Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We're finishing 2011 by doing what we've done for the previous 364 days of the year--producing safe,healthy milk by feeding and caring for our animals and land. It's a great privilege to be in the less than 2% of the population that provides food for American consumers and I appreciate your interest in how we work responsibly everyday to produce safe,affordable,and available food. 
                              Thank-you for consuming our dairy products and for reading my blog!
                            From my family to you-- we wish you a  very dairy and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

  On a recent trip to pick up seed at a  Missouri farm store, Ryan and I saw this cute chicken house as we entered the front door and  I remember casually saying that "I  could really raise some chickens in that house!"  I would never have guessed that I would be receiving my own chicken house for Christmas! I'm thankful to know that my  farmer husband does listen to me sometimes and  that I can wait till spring before raising any chickens!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dairymom's Paper Power

With the Christmas gifts unwrapped and most of the holiday festivities passed, this dairymom found herself  in the farm office this afternoon facing a badly neglected pile of work on the desk and stacks of papers to be filed. It has become one of my jobs to be in charge of the "papers". The dairy farm requires a variety of different supplies and services which generates many paper receipts. I'm striving to get everything filed before the end of the year in preparation for the new tax year.  Being in charge of the papers is an unending,thankless job but it is an important organizational task for our family farm just as it is for any business.  The upside to my job is the power that I have when anyone needs a paper!

Dairy farming requires a large investment in land,buildings,equipment and feed for the animals. Many family farms that may include multiple generations are organized as corporations for business tax purposes. Even though the look of the family farm and the technologies have changed, we are still committed to providing safe,high-quality milk by taking good care of our cows and land.

I'm already getting excited about the new box of file folders I'll be opening in just a few days when we celebrate  the New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Purple Pudding--A Family Tradition

Trying to fit all the activities of Christmas Day into the daily routine of the dairy farm is quite a challenge. It doesn't seem to bother anyone in my family when we plan to open gifts or eat Christmas dinner as long as I make preparation to serve favorite family recipes that my mother-in-law prepared for us during the holiday season. Serving those favorite recipes that my mother-in-law always prepared for Christmas or through the year is a sweet and comforting remembrance for all of us and has become an important part of our ongoing family traditions.

Purple Pudding (my mother-in-law's recipe) is a family favorite throughout the year.  I chose to include it as part of our family dinner tradition because it is easy to assemble, can be prepared ahead of the event, and of course, it includes a couple of dairy products!

Purple Pudding

1 can condensed sweetened milk
2 lemons
1/2 pint whipping cream
4 tablespoons black raspberry jam
1 cup nuts (optional)
vanilla wafers

Mix milk with the juice of two lemons,set aside. Whip cream;add jam to whipped cream,mix well. Fold together.

Place vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 9x9 dish. Add pudding mixture; add layer of nuts if desired. Top with vanilla wafers. Chill and serve.

            Hope you have a dairy good week and enjoy time with your family during this holiday season!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old,familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth,good-will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom,
Had roll'd along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth,good-will to men.

And in despair I bow'd my head.
"There is no peace on earth,I said.
For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth,good-will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead,nor doth He sleep:
For hate is strong,and mocks the song
Of peace on earth,good-will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead,nor doth He sleep:
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth,good-will to men!"

Till,ringing,singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth,good-will to men!

Henry W. Longfellow,1807-1882

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Christmas is a great season for all of us  multi-tasking moms to show how efficient we are with the holiday to do list.  Mrs. Reindeer looks like the perfect multi tasking mom!   I'm thankful for the fun and beauty of the holiday season   even when I don't get all the to do's marked off the list. I hope you're enjoying the season!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Day Dairy Breakfast

Christmas Day on the dairy farm always includes feeding the baby calves,milking and feeding the dairy cows and caring for all of our livestock.  Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, the schedule will be even more hectic and require a little more advance meal planning to make sure I get the calves fed, feed the family and get to church on time. The Cheddar and Mushroom Breakfast Squares recipe that I found on the MidwestDairy website will be a great recipe to prepare in advance and serve my family as a special Christmas morning treat before chores and church.

Cheddar and Mushroom Breakfast Square

2 teaspoons butter
2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onion,including green tops
6 slices country style bread,cubed
2 cups shredded,reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
2 cups fat-free or low-fat milk
2 cups egg substitute
1 teaspoon red or green hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Spray an 8x8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add mushrooms. Cook mushrooms about 5 minutes or until softened and brown at edges. Stir in green onion; set aside.

Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in prepared baking dish. Scatter 1/2 of the mushroom mixture and 1/2 of the cheese over bread cubes. Layer remaining bread cubes and mushroom mixture; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat milk,egg substitute,pepper sauce and salt, if desired, until well blended. Pour milk mixture over bread cubes and top with the remaining cheese.

Make ahead suggestion: cover dish with foil and refrigerate for 8-10 hours before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake,covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until top is puffed up and cheese is browned at edges. Let cool for 5 minutes; cut into squares to serve.

                                           A great assortment of dairy recipes can be found at or  Hope you have a very Dairy Christmas!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa's Milk Supply

We're already "makin' a list and checking it twice" on the dairy farm as we prepare for the Christmas holiday schedule next week. Santa is one of our special customers and we must make sure that there is plenty of milk!  Ordering feed for the dairy cows is at the top of the list. Our cows are depending on us to make sure they have plenty of good nutritious feed  so they can produce delicious milk. It would be a little more difficult to buy dairy cow feed for 300 cows on Christmas Eve!

Our cows enjoy a special diet designed by our dairy nutritionist. Each cow on our farm eats one hundred pounds of feed everyday which includes a mixture of grain,hay,and silage. Because all of the grain is brought to the farm by large trailer trucks, making sure that we are on the grain truck's delivery schedule is at the top of our holiday to-do list! We hope that our grain will arrive just before Christmas so that the truck driver can be home with his family during the holiday.

Just like other dairy farm families, we're committed to taking good care of our cows and providing high-quality milk everyday for you and your family. By making sure that we have plenty of feed for the cows during the holidays, Santa will have plenty of milk to enjoy with all those cookies!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Never Fail Fudge for the Non-Candy Maker

Last weekend I made Fantasy Fudge, the recipe from the Kraft Marshmallow creme jar.  It was very good, easy to make and dispapeared quickly at the church party. I was feeling  pretty good about my fudge accomplishment as a non-candy maker until the words from farmer-husband taste tester,"it wasn't quite like Mom made." I've heard that remark before and often take it as a challenge!  As I was looking for recipe ideas for a family Christmas party this weekend, I found the Never Fail Fudge recipe in my mother-in-law's recipe box.

Never Fail Fudge
5 cups sugar
1 can Pet milk
1 stick butter
2 packages chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow cream
2 pounds or more of pecans or walnuts

Mix sugar,butter and milk; boil together 8 minutes and take from fire. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow cream; add nuts. Drop from spoon on waxed paper.

                     I'm sharing the recipe just as written--and I'll see if I can make it "just like Mom"! 

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

For the past couple of months we have been increasing our milking herd with new heifers giving birth to their first calf.  There are no vacancies in the calf hutches! I'm thankful for the fact that we have new baby calves to raise that will eventually be our future milk cows.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Wrapped Hay

It isn't the norm to see a farmer baling hay in December but all things are possible if you have the right kind of grass and the equipment to do the job!  Two years ago we invested in a hay bale wrapper that would allow us to utilize every bit of grass hay that is available on our farm. Typically after a killing frost, hay harvesting is finished in our area.  Fescue grass is the exception and that's what we are happily baling and wrapping. If weather permits and we have no machinery breakdowns--the grass is cut,baled and wrapped in the same day.

Hay stockpiles are extremely low due to spring flooding and summer drought in Northwest Arkansas. Farmers across our area report that hay production tonnage was only half the normal yields and hay feeding began at least two months early because of the limited pasture growth caused by drought conditions. Every bale of hay that we can produce will get us one bale closer to the spring growing season. Hay wrapped just before Christmas is a great gift for any farmer that is feeding beef or dairy cattle this year!

Our beef cows and young dairy cattle love to eat this wrapped hay and we are extremely grateful to increase our winter feed inventory.  In this year of extreme weather conditions, a wrapped hay bale could definitely be on any farmer's Christmas wish list!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tis the Season for Community Service

Several months ago I was asked to participate in a community service project with the Centerton 4-H Club.  Today was the day for the club's activity.  My job was to provide piano Christmas music at a local assisted living facility while 4-H members provided refreshments  and demonstrated how to make a variety of ornaments for each resident.  As I played a selection of Christmas music, the room was a beehive of activity, joyful singing and happy conversation.

When all the ornaments were made and the last cookies served, a few of the young 4-H members gathered around the piano and asked if they could sing a few songs.  Actually, one member told me they had a "group" that wanted to sing.  We started with "O Little Town of Bethlehem" then jumped to "Jingle Bells" and finished with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  There's nothing sweeter than young voices singing robustly without any inhibitions!

As I hurried home to feed calves,I realized that this activity that started eight years ago as a community service project when my sons were 4-H members has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. Community service is all about giving to others and teaching us how to give of our time and talents.  I can always listen to Christmas music on the radio or play music at home, but there's nothing like sharing it with others in this special season of giving!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

 We had just enough snow yesterday  to cover the ground and make everything on the dairy sparkly white. After listening to the reports of traffic jams and accidents that were happening because of the slick roads, I'm thankful that I can walk across the yard to my calf feeding job  everyday regardless of the weather conditions!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do You Buy Antibiotic Free Milk?

For the last couple of years, I have been hosting dairy farm tours for University of Arkansas nutrition students. We have had very interesting conversations about how we produce milk and the fact that milk and dairy products are among the most highly regulated foods in this country. Many students state that they buy a particular brand of milk because it states it contains no antibiotics and they feel it is safer than the other brand.  Is this marketing at its best or worst?

Although we sometimes find it necessary to treat cows with antibiotics when they are ill, the milk from those cows is discarded and does not go into the milk supply. Milk from a treated cow will be tested by our dairy cooperative lab and declared antibiotic free before it can be returned to the supply. It is illegal for any dairy farmer to sell milk that might contain antibiotics and we take the responsibility to produce safe milk seriously. Each load of milk is tested for antibiotic on the farm before it is loaded onto the milk transport truck, before it is unloaded at the processing plant and at least two more times before processing occurs.  Strict U.S. government standards ensure that milk is wholesome,safe, and nutritious. More information about dairy food safety  can be found at or

Once our milk leaves the farm for processing we have no say in how it is labeled. In my opinion, milk that is labeled "No Antibiotics" or "Antibiotic Free" is misleading because NO milk is sold with any antibiotic. Marketing is a great tool in any business and consumer choice is important but I think when labeling leads to increasing doubt about the safety of our food it is an injustice to the consumer and the farmer.  What do you think?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Raw Weather Dairy Care

Although we work outside every day in all kinds of weather, when the weather changes from a light jacket day to "can't put enough clothes on" day--that's what we consider, as my grandmother might have said,  a "raw" day.  Today's thirty two degree temperature with wind was a perfect "raw" day in northwest Arkansas! When we scheduled the hoof trimmer for his monthly visit to the farm, we had no idea it would be such a chilly day.  Even though we had several layers of clothes on, the cows actually seemed to enjoy this cooler weather!

Hoof trimming is important to the health of our dairy cows in preventing lameness or correcting problems that create lameness.  On hoof trimming day, the cows walk from the milk barn after being milked to the feed barn into a pen and alley that is connected to the special hoof trimming tilt table that is brought by Ben, our hoof trimmer.  With this special tilt table, Ben is able to secure each cow to keep her safe and comfortable and tilt the table to position the cow for easy access to each hoof.  Ben is like an artist at work as he shapes and trims each cow's hooves with his tools.  Every movement is done with precision and accuracy with the intent to provide cow comfort.

Our commitment to providing high quality milk begins with taking good care of our cows--regardless of the weather!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Friendship Memories

Holidays bring all kinds of special memories.  Many moons ago during my college days, my roommate shared this cookie recipe with me.  Although it's a recipe that can be made any time of the year, I love to bake these rich,buttery cookies at Christmas and savor the memories of a sweet friendship and fun times. 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

1/2 pound butter
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat softened butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour and nuts. Shape into balls. Put on greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool, roll in powdered sugar.

Yield: 40 (very small)

Now of course, you need a  cold glass of milk or a cup of hot chocolate to make this memory complete!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Benton County Farm Bureau has sponsored the petting zoo at the Benton County Fair for more than fifteen years.  It's a great way to connect with consumers of all ages and share information about agriculture.
Farmers and ranchers across Arkansas are meeting this week in Little Rock for the annual convention. As a delegate to this meeting, we will be voting on issues that are important to farm and ranch families. I'm thankful for Arkansas Farm Bureau and its mission to advocate the interests of agriculture in the public arena,disseminate information concerning the value and importance of agriculture and provide products and services which improve the quality of life for our members.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dairy Farmer's Ultimate Goal

It makes no difference how many cows you milk--50,300, or 1000--the ultimate goal of every dairy farmer is to produce safe,high quality milk and dairy products by taking good care of the cows and the land.  On a recent visit to Scott Brothers Dairy located in San Jacinto,California, I enjoyed meeting Brad Scott's family and listening to the information  provided  by Brad during a tour of his family's dairy farm.   Crops are raised on the land that surrounds the 1000 cow dairy.  Every decision in managing the farm requires consideration of   environmental quality.     Innovative methods of using reclaimed water from the nearby urban population is just one of the best management practices in place for protecting the environment and utilizing available water.  Although the landscape is extremely different than Arkansas, it is quite beautiful with the mountains surrounding the dairy.
Scott Brothers Dairy also has its own processing facility located in Chino,California. I loved the art work on their milk transport truck and on one of the trailers that was parked on the farm!  You can find more information about the variety of products that are manufactured by Scott Brothers Dairy  and the history of their family operation at
It's obvious--dairy farmers love to promote a great product with a smile!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Before we enjoy our Thanksgiving feast,

the dairy cows will be milked,

the cows will enjoy their special diet,
and the baby calves will be fed. 
I'm thankful for the everyday blessings---faith,family,friends,farm and food.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Treasures

Thanksgiving brings to mind so many past memories that I treasure and allows a time of reflection about my family and our family heritage.  Just over the hill and across a few pastures from where I live today, is the farmstead of my great grandparents.  Little did I know that I would become a dairy farmer and live so close to my family's roots!

Turkey is always the center of attraction for my family's Thanksgiving meal.  My first turkey encounters as a small child happened when we made trips (seven miles seemed like a long trip on curvy roads) from the city (Bentonville) to see my great-grandparents.  My great grandparents were raising turkeys in the early 1920's when my dad was a baby.  I cherish this picture of my great-grandmother Martha holding my dad in the middle of her turkeys.

Arkansas is the third largest turkey producing state in the nation, led by Minnesota and North Carolina. Instead of roaming freely on the range or in pastures as in past days, turkeys today are raised in modern turkey houses that have controlled temperature and provide safety from predators.  It is possible for us to enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving and a variety of turkey products through the year because of improved genetics,feed formulations, modern farming practices and the dedication of farm families (

What do you treasure at Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whipped Cream Tips

No matter how much we eat  during the Thanksgiving  dinner, the meal won't be complete without the pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream.  Is it  the pie or the whipped cream that makes the meal complete?  It could be debatable!

Cream is the higher butterfat layer skimmed from the top of the milk before homogenization. Heavy whipping ceam is 36%  butterfat compared to Half n Half at 18% and whips best because the increased butterfat traps air bubbles when being whipped.  We enjoy many other products that contain cream such as butter,sour cream and  in food ingredients  like ice cream,sauces,soups and drinks.

It is suggested when whipping cream:
  • keep cream cold before whipping
  • chill the mixing beaters and the bowl that you will use for whipping
  • once whipped,refrigerate
  • cover and store leftovers in refrigerator for 1-2 days

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

Whip cream until soft peaks begin to  form; beat in vanilla and sugar. Don't overbeat. Refrigerate.

If you can't make the whipped cream come out even with the pie, a dollop of whipped cream in a good black cup of  coffee makes a delicious drink for a weary shopper the day after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Monday night I had an emergency appendectomy in San Diego,California. When I returned to my hotel room last night   after being discharged from the hopital , I was greeted with this beautiful bouquet and get well wishes.  I'm thankful to have received great care from doctors and nurses, the  love of friends   and to have traveled safely  home to my family and the  dairy farm .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dairy Love

When you truly believe in something, your passion for that subject never dies.   Ryan has been involved in promoting dairy since before we were married.  In case you can't guess, he's the guy with the hat.  We were promoting dairy at our wedding reception and it has never stopped!

Today we are attending the joint National Dairy Board,National Milk Producers Federation and United Dairy Industry Association meeting in California. Ryan has been privileged to represent dairy farmers and  serve as chairman of the  National Dairy Research  and Promotion Board   this year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Appetizing Appetizer for the Holiday Menu

My church, like all churches, is filled with great cooks with a lot of experience.  Last night after our women's Bible study, we were treated with this delicious Vegetable Bar recipe.  Our hostess, Thelma, is an experienced cook , gardner and long time member of the Vaughn Home Extension Club. She shared with us that  this recipe came from a collection of holiday recipes from extension club members several years ago.  It's really tasty and has got to be healthy with the variety of vegetables and dairy products!  Like all good cooks, Thelma generously shared her recipe with all of us.

Vegetable Bars

2--8oz. cans Crescent Rolls
3/4 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 8oz pkg cream cheese,softened
1 envelope Ranch Style Dressing
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped sliced green onions
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup sliced or chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped cauliflower
3/4 cup shredded cheese

Place the Crescent rolls on the bottom of  a 11x17 inch jelly roll pan,cover the pan completely by gently pushing edges of dough together.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Mix salad dressing,cream cheese,sour cream, and Ranch Style dressing together and set aside.
Chop each vegetable and then combine all together.
Spread cream cheese mixture on top of baked rolls; spread vegetables over cream cheese mixture and then top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.

Tips:  If you make half a recipe, use a 9x13 pan.
          Can be made 24 hours before serving.

If we're lucky, maybe Thelma will bring this to the next church dinner!  Have a dairy good weekend!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Patriotism is important to our dairy farm family.  Both of our fathers served during World War II and taught us much about love of country and how blessed we are as a nation.
I'm thankful for all the men and women who have served and are serving our country to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily and often take for granted. Veteran's Day is the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the many sacrifices made by our service men and women.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are You At Risk for Developing Diabetes?

November is American Diabetes Month.  According to the American Diabetes Association,recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless steps are taken to stop diabetes. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors for diabetes include:
  • overweight
  • high blood sugar
  • history of diabetes in pregnancy
  • high blood pressure
  • unhealthy cholesterol
  • physical inactivity
  • smoking
  • unhealthy eating
  • age,race,gender and family history
Diabetes is a serious debilitating  and costly disease. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. The national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.
It's time to get serious about what we can do personally and for our families in preventing this devastating chronic disease. Ask yourself--
  • Do I eat a healthy diet?
  • Do I exercise daily?
  • Do I maintain a healthy weight? 
  • Do I smoke?
You can find more information about diabetes at and the important role of dairy in preventing diabetes at
I'm taking the pledge to STOP DIABETES.  Will you?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Farm Tour Conversations

If calves could talk, what would they say when approached by twenty five college students?
Petting the baby calves seems to be the highlight of the dairy farm tour for all ages.  Last week when University of Arkansas students came for a tour, it was fun to watch the reaction of the kids and the calves.  It always seems to be such a surprise when the calf gives them a big slobbery lick on their hands!

Although every dairy farm will have their own system of caring for baby calves, consistent care and good nutrition are necessary for raising healthy calves. After the calves are born, they are separated from their mothers to ensure the best individual care and monitoring. On our farm, we raise baby calves in individual hutches for eight to ten weeks.   Each calf is fed milk and grain twice daily and monitored through the day.  By weaning time, each calf will be drinking water and eating  four pounds of grain per day.

Dairy farm tours are great opportunities for conversations about how we work everyday to produce high quality milk by providing good nutrition,medical care and healthy living conditions for our calves and cows. The calves and I are already looking forward to our next farm tour conversations!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holiday Memories Sprinkled With Love

A couple of weeks ago my oven suddenly developed an F-5 error message that required a house call from the oven specialist. It was a feeling of desperation when the repairman announced it would be eleven days before he would return for the final repair. The silver lining to this eleven day cloud was the fact that it didn't happen on Thanksgiving morning or during the holiday season!

As a temporary solution for baking our lunch, I decided to drive down the road to my son's house to borrow his oven. Cody lives in the house where his grandparents lived for sixty-five years. Just opening the back door and stepping into the house brought a flood of memories of special holidays and time spent together as a dairy farm family. As I turned on the oven and placed the smoked pork chops into the oven to bake, my thoughts turned to the sweet memories of the meals prepared in this kitchen by my mother-in-law. It didn't matter if it was the bowl of spicy chili served late after chores on a cold,snowy night or the largest spread of food at Thanksgiving, every recipe had a sprinkling of love and was prepared with the intent to nourish your body and soul.

Even though we will be milking and caring for our cows everyday through the holiday season on the dairy farm, I look forward to preparing the special family recipes that are holiday traditions for my family. Holiday memories will continue to be made on our dairy farm with a sprinkle of love from the cook!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hazelnut Cafe-au-Lait

Hazelnut Cafe-au-Lait
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups brewed coffee
3 tablespoons hazelnut-cocoa spread (like Nutella,found near peanut butter)
Dash ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons whipped cream

Microwave milk,coffee and hazelnut spread in a large,heat-proof glass bowl on high for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot,not boiling. Whip with a hand mixer or whisk until frothy.  Pour into 3 serving cups. Top with whipped cream or dust with cinnamon.

Substitution Idea: To save time, use a can of pressurized whipped cream to top the drink.

With the chill in the air and the holiday season just around the corner, this recipe appealed to my coffee loving tastebuds!  You can find a great assortment of holiday recipe ideas at

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Well-Cow Check-ups

Yesterday was a scheduled day for the veterinarian to examine our dairy cows in the milking herd. It could be compared to well-baby check-ups only on the dairy farm it happens at least once a month and continues through the life of the cow. We actually call these exam days--herd health. Although Dr. Gary comes monthly for herd health, monitoring the health of our cows is our responsibility everyday.

On our farm herd health check-ups occur in a special exam area called the management rail. This special exam area is basically an alley with a rail on each side and a gate on each end. After being milked, the cows walk from the milk barn to the management rail. Ten cows will be walked into the alley in single file and positioned side to side so the vet can examine them.  After the exams are finished on each set of cows, the gate is opened and the cows will walk to the feed barn to eat,drink water, and then return to the pasture to rest.

My job on herd health day is to be on the front end of the cow, reading the cow's tag number,  providing information to the vet about each cow such as breeding date or health issues that we are following and recording all the exam results. Most of our exams yesterday were to determine which cows were pregnant.

Well-cow check-ups , like  well-baby check-ups, are  important to the health of the cows. By working closely with our veterinarian to provide periodic check-ups, vaccinations and prompt treatment of illness, our cows are healthy and comfortable.  We're committed to providing high-quality milk and that begins with taking good care of our cows everyday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Fall weather in Northwest Arkansas has been perfect for the many harvest  jobs that must be completed on the dairy farm. These square bales of hay will be fed to young calves on our farm through the winter.  I'm thankful for  the technology and machinery that we have on the farm that make tasks like square baling easier and more efficient.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Attributes of an Ayrshire

Last week, Roxanne,Cody's Ayrshire cow, gave birth to a beautiful red and white heifer calf. Roxanne is special to all of us because she is the daughter of an Ayrshire heifer that Cody purchased the last year he was in 4-H as part of his dairy herd project. Roxanne was born and raised on our farm and is now the fourth Ayrshire to be milking  in our mostly black and white Holstein herd.

Here are some facts about the Ayrshire dairy breed:
  • originated in Scotland
  • brought to the United States in 1822
  • reddish to brown mahogany color with white
  • average cow weighs 1000-1300 lbs.
  • easy calving and longevity
  • strong
  • adapt to all management systems
  • have vigorous calves
  • produce moderate butterfat and relatively high protein milk
  • efficient grazer
  • adapt to less than ideal conditions

Roxanne was enjoying resting in the pasture this afternoon when I went to take her picture.  I would add photogenic to her list of attributes!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Milk--Trick or Treat?

Chocolate milk is stated to be the official drink of Halloween but low-fat chocolate milk is a nutritious treat any day of the year.  Low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk and strikes a balance between good nutrition and good fun. It's a fact--Milk provides nutrients essential for good health, and kids drink more when it's flavored.

Many parents have concern about the sugar content of flavored milk but on average, flavored milk contributes only 3% of total added sugars and only 2% of total calories to the diets of children ages 2 to 18 years.  In the last five years, the dairy industry has responded to these concerns by reducing the added sugar of flavored milk.  According to information from the National Dairy Council (, research has shown that kids that drink flavored milk:
  • drink more milk overall and have better quality diets
  • meet more of their nutrient needs
  • do not consume more added sugar,fat or calories
  • are not heavier than non-milk drinkers
You can find more information about flavored milk at

                   I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween  and enjoy dairy treats all year long!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Halloween Holiday Salad

Holiday Salad is a recipe that my Dad made  for every holiday meal. The original recipe uses wild strawberry jello but since Halloween is Monday, I substituted orange jello.  I like this recipe because it's easy and can be prepared ahead. 

Holiday Salad

1- 15 oz. crushed pineapple
1 - 3 oz. orange jello 
1 -small carton small curd cottage cheese
1 -8oz. Cool Whip

Heat pineapple to boiling; stir in jello until disolved. Let partially set in refrigerator. Add cottage cheese and Cool Whip,stirring till mixed well.  Place in serving dish and chill.

Hope you have a safe,fun Halloween!