Monday, August 27, 2012

Lightning Rod Computer

We got RAIN!! In the process,lightning blew up my computer but if that's what it took to get rain--it was worth it!Computers must make great lightning rods! I'm not sure how long my computer will be recovering but I hope not too long.Blogging on my phone doesn't work very well for me or my battery challenged phone. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a very dairy good week!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rainy Day Dessert

With the promising prediction of rain this weekend, I think it's time to plan a rain party!  Rain dances haven't worked so maybe a rich and delicious  dessert will do the trick. 

4-Layer Dessert


1 stick butter
1-cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1-Cool Whip
2 packages instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk

1st Layer:
Blend butter,flour and pecans well and press into bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees and cool. (I baked about 15 minutes or until slightly brown on edges)

2nd Layer:
8 oz cream cheese(room temp) blended with  1 cup powdered sugar  and 1 cup Cool Whip.
Spread on 1st layer.

3rd Layer:
Blend 2 small packages instant chocolate pudding with 3 cups milk for 2 minutes. Spread over 2nd layer.

4th Layer:
Cover with rest of cool whip. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Chill for several hours. Cut into squares.

Options: you may substitute  lemon,butterscotch or coconut instant pudding


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

 Last week we hosted a farm tour for Arkansas congressional staff members  to learn about the effects of drought on our dairy farm. The drought's impact is far reaching, and will affect not only farmers, but consumers as well.  I'm thankful for  these men and women who are working for us at the state and federal level of government to look at ways to help farmers and ranchers survive the drought.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taxi Calves

Did you know we give taxi rides on the dairy farm?  Our baby calves get a taxi ride on their first day on the farm! We pick them up in the field or in the maternity barn where they are born and deliver them to the calf raising area. The taxi they ride in, of course, is actually a wire enclosed wagon with a non-slip rubber floor pulled by a small tractor. Today's taxi calves are twins--one boy and one girl. We don't even charge extra for two riders!

The mother of the calf will follow the taxi to the first stop which happens to be the milking barn . Once the mama cow enters the barn, the calf taxi continues on to  the calf raising area. The taxi pulls up and stops in front of an individual hutch that the calf will call home for the next six to eight weeks.  The end to this taxi ride is where my work begins to provide good nutrition for the calf and monitor closely during these first weeks of life.

Our commitment to provide high-quality milk begins with the care each calf receives because healthy animals produce a healthy product.

   These two boys (now grown up) are my favorite taxi drivers and
                     we're looking forward to a lot of taxi calves
                                    in the next few weeks! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

County Fair Show and Tell

While 4-H and FFA members and their families were proudly exhibiting their livestock at the 108th Benton County Fair this week, we were also providing a mega show and tell for consumers. My favorite county fair show and tell (besides the petting zoo) is the milking parlor. What better way to teach a child or adult where milk comes from than to show a dairy cow being milked!

Cows are milked twice a day at the fair just like at home on the farm. As you watch the milking procedure, you witness that no human hands touch the milk--once the milking machine is attached to the cow, milk flows directly from the cow, into the glass jar and then to the refrigerated tank.

This year's dairy show and tell also included a display showing that one cow can produce 60 gallons of milk in a week and the type and amount of feed and water that she needs to produce high-quality milk every day. Can you imagine drinking 50 gallons of water every day!

Although county fair show and tell only occurs once a year, dairy farm families like mine are working hard every day to provide you with safe,high-quality milk and dairy products as we care for our cows and the land we call home.  I'd love to answer any questions you have about dairy farming or you can find information at or

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Boots and Blogs

In just a week, I'm going to step out of my dairy  farm comfort zone and head to Mountain View, Arkansas to "meet-up" with women bloggers from across the state to fulfill the mission statement of Arkansas Women Bloggers to 'Gather,Grow,and Connect.'

Blogging is all about connecting and sharing with others what we love and feel passionate about. While I'm hoping to improve how I share my passion about life on the farm with writing tips and techniques, I can't wait to connect with other women that have been sharing their creativity and passion so well on a variety of blog subjects!

Although I will be stepping out of my dairy farm comfort zone, I will be stepping into a pair of beautiful boots--compliments of Country Outfitter,one of the fun and generous conference sponsors (    How  did they know I have a passion for boots!  With so many boots to choose from, it was not an easy decision.
Here's the pair I selected:

What I really love is that not only do I get a pair of boots for attending the conference, Country Outfitter is donating a pair for me to give away on my blog after the conference!! Don't worry,  I'll be sure and get the giveaway instructions so that one of ya'll can be the proud owner of a new pair of boots,too!

If you're curious about other fantastic sponsors of this event and  what happens at a "meet-up" of bloggers, you can check the conference agenda at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Northwest Arkansas has a rich agricultural history that includes 108 years of the Benton County Fair.  Although the petting zoo has only  been a part of the fair experience for the last 15 years, it ranks at the top of the list for things to do at the fair!

Come on over and ...

 milk  Betsy,
 the Farm Bureau cow that never goes dry,

                                                     love on some baby chicks,        

get a kiss from a calf.

As one of the zookeepers, I'm thankful for all the Farm Bureau and 4-H members that make this farm-city connection possible!  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Drought's Silver Lined Cloud

It's difficult to see any positve opportunity from drought when you look at our tinderbox pastures and damaged or dead crops but there is a silver lining to the rainless drought cloud! Drought creates the perfect condition for cleaning out ponds that have filled up with silt or dirt that has drained into the ponds over several years. Drought dried ponds in Northwest Arkansas are calling all bulldozers and wheel loaders into action!

This Deere loader was delivered to the farm by a local equipment rental business this morning. It's true--boys never outgrow their love of toys or playing in the dirt! During this week,unless it rains, Ryan and our  sons,Cody and Casey,  will take turns playing in the dirt to clean ponds on our farm and a few of our neighbor's ponds.

Dirt is being removed from the dry pond and moved to either side of the pond. Eventually the  piles of dirt will be smoothed out and packed down to  make a slight slope that cattle can walk on without difficulty when coming for a drink of water.

Cleaning out the ponds is a conservation practice that will allow more storage space for water collected from rain events and runoff from the fields and pastures and increase water availability for our cattle.  

                                    Drought or no drought--
             we're committed to caring for our land and animals
                        as we work to provide high-quality milk!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Drought Grazing

Although  we were fortunate to receive a little rain this week, it was barely enough rain to cover the bottom of the rain gauge. Thankfully, the rain was accompanied by cooler temperatures and a reprieve from the oppressive heat of last week.

Just after the rain, I watched the cows reaching through the yard fence to snatch a bite of the green grass that had grown in the shade. A perfect picture of that saying--"the grass is always greener on the other side"! Drought has turned our pastures crispy brown.  Even though large round bales of hay are provided in hay mangers in the pasture, the cows are missing the green grass to graze that is usually available.  Drought conditions and what I call drought grazing,  have created a lot of fence building in many pastures this summer due to the cows reaching out for available green grass.

While we continue to wait for more rain and the return of green pastures for our cows, we are  making sure that all of our  dairy cattle are eating a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of clean water.

Drought or no Drought,
               we're  committed to providing high-quality milk!

For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
                                           Philippians 4:11

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Even though the drought is creating hardship and stress to

the birds,

my garden friend,

and our cows,

I'm thankful that cool, clean  drinking water is available for us to provide for all the animals.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Friend in Drought

During this drought and triple digit weather, I'm watering the plants on the porch and around the house to keep a little color and enjoyment in the yard.   A couple of weeks ago when I found my beautiful caladium plants  shredded and the impatien plants riddled, I thought a terrible disease had struck. I sprayed for bugs, put snail bait around the pots and went to the garden center for advice about what I should do to save my plants if all those methods didn't work. The pot looked so bad that I decided to add a couple of drought tolerant  vinca plants to fill in the holes. In two days after being planted, the plants were mutiliated and one was pulled out of the pot.

Last week when I looked out the window in the heat of the afternoon, this is the "disease" I found resting in the pot with his paws hanging over the edge.  He was so hot, I could see him panting. When I realized that he was just preparing a nice cool place for himself, I felt guilty for all my bad thoughts about what or who had destroyed my pretty flowers. 


  Every afternoon around three o'clock in the heat of the afternoon, you can find my friend lying in his pot.  Just seeing him stretched out in the cool dirt and enjoying his spot brings a smile.   I wonder if he realizes that I keep watering the  pot  everyday  just for him !!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dairy Farm Nursing

Last week was a scheduled  appointment for Dr. France, our veterinarian, to come to the dairy farm for herd health examinations. My favorite part of  any herd health  check-up day is finding out if the cows are pregnant. I'm sure this is because I worked as a nurse in a women's clinic and cared for many pregnant women before working full time on the dairy farm! Proper management of the cow's health and pregnancy status is important to the production of high-quality milk and the sustainability of our family dairy farm.

After being milked and before entering  the feed barn, ten cows are walked into the  management area that allows Dr. France to examine the cows with as little stress as possible for the cows. As soon as the group of ten are examined, they will walk on to the feed barn to eat and then to rest in the pasture.

Even though I don't wear my nursing uniform to work anymore, as the dairy farm nurse I prepare for herd health and the doctor's arrival by gathering the breeding and health information about each cow from our computer records. During the herd health exams, I am looking at each cow as they enter the exam area, providing information about each cow to the doctor and then recording the exam results that will be added to the computer records to manage the care for our cows.

As a dairy farm nurse, I  love  caring for  these pregnant mamas....

and their babies...

 and providing  high-quality milk for you!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rural Community Treasure

Although the Vaughn School has been closed since 1960,  classmates who attended the rural community school in Northwest Arkansas gather on the first Saturday in  August every year  to share a meal and celebrate their treasured  lifelong friendships. Even though Ryan and I didn't attend school at Vaughn, we are connected to the school because of our parents and grandparents who grew up in the Vaughn  community.

Vaughn classmates would tell you that the Vaughn  Presbyterian Church and the Vaughn School were the hub of the community during their school days. The  church was built in 1889, followed by the school in 1913.  In 2010, church members and classmates erected a monument in the church yard to commemorate the importance of both school and church to the community.

It was great seeing Ava and JoAnne today--they've been friends for at least 80 years!
My life has been enriched by their friendship to me and my family.

Attending today's Vaughn reunion was a great reminder that--
 Friendship is one of life's treasures!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Late in the afternoon, you can find these cows resting in the shade provided by the trees on the edge of our driveway. As we    deal  with the stress created by the effects of drought on our family dairy farm, I'm  thankful for my faith, family and friends.


Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
Give Thanks in all circumstances.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18