Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Dairy Month Celebrates Health

It's a perfect theme for June Dairy Month--Healthy People,Healthy Communities,Healthy Planet! It was pure coincidence that I attended a nursing continuing education program today on osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that weakens the bones and commonly leads to fractures of the wrist,hip and spine due to compromised bone strength. As Dr. Wright, a practicing geriatrician, presented facts about the benefits of dairy products in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, I felt very proud to be a dairy farmer working every day to produce nutritious,healthy milk.

Prevention of osteoporosis begins in childhood with an adequate intake of calcium that is important to bone health. Milk and other dairy foods are the perfect choice in helping to prevent a disease that threatens 52 million Americans and costs seventeen billion dollars in direct medical care. June Dairy Month is the perfect time to celebrate a product that provides health and wellness for all of us consumers! It's a fact that milk,cheese and yogurt play a critical role in the diets of children and adults by providing nine essential nutrients, including calcium,magnesium,potassium, and phosphorus, in addition to 48 percent daily value of protein.

Although every day is a celebration on the dairy farm as we produce high quality milk by taking care of our cows and the land, June Dairy Month gives us a unique opportunity to participate in fun activities with our community like other dairy farm families across America. You can find great information about dairy,learn how others are celebrating June Dairy Month and find a lot of tasty dairy recipes at: or

I hope you'll celebrate with us. Let the party begin--Happy June Dairy Month! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Our pastures and crops are thirsting for a good soaking rain.

 I'm thankful for the little bit of  rain this  week and hopeful for more to come. 


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Banana Split Dessert

Schools out, swimming pools are open,and it's hot in Northwest Arkansas--perfect time for an ice cream dessert! A dear family friend shared this recipe with me soon after Ryan and I were married. Recipes that have been given to me  always bring a smile whether I'm reading   the recipe or eating the finished product!  It's a great make ahead dessert for any celebration or the perfect treat for an ordinary day when you need to bring a smile or lift a spirit.

Banana Split Dessert

2 1/2 cups  graham cracker crumbs (2pkgs)
3 large bananas,sliced
1/2 gallon Neopolitan ice cream
1 cup pecans
1 pint whipping cream

Reserve 1 cup crumbs; sprinkle remaining crumbs to cover bottom of 11x15in. pan. Slice banannas over crumbs.Slice ice cream in 1 1/2 inch slices, place on top of bananas. Cover with pecans. Place in freezer.

1 stick butter
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter, add chocolate chips, melt; add powdered sugar and milk. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes. Cool and add vanilla. Pour over ice cream mixture. Place back in freezer. Whip cream ( sweeten to taste) , spread over sauce. Top with remaining crumbs. Freeze until serving time.

                                                               Have A Dairy Good Day!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Snack Tips

Our quick trip to Texas to celebrate our uncle's birthday was three days of family togetherness centered around a lot of non-stop snacking, meal eating and being entertained by the boundless high powered energy of young children. The children seemed to be powered by the snacks they grabbed when passing through the kitchen, but by meal time, the kids were not hungry. This was the perfect reminder that snacks should fit into the day's nutrition plan to make sure that  nutritional needs are being met without competing with meal time nutrition.

With summer time full of activity and  erratic family schedules, winning snacks should provide carbohydrate,protein,fiber and some healthy fat. Low-fat dairy products are powerhouses of calcium and protein and make great choices for snacking for adults and children. Here are just a few healthy and economical snack suggestions found on the Web MD site (

  • Whip up a smoothie using any fresh or frozen fruit,plain low-fat yogurt,100%fruit juice, and ice
  • Low fat microwave popcorn tossed with Parmesan cheese
  • Low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit
  • Snack size (8oz) of low fat plain or chocolate milk with whole wheat pretzels
  • Whole grain crackers,string cheese and mango slices
  • Cooked or raw vegetables with low-fat ranch dressing, and a hardboiled egg
  • Bowl of whole grain cereal and low fat milk
  • Small container of Greek yogurt
  • Substitute low-fat frozen yogurt for premium ice cream for added nutrition and fewer calories

You can find more great recipes and snack ideas at or

                                            I'm ready for a healthy snack---how about you?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day Tradition

When I arrived at the cemetery today to decorate the graves of family members, I was surprised to see two men walking through the cemetery.  The men were checking a list on a clipboard and pulling a small wagon that was full of flags. Row by row, they were placing a flag by each veteran's grave. I found out that these men were continuing  a tradition that their grandmother had started  to show her appreciation for the sacrifice others had made for the freedoms we enjoy today. 

All the freedoms we enjoy today have come with a cost.  Looking across the cemetery with a strong wind blowing, each flag appeared to be standing at  attention and givng a salute. It was a perfect picture to remind me of all the freedoms that we enjoy as a nation because of the sacrifice of others.

                                                                    God Bless America!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I learned alot about the dairy industry in Benton County when preparing for our Arkansas Heritage program. This farmer was delivering his milk to the Kraft Plant in Bentonville in 1948.  I'm thankful for the improvements in the dairy industry like refrigerated milk tanks on the dairy  farm  that keep the milk cool  before being transported to the processing plant and for our faithful  milk truck driver!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Arkansas primary voting is Tuesday,May22. Campaigning has been hot and heavy in our area and tough decisions will be made on Tuesday. Although voting for dairy isn't on the Arkansas ballot, including dairy in our diet every day is an important choice.

The 2010 Dietary guidelines for Americans recommends three daily servings of low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products for those ages nine and older. It's a fact that on average, Americans are consuming only two dairy servings a day. Making wise nutritional choices is important to lifelong health. Here are a few reasons to consider  casting your vote for Dairy:
  • Milk contains essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium,protein and phosphorus and it's fortified in vitamins A and D.
  • Milk's powerful nutrient package of calcium, plus eight other essential nutrients, helps nourish your body, not just your bones.
  • The protein naturally found in milk helps to build strong muscles for your active lifestyle.
  • The dairy case has something for everyone--low-fat,fat-free and lactose free products to meet taste and nutritional goals.
  • At about 25 cents a glass, milk is a nutritional bargain providing incomparable nutrition, value, and taste.
You can find more nutritional information and great recipes for you and your family at or


                Dairy farm families are working everyday to provide safe,high-quality milk  by
                                                  taking good care of our cows and the land.

                                           VOTE DAIRY---It's a  Healthy Choice!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sunday Sweets

Sunday's deserve something a little sweet after a week too busy for baking. I was searching for something easy to make that required no trip to the grocery store and found the ingredients for the Duncan Hines Sunshine Lemon Bars. (

Sunshine Lemon Bars

1 pkg Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together cake mix,butter and egg. Spread mixture evenlhy into bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan.

Blend together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Pour mixture over top of cake mix mixture.

Bake for 23-27 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into 1 1/2 x 3 1/4-inch bars.

I don't think I let them cool completely before cutting and sampling--just couldn't wait!  

                                          Happy Sweet Sunday! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

From the young

to the old,
 all love to hold a baby chick.

 These chicks provided fun for 4th graders last Friday and celebrated National Nursing Home Week with residents at a local nursing facility today.
I'm thankful for being involved in  volunteer activities that provide educational fun and joy for all ages.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dreams and Determination Day

I didn't count on a volunteer activity making such a personal impact when our Benton County Farm Bureau Women's Committee decided to plan an event to educate 300 students about Benton County's agricultural history to celebrate the theme of Arkansas Heritage Month "Dreams and Determination:Arkansans at Work." The beautiful downtown Bentonville Square was the perfect historical place to present information how farmers in Benton County made life in our agricultural community progressive and enduring with their dreams and determination.

Students rotated through ten stations to learn about agriculture in our county and state. At four of the stations, dedicated volunteers transformed  into characters of our past to relate information about the beginning of the poultry industry in our county, how rural electricity changed farm life, the development of the dairy industry, and the once thriving apple industry that transitioned into other farming activities--all guided by the dreams and determination of Arkansans at work to make a better place for their families.

As I watched the children attentively listening to each character's presentation, I realized how I have personally benefited from the dreams and determination of the generations before us. Although there are fewer farms in Benton County due to the transition from rural to sprawling urbanization, agriculture is still thriving and will continue its place in our county's history because of the dreams and determination of  Arkansas farm families just like mine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dairymom's Mother's Day Tradition

Celebrating Mother's Day with a family dinner is our long standing tradition. After an action packed week of dairy farm chores and off the farm volunteer activities, I've got a zillion things to get done in preparation for our after church Mother's Day cookout. Tomorrow's dessert will be Crusty Cream Cheese Cream Pound Cake topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. You can't go wrong with this sweet treat and it's one of my Mother's favorite!

Crusty Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 cup butter,softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
1 8 oz. package cream cheese,softened
3 cups sifted flour
6 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream butter and shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of electric mixer. Add cream cheese, beating well until light and fluffy. Alternately add flour and eggs, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

                                                                Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

"Friends are flowers in the garden of life"
These hollyhocks came from seed shared by my mother and Helen, a dear family friend that passed away several years ago.  When the hollyhocks bloom, I always think of Helen making hollyhock dolls from the flowers to amuse my boys when they visited her garden. I'm thankful for the sweet memories of friendship and family.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dairy Recycling

While shuffling papers and doing computer work this afternoon in the office, I kept hearing a constant whirring sound.  When I looked out the front window, I could see the tractor and hay mower in the field next to the house moving quickly across the field cutting hay. It was the perfect time and a good excuse  for leaving  the paperwork)  to  walk across the yard, smell the freshly mowed hay and capture the beauty of the aftenoon. While watching the hay being mowed, it brought to mind this complete picture of dairy recycling--cows eat the grass, cows produce manure,manure is applied on the land, grass is harvested to feed the cows.

Manure from our cows is a nutrient for the soil, builds up the soil and increases the water holding capacity which benefits crop or pasture growth. Since 1985, our farm has been permitted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality allowing us to store dry and liquid manure nutrient and use it to fertilize the soil on our farm. Manure is applied to each field in a prescribed amount that is guided by our farm plan that was designed by environmental engineers and technicians.

Dairy recycling is an ongoing manure management method on our farm that protects water quality for us and our  neighbors and contributes to the sustainability of our family farm!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rest on the Dairy Farm

Who's resting on the dairy farm during spring time? It's not the dairy  farmer! Although  spring time harvesting and planting increase our workload and stress us to the max,   our pregnant  cows are resting and relaxing  in the last two months of their  pregnancy regardless of our  increased springtime  workload.

A cow will be pregnant for nine months   before giving birth.Two months before giving birth, a cow will be "turned dry" and moved from the milking herd to a pasture to rest and eat a special pregnancy diet to prepare for a healthy birth. Two weeks before the estimated birth, we bring our cows to the pasture next to our house so we can monitor them closely and provide assistance when necessary.

Last week when I was walking across the yard to feed baby calves, I noticed this expectant mama next to the fence. She looked pretty guilty--like she might have been nibbling on those iris! Even though watching our pregnant cows during this rest phase is part of our job, I find it to be a fun and entertaining part of our daily routine.

Rest during the dry period for dairy cows is important for the cow's health and to insure production of high-quality milk.  Providing high-quality milk begins with taking good care of our cows!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dairy Diving

Our local Chick-fil-A provided a special cookie treat for each participant of this morning's National Day of Prayer breakfast.  I didn't notice the seal on the package until I pulled it from my purse late this afternoon for a tasty snack. I'm still smiling about the label and thought I would share one of my family's favorite cookie recipes in case you want to let your cookie  take a dive in a cold glass of milk!

Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/4 cups softened butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking soda,salt, and spices, and mix well. Combine mixtures, and mix well. Stir in oats. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes in a 375 degree F. oven for a chewy cookie and 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a wire rack. Makes 4 1/2 dozen.
                                                                   Take the Dairy Dive!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It must be a sign of maturity (nice word for old age) when the best part of any trip is coming home. I'm thankful for  a safe trip and  to be back  home on the farm with my family of humans and cows!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dairy Supports Healthy Community Strategies

Volunteering to talk about dairy farming is always an adventure and after finding my way to Lake Degray in south Arkansas, I did enjoy all that I learned at the Growing Healthy Communities Conference. "Growing Healthy Communities" is described as a movement in Arkansas that involves bringing elected officials,health workers,educators, business leaders and citizens together to turn our communities into vibrant,liveable,healthy environments. Growing Healthy Communities is geared to reversing the public health crisis associated with childhood and adult obesity that is rampant in Arkansas. (

Before I gave my presentation, I learned about a variety of ways communities in Arkansas are meeting the public health challenges such as:
  • Increasing access to healthful foods by developing community gardens or opening farmers markets
  • Increasing the opportunity for physical activity by increasing sidewalks,trails and influencing physical education in schools and preschools
  • Enhancing policies that foster health
  • Improving worksite wellness
  • Organizing for change

So, how does a dairy farmer support a healthy community? In my opinion, dairy farmers support healthy communities by:
  • producing a nutrient-dense,economical food.
  • providing funding for research and development of products to meet consumers' needs.
  • providing funding  for and implementation of Fuel Up to Play 60 to involve children in making healthy food choices and being physically active for life long healthy habits.
You can find information about Fuel Up to Play 60 at or