Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday


                                             Aren't these the cutest twins!


On a foggy morning in the pasture, the second calf was hidden  until it stood up next to Mama and appeared to be checking out the neighborhood before moving very far from Mom.  In just a short time, each calf was following their Mother around the pasture as expected.  Even though we will have three or four sets of twins born each year, each set is unique  and totally unexpected.

I'm thankful for the joy we find in the unexpected surprise gift of twins and the cooler weather for calving season down on the dairy farm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

For more than 50 years, corn and other types of grain or grasses have been
harvested and stored in the pit silo.  We have two of these
pit silos  located on the corner of the dairy farm where trucks can back up and unload.
Granddad Grover dug out the first silo on the corner and with the addition of 
more dairy cows, Ryan built the second silo. 
Everyday of the year, our tractor and feed wagon drive to the silo to load silage
that is mixed with other ingredients to provide a nutritious diet
for our dairy herd.

This past week a new chapter for our farm was begun with the 
design of a new concrete slab that will take the place of our pit silos.
Closing of the pit silos is necessary for the proper design of the road  that 
will accommodate the increased traffic of the development just across from
the dairy.  

Even though change is never easy, I am thankful that this change will actually
provide a safer place for us to load silage into the feed wagon and decrease the
chance of a traffic fatality as we strive to work on the farm in an urban environment.

Best of all, our cows will never miss a delicious bite that produces 
the high-quality milk for you and your family!


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

No matter the month, all new calves are welcome down on the dairy farm.
We don't typically try to have too many August calves due to the heat but
sometimes, it just works out that way. I'm thankful that all the calves and their
mothers are doing very well and probably adapting better than the farmers!

This baby bull was born yesterday  and has  been moved to 
his own individual hutch where he can be fed and monitored closely. The
baby does receive his mother's milk the first three days to make sure he
gets all his mother's colostrum.
Mom has moved to the milking herd where she is being milked twice a day.
The milk she produces will not be put in the milk tank for at least
 five days or when we receive the results from the test on her milk to
 make sure there is no medication present.  
It is the absolute truth that there are no antibiotics in milk! 

We are so thankful for the opportunity to work everyday 
to produce high-quality,antibiotic free  milk for you and your family!


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

In our days of nothing seems normal,
it is comforting to watch the cows relaxing and enjoying
the end of  a hot summer day in the cool of the evening.

Rest  is part of the care plan for these soon to be
mamas. To prepare for the big event of birth, each cow is  removed
from the milking herd and brought to the pasture to rest for the  60 days prior 
to calving. This is more maternity leave than most human moms enjoy!

Our commitment to ensuring high-quality milk begins with 
taking good care of our cows and treating them with respect.

I'm thankful for these visual reminders that every job on the farm
and in nature is important in making a difference to our   life down on the 
dairy farm.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Dairy farmers support practices that make economic sense,
 help the environment and are socially responsible to our
 communities and our world. 

 A great example of this farming  practice statement is the hay crop that
 we are cutting this week has been fertilized with the manure produced
 by our cows. Utilization of cow manure increases the water retention of 
the soil, adds needed nutrients for crop growth and protects
the water quality of our farm by following our farm plan 
designed for environmental protection.

I'm thankful for the hay crop that not only feeds the cows but
for the dairy farmers that work everyday using best management 
 practices to  insure that our land will be left in better shape for the
next generation of  family farmers.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Summertime cattle working is not always so pleasant when the sun is
 beaming down but the job was much easier when we all worked together.
 Lucky for us the clouds gathered up and provided relief for us and the calves. 
The  job included applying pour on fly deterrent,giving a dose of wormer 
and checking for pink-eye that is usually caused by those pesky flies.

As we wrapped up July, August began with a pleasant surprise of 
record breaking cool weather. Even though we haven't suffered with
100 degree days this summer,I am thankful for the cool mornings
and evenings that are bringing refreshment to us as we continue 
our summertime journey down on the dairy farm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Early this year I became aware that Benton County was seeking
 to develop a Benton County Quilt Trail that would become a part
 of the Arkansas Quilt Trail. Benton County will be the 24th county
 in the state to join the state trail.

Quilt trails have become a sightseeing and destination movement
 across the U.S. inspired by quilt making, storytelling and local history.
With the disappearance of so many farms in our county,
I couldn't think of a better way to share our rich local 
farming history while also celebrating my 65th birthday!

Since I'm not a quilter or an artist, 
I am thankful  I was introduced to a maker
of barn quilts through a mutual friend.
My  Rising Star Barn Quilt was painted by
Holly Duck of  Duck Hollow Barn Quilts.

We had the hanging of the Barn Quilt this week!
It was so much fun to watch the long awaited 
completion of the project.

It was obvious from the beginning that 
a tall ladder just wouldn't work.
Milford Crane Service made the job look easy
and a whole lot safer than my vision of
family members on a ladder!

In preparation to be accepted to be a part of the quilt trail, 
 the application asks the participant to write a little bit about the history of the barn.
This is what I submitted:
The Rising Star barn quilt block brightens up the hip roof style barn built with
 oak lumber  handpicked by owner Bill Anglin in 1957. If barns could talk,
 it would tell you that it has been a place for milking cows, 
storing machinery, providing housing for calves and hay storage. 

Before the introduction of big round hay bales, 
the barn stored over 8000 square bales during summer harvest. Even on those
 hot August harvest days, stacking hay in the Anglin Barn was not all bad 
when you were treated to a late night supper and homemade ice cream 
prepared by Bonnah Lyn Anglin.

 The barn continues to be used by the fourth generation of the Anglin family
 as part of their Triple A Farms dairy and beef operation.

I'm thankful for this gift from my family that 
celebrates our rich Benton County agricultural history
and the legacy of our farming family.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

When we have visitors to the farm we often get the
question about how many times do we milk everyday.
Our cows are milked twice a day beginning at seven in the 
morning and seven at night. Between milking times, 
the cows are eating their balanced feed ration that is made available 
in the barn and pasture , drinking water and resting in the pasture.

All the procedures for both milking times are the same but
the evening milking does have a more calm atmosphere with
less people working outside,the setting of the sun and the cool of the
evening bringing a refreshment from the heat of the day.

I'm thankful for these dairy barn night lights
 that are a sign that the milking of cows 
continues  on our family farm 

                                              that even in the year of a health pandemic in
                                                   our communities and across our nation,
                                        dairy farm families like us are working day and night
                                                to provide nutritious, high-quality milk.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Resting in the shade  on a hot July afternoon is the routine for 
these  cows that  will be calving within the next two weeks.
It's hard to find a cool spot in the month of July,
 but  if you follow the cows during the day, you will find yourself 
moving to where ever the shade is found in the pasture.

It's our job to make sure they have access to  fresh water
and shade and monitor them closely for signs of calving.
We also provide a special formulated feed that meets their
nutritional needs while they are resting from milk
 production and  preparing  for calving.

When I watch the cows resting in the shade by the yard, 
I'm thankful for the memory of planting these pine tree 
twigs nearly thirty years ago with Cody and Casey playing
 in the yard, for the beauty of each tree and the shade
 that is so appreciated by our beautiful Holstein cows 
down on the dairy farm.

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 

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,

                                              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


                                                     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
                                                         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.