Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dairy Icon

This past week I attended the Dairy Farmers of America annual meeting in Kansas City. One of the attractions in the trade show was Elsie the Borden Cow. A real live cow waiting to have her picture taken with any admirer! Did you know that Elsie is in the top ten list of icons for the twentieth century? Elsie was a real cow owned by family farmers in Connecticut. The Borden family purchased Elsie and began promoting her as their mascot. Elsie was created in the 1930's to symbolize the
"Perfect Dairy Product". She is still being used to promote the Dairy Farmers of America's Borden cheese. Taste, trust, and tradition are what consumers relate to when they see Elsie on the Borden package. Dairy farmers have a lot in common with Elsie---we are producing a great tasting product, we are trusted to provide a safe and nutritious product and we are working to maintain the family farm tradition. Check out recipes and meet some of our dairy families at Friends of

Sunday, March 14, 2010


All the farmers I know are celebrating the arrival of Daylight Savings Time. Dairy farming is a management and labor intensive occupation. Every day of the year we are milking cows twice a day on our farm, feeding and caring for all of our livestock and working to maintain the farming operation. So what is so exciting about Daylight Savings Time? Daylight Savings Time brings more daylight for the farmer to work longer hours. The warmer spring weather and longer days signal the beginning of our other task which is to prepare farm equipment and fields for crop production. As I moved my clock forward last night, I thought about stories my mother-in-law told us about Great Aunt Edna. In the 1940's, Aunt Edna worked as a nurse in town, milked cows before and after work, and raised a huge garden for her family's food supply. She often hoed her garden by lantern light. With Daylight Saving Time, we now use tractor lights instead of the lantern!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dairy Consumer Choices

While waiting to visit with my congressional representatives in Washington,D.C., I was enjoying a half pint of skim milk. This bottle of milk was labeled BST hormone free and that this was verified by dairy farmers. Bovine somatotropin (referred to as BST) is produced naturally in every dairy cow and is present in all milk--including organic. This is a protein hormone and is digested as any other protein. Scientists developed rBST for farmers to use as a management tool to help cows produce more milk. Utilizing this technology increases milk production,helps reduce the environmental resources needed to produce milk and it is proven safe. We must utilize every bit of science and technology that we have to continue to feed our nation and the world population. Dairy farmers pay attention to what consumers want and provide choices for them. Dairy farmers are listening to consumers and providing safe,affordable and nutritious milk and milk products.