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.