
to you and your family as we work to produce 
high-quality,nutritious milk down on the dairy farm.





Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

With mud puddles in abundance and the crop fields too wet for
planting, it's easy to forget how fortunate we are for the
 clean water our cows drink everyday. 

Water is an important nutrient in the cow's diet and without
the availability of at least a bathtub full of water everyday, 
a milking cow will produce less milk.

 Even though these cows at the water tank are
 actually at rest in the pasture waiting to have a baby,
 water is important as they prepare for delivery.


I'm thankful for these daily reminders of how blessed we
are with the basics of everyday life down on the dairy farm
and

                                                           
                                              for our opportunity to share our blessings with
                                                                  the next generation!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Evergreen Easter

                                        Although  COVID-19 has disrupted our normal way
                                                   of living down on the Arkansas dairy farm,
                                      what hasn't changed is our Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.
                                                         

He Lives

He lives, He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, 
salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
--Alfred H. Ackley


From down on the dairy farm,
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Yesterday we provided a dairy farm tour for a kindergarten teacher
wanting  to share an adventure with her students   via phone video. 
Our social distancing was maintained as we fed baby calves, 
observed milking and feeding of the cows.
The farm tour provided fun for both visitor and  farmer
as we shared our passion for everyday life on the farm that 
brings  nutritious milk to everyone's table. 

                                   
                                         I'm thankful for the joy in sharing  our love of dairy
                                          with others and for dedicated teachers  seeking
                                         creative  ways to keep our children  involved in the
                                          education  process during the challenges provided
                                                                     by COVID-19.



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday


More than 10 years ago , my Mother-in-Love Bonnah Lyn  presented me
with this blooming crab apple tree. Even though it's a bit crooked 
from a couple of bad storms causing a twist and loss of a  few branches,
you can't help but enjoy its beauty during the period of blooming 
and the sweet memories of my tree loving mother-in-law. 


There's a lot of assurance and hope in the unfolding of spring
 and  the routine  of daily life down on the dairy farm.
The impact of COVID-19 has removed alot of our normal in everyday
life but it can not remove our joy and hope!
I'm thankful that we are able to continue milking the cows, 
feeding the cows and calves  and producing high-quality milk
that feeds families in our community.


"Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually
grant you peace in every circumstance."
                   --II Thessalonians 3:16

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Spring has arrived!
The grass  greening up, the pollen count
 climbing with all the trees and flowers beginning to bloom and
the addition of new babies to the dairy farm brings an assurance
that there is still a "normal" to our daily life.


I'm thankful for these warmer, sunny days that we have
enjoyed this week and for the fact that
we are #StillFarming during this pandemic virus 
situation that we are all facing together.

                                         
                                             I'm sharing a video that I made this week of my
                                   favorite dairy farmer to assure you that we are still working
                                        to produce high-quality milk for you and your family.