Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolution for Agriculture

"The declining number of farmers in the USA ought to be a national policy issue since I don't want the USA to become an importer of food and fiber"---this was the comment I received in a letter from a Kiwanis member after my presentation about dairy promotion. During an informal question and answer session after my presentation, we were discussing the efficiency of the American farmer. Although I did not bring out the fact that the average age of the farmer is 55 years old, it was on the mind of the member. This fact does bring one to think about the importance of who will be producing our food in the future. It should be a concern for every American. As we are just days away from 2011, I am resolved to do my part in insuring the future of agriculture and the American farmer by: engaging in conversations about how we produce the safest,most abundant and most affordable food, encouraging consumers and farmers to be active and educated on issues that effect all of us and supporting all efforts of agricultural organizations to foster involvement of young women and men in agriculture. Will you support American agriculture?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Volunteer Gift

As I returned to the farm from the Osage Terrace Assisted Living Facility last week, I felt a great sense of satisfaction from sharing time with a group of elderly residents and young members from the Centerton 4-H Club. For the last seven years, I have been providing piano Christmas music while 4-H members demonstrate and teach how to make an assortment of Christmas ornaments, provide refreshments and enjoy Christmas music while working together. As I was listening to the residents and the children singing softly as they worked on their ornaments, I thought how volunteering always brings me great joy. What would our world be like without the volunteers in every community? Life on the dairy farm is hectic, my house is rarely spotless, and it isn't always easy to volunteer but my life is much richer and filled with contentment from giving to my community. Many volunteer organizations are struggling to find people willing to give of their time. If you aren't already volunteering, would you consider it in 2011? Volunteering is a great year round Christmas gift you can give to your community!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Talkin' Dairy

Last Friday I had the privilege of speaking to the Gravette Kiwanis Club about dairy. I chose to talk about the dairy checkoff program because many consumers do not know that the national dairy promotion program was produced by dairy farmers,for dairy farmers and is funded by America's dairy farmers. Because Kiwanis is an international civic organization that works to improve children's health, I really enjoyed telling the members about the Fuel Up To Play 60 program that the dairy farmers are sponsoring in partnership with the National Football League. As a dairy farmer, I am very proud that our money is being used to give children information and incentive to improve their nutrition choices and exercise habits for life long health. Fuel Up To Play 60 is now being implemented in two-thirds of our nation's schools (more than 60,000), reaching 36 million students. The uniqueness of this program is that it engages students directly to take the lead in helping make their schools and communities healthier. Learning to make good nutriton choices and developing exercise habits is a great prevention for obesity and other chronic illnesses. You can learn more about the dairy checkoff program at Before leaving the meeting, we had a drawing for an insulated shopping bag donated by Midwest Dairy ( My hope is that each member left with new information and understanding about the dairy industry and the nutritious product that we produce!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Butter Tradition

Although I use butter year round, holiday baking with butter is part of my holiday tradition in the kitchen. My schedule is busy year round with farm,family, and volunteer activities but I will always find time to make special desserts that my family and friends enjoy. As I studied the pile of laundry, the dirty house and the stack of unopened mail facing me after returning from attending the Arkansas Farm Bureau Convention, I then remembered the Sunday School Christmas party that was planned for the evening. What's a dairy mom to do? Get the recipes out and start looking for something easy, quick and delicious! In case you find your self in this situation, I am sharing this special recipe with you. Butter is a main ingredient in Almond Cake Squares providing rich flavorful taste. It is a great recipe for any event and looks pretty presented on a fancy pedestal cake stand or festive holiday plate. Santa might even enjoy these with a glass of milk!
Almond Cake Squares

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup melted butter

Almond Topping

Combine eggs and sugar; beat with electric mixer until thick and lemon colored. Stir in flour and butter; pour batter into greased and floured 13x9x2inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spread Almond Topping over cake; broil cake 4 inches from heat 3-5 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Cool on wire rack; cut into 2 inch squares. Yield:2 dozen

Almond Topping

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp milk

Combine all in small saucepan; cook over low heat,stir constantly till sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens.