Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

No tears were shed when we ended February and began
the month of March with the delightful fifty degree temperature
and the feeling of spring just around the corner.


I'm thankful for the little bit of green that is beginning to 
show up in the pastures down on the dairy farm,


the new baby calves that are being born without 
the worry of below zero temperatures,


and 
for the joy brought by just being with grandchildren
on a spring-like winter day!


                                           

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday




One of the best things about farm living is that we have
so many  moments  that fit the old phrase
 "a picture is worth a thousand words".


The sun has been more than welcome in helping to melt off
the two weeks of cold temperatures, ice and snow.
Last week we had cows calving in below zero temperatures and
today's baby arrived with a warm forty degrees.
Isn't is amazing what a difference the sunshine makes to our stress level?

In the very same day, I received a box of sunshine from my
dear friend that is working every day as a nurse during the 
pandemic of our lifetime.
In her very own words, "a little ray of healthy vitamin C and
sunshine". She's my hero!


I'm thankful for the sunshine gifts of life and love
that God sends us everyday! 







                                    

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

                             

                                      

    After carefully walking around on ice last week,  we were  extremely happy for the    snow that made it easier and safer for us and the cows to  gain a little bit of traction.   We prepared as best would could for what we consider normal  cold weather but nothing on the farm works when temperatures drop below zero and hover in the teens through out the day.


From the equipment in the milk barn to the water tanks, well houses,
 and ponds, everything has been frozen.  Every minute of each day 
has been busy with hauling water, breaking ice on the ponds,
  feeding the cows and repairing damaged equipment to get 
the milking done. 

If you want to see a farmer's determination to care for his animals,
come on  down to the dairy farm and I will show you  my family of farmers.

 

I'm thankful that my family and our employees have
been kept safe this week  as we worked together
down on the dairy farm.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Preparing for extreme cold weather is always a challenge on the dairy farm
but when you add a layer of ice it's a double whammy.
As we tried to bring the two expectant mamas into the maternity barn
to shelter for the night, the first cow slipped on the ice.
Luckily, she was able to get up and walk on to the barn.

After seeing the struggle of the cow getting up on the ice, 
it was decided the other cow would be  left in the pasture.
Cold weather doesn't create the same risk as the broken leg or hip injuries.
Several large hay bales were unrolled for the cows to rest on.
As luck would have it, the cow in the pasture calved and the cow in 
the maternity barn did not.

Cody brought this new baby into the maternity barn as soon as he found her
and put her in a hutch with a heat bulb. She looked pretty cozy when I 
went to check on her after calf feeding.
I thought about climbing into the hutch with her for 
a warm-up!


It's been a rough couple of days trying to stay warm
and upright walking on ice but I'm thankful for the 
fact that we have a healthy new baby and that 
no animals, employees or family have been injured
down on the dairy farm.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

One of the greatest joys of family farm life is
sharing  everyday activities with our children and
grandchildren.  

Hearing the sweet little voice of Hattie was all it
took for me to abandon my farm bookkeeping task,
 throw on my coat and head to the calf 
hutches with Cody and Hattie.

The afternoon was perfect for the job of placing 
ear tags that we use to identify each heifer calf.
This identification number is used as a name and is
entered into a computer data base. The  information about
each heifer calf is used for the care  of each calf
 as they grow and mature and eventually become part
 of the milking herd.


Hattie's job was to entice the calf out of the hutch.
She obviously had the job she wanted!


I'm thankful for each moment we have together
and 


                                                and for  the memories we are creating
down on the dairy farm.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday




January must know her days are limited as she brought us 
chilling temperatures and a skiff of snow just at calf feeding
time this morning.  
A new baby and her mother were just what I needed to
warm my heart on this cold January morning.


After all the calves were fed their morning milk and grain,
we picked up the baby , transported her to a warm calf
hutch and walked her mother to the milk barn.
It's my job from this point to monitor and care for the 
baby. High-quality milk begins with a healthy cow and
it begins on this very first day.

Who else gets to feel such joy and can describe having
fun at work more days than not!
I'm thankful!













 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday



It was moooving day this week!
The move did not include any packing material or boxes--
just calves that enjoyed kicking up their heels with
 the excitement of  a new experience.
The oldest calves  in the calf hutches (at least three months old)
 were moved from their individual hutches to a small pasture
 where they will begin  living together as a herd. 

Before being put on the trailer,
each calf received a vaccination to protect them from 
common calf diseases and a dose of wormer.
This weaning process began  weeks before moving  day by
transitioning them from milk to water and a grain that is
 formulated for the growth of an older calf.


Weaned calves continue to be monitored closely for 
any signs of illness during their twice a day feeding in 
the pasture.  


I'm thankful for each of these calves
that we have raised from their
first day of life  down on the dairy farm
and


                                               the future production of high-quality milk

                                                 that begins with a healthy calf.

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Party



 
A birthday down on the dairy farm is always a celebration.
These new calves represent the growth of our dairy herd
and the future production of high quality milk.
My daily job is caring for these new babies.

It truly is a celebration when you witness a calf that is
 born and raised on the farm give birth to her own calf.
It's one of the labors of  dairy farmer love to watch 
this process over a two and a half year process.
It's our own brand of dairy farmer party!
 
                              

                                      We're also finding the fun in farm family birthdays

                                              with the expert candle blowers.

                                Hattie and Breck definitely bring more fun to the party!


Sheath Cake is one of our family favorite birthday
requests. It's not so pretty but if you love
chocolate cake with a big dip of vanilla ice cream,
this is perfect!

Sheath Cake

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
 1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs,slightly beaten
Bring margarine, shortening, cocoa and water to a rapid boil.
Pour over the sugar and flour,beat well.
Add buttermilk and soda, vanilla and eggs.
Beat, then bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes.
Cover with the following.

Icing:
1 stick butter
4 Tablespoons cocoa 
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons milk
1 cup pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring butter, cocoa and milk to a boil.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla and pecans.
Beat well, pour over cake while hot.




Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dairy Farmer Delight



Providing a nutritious diet for our dairy cows is an everyday job
down on the dairy farm. The diet can include a variety of ingredients but
it is a balanced diet that is formulated by our dairy nutritionist. 
Our cows' diet currently includes silage, hay, vitamins and minerals, and ground 
corn. Each ingredient provides a nutrient that the cow needs to produce milk
and maintain body functions. 


I was reminded of the importance of good nutrition this week by my
family doctor during my "Welcome to Medicare" yearly physical.
As we reviewed the lab work, the discussion turned to the need for
a bone density test, a review of calcium and vitamin D requirements
 and how to increase the calcium in my diet.
It was music to my ears, when I was encouraged to increase the
dairy in my diet! Was my doctor trying to make this dairy farmer's day?
Instead of taking a calcium pill, could I increase the dairy in my diet?
Wow--could I increase the dairy in my diet? You bet!
A dairy farmer's delight!

There may come a time when I need that calcium pill and I
 will be happy to take it, but I'd much rather improve my 
dietary habits than to take a calcium pill!
After all, milk contains nutrients, including calcium, potassium,
 protein and phosphorus; plus, it's fortified with vitamins A and D.

When I left the clinic, my thoughts turned to the decades of nutrition research  
 and the ongoing educational efforts of the National Dairy Council.
  As a dairy farmer, a nurse and now a member of the Medicare age group,
I'm thankful and grateful for the nutritional information and education shared
 by the National Dairy Council with physicians and other health
 professionals  that are caring for all ages.