Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Dairy Dippin'

Did you  receive any new kitchen gadgets for Christmas?  I did!

 A few weeks before Christmas, after making the statement that I did not want to receive any appliance gift, my twenty plus year old hand- me- down  food processor died. Thanks to the Dairy Farmers in my family,   I'll be ringing in the New Year in kitchen gadget style  with Roasted Red Pepper Yogurt Dip--thanks  to my new shiny silver  Cuisinart Food Processor!

Roasted Red Pepper Yogurt Dip


1 (12ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 (8ounce) containers low-fat plain yogurt
1 can (4 ounce) chopped green chilies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced


Puree red peppers in food processor or blender; drain again. Add remaining ingredients; mix until blended and refrigerate. Serve with assorted cut vegetables or pita wedges.

                          You can find other tasty and nutritious dairy recipes at Dairy Makes Sense.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wrapping Up 2013

It's never to late to harvest hay in Arkansas if you plan it between ice and snow storms! How fitting it seemed on  Saturday afternoon to be wrapping up the last of 2013 's hay crop before beginning the New Year.  Our original plan was to cut, bale and wrap this field of fescue hay soon after the first frost but rain ,ice  and snow delayed that plan. Wrapping allows the hay to turn into silage--the young heifers and beef cows love it like candy!
Whether you're baling hay in June or December, it's not a good sign when you see pieces of the baler and the farmer standing beside it...
With no parts store open on Saturday afternoon, we were thankful for the loan of our friend's baler that made it possible to  harvest the hay.
It's easy to be frustrated when everything doesn't go as planned but
wrapping up 2013 with breathtaking sunsets isn't all bad,

                                 working by tractor lights is better than hoeing with a lantern!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Although I love the beauty of snow, it brings new challenges when you are caring for dairy cows and calves. I wasn't too sad when the last of this snow disappeared.
I'm thankful that we were able to care for our dairy cattle and get all of our chores done in warmer temperatures and sunshine so we could enjoy more  time together celebrating Christmas!

These calves were thankful too!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From down on the dairy farm,
we wish you a Merry Christmas!

                                                                O Come, All Ye Faithful
O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant,
O Come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem,
Come, and behold Him, Born the King of Angels!
O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eggnog

Before Santa arrives on Christmas Eve, you may want to whip up Vanilla Eggnog to share with your family. There might even be enough left for Santa!

Vanilla Eggnog

3 pasteurized eggs (or 3/4 cup pasteurized egg product, like Egg Beaters)
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups lowfat milk
1cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Whole nutmeg,grated


In a blender, mix eggs and sugar. Add milk, yogurt, vanilla and salt; blend until frothy. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Servings: 7

             This recipe was created by Merri Post, dairymom from Middleroad Acres--Minnesota.
                               You can find this and other great recipes at Dairy Makes Sense.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Five years ago, America's Dairy Farmers and the National Dairy Council teamed up with the National Football League and others to empower kids to make their schools a healthier place. So far, Fuel Up to Play 60 has reached over 38 million kids in 73,000 schools, encouraging them to choose good-for-you foods, including dairy, and get 60 minutes of play a day!

I had a front row seat in the auditorium of Pulaski Elementary in Chicago last week when the public announcement was made that funding for the Fuel Up to Play 60 would be funded for #5MoreYears!
We heard from every representative  in this public-private  program--the National Dairy Council, National Football League, GENYOUth Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education.

Activity with Chef Carla, from the Chew, leading the NFL players kicked off the celebration,

followed by comments from the partners,

activities with the NFL players,

and, of course,
enjoying a healthy dairy snack!

 I'm thankful for the impact Fuel Up to Play 60 is making to  improve the health of this  
                next   generation and  that as a dairy farmer, I'm contributing to this program  
                                                 everyday from down on the dairy farm.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cookies for Santa's Milk

I can't imagine Santa refusing any kind of cookie but  I decided to have a trial run  just to make sure before Christmas Eve arrives!

One of my hobbies through the years has been saving recipes  from  magazines that appeal to me or that I think my family might like. To tell the truth,  I could probably try a new recipe everyday for the rest of my life.  Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars was a recipe clipped from an issue of Country Woman magazine several years ago.  

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
12 cup chopped nuts,optional
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/3 cups (8oz) chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups crisp rice cereal

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa; add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
 Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over cake. Cool.
 For topping, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended. Remove from heat; stir in cereal. Spread over bars. Chill.
Yield: about 3 dozen.

                                     These cookies   will be a perfect match for Santa's milk!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dairy Farm Snow Days

                           Snow days, like everyday  on the dairy farm, are filled with activities
                                           that focus on caring for our cows by making sure
they have plenty of nutritious food to eat,
fresh water to drink,

windbreaks for protection,

hay to lay on instead of snow.

Sunshine and warmer temperatures  were a welcome sight today for both farmers and cows!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's very unusual for all of my family to be away from the farm together  for more than one day, but I'd say that Christmas came early for me when the Arkansas  ice and snow storm was delayed and allowed our plans to happen. 
Although we didn't travel to Chicago together, I did get to spend one full day with my sons  and my Mother enjoying the sights and sounds of the big city  


                                   one snowy evening walking around Chicago with Ryan.
       I'm thankful for  these special times with my family and for each day down on the dairy farm.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

My church began the Christmas Advent season this past Sunday by hanging symbols of the season on the tree. Sharing this service with other members of my church is always a  great way to begin this joyous season.
                           I'm thankful for these two faithful members of my church--members
                               of the Vaughn  Presbyterian Church  for more than 50 years!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Crying Over Raw Milk

I don't cry about spilt milk but as a dairy farmer,mom, and registered nurse, I do feel like crying when I read about children or adults who have gotten sick from drinking raw milk. Drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk is a health risk. Is it really food freedom to subject your children to illness? Reading about the nine children in Tennessee sickened and hospitalized in November due to an E.coli outbreak caused by raw milk is distressing because it was unnecessary.

 According to Food Safety News, two of the nine children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney disease associated with severe E.coli infections. In just two weeks, five year old Maddie Powell's medical bills had mounted to more than $125,000 and that's not the final bill. Is food freedom worth risking your family's health or life?

From the dairy producer that was involved in this recent outbreak, to the comments from the head of the largest raw milk dairy in the nation, it's obvious they don't seem to understand or believe the proven science that pasteurization is the only way to kill  harmful bacteria that can be present in milk regardless of how diligent the dairy farmer works to provide a safe product.

Here are some proven facts about milk and pasteurization:
  • Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pasteurization DOES save lives.
  • Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
  • Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk's nutritional value.
If you're considering purchasing raw milk for yourself or your family, please consider that children, pregnant women, the elderly and any person with a suppressed immune system are more  susceptible to raw milk illness. You can find more information at  Real Raw Milk Facts or Midwest Dairy. I'm also happy to answer any questions about how we work every day to provide safe, high-quality  milk on our Arkansas dairy.

Raw milk illness is preventable---real  freedom involves making a  a responsible,informed choice.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Twice Baked Turkey

Even though my family enjoys the left-over Thanksgiving turkey sandwich or warmed up turkey and dressing, we're ready for a  cheesy twice baked  turkey twist in a short time.  Turkey Tetrazzini  (also known as Chicken Tetrazzini) is also perfect for an easy supper after a day of Christmas shopping!

Turkey Tetrazzini

9 1/2 oz. spaghetti, uncooked
3 Tablespoons onion,
chopped (optional)
1/2 clove garlic, minced (optional)
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
5 Tablespoons water
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese,shredded
1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese,shredded
2 cups diced, cooked turkey


Cook spaghetti until tender, drain and mix with a little melted butter.   Cook onions and garlic in butter until tender; blend in soup and water. Stir until smooth. Add cup of cheese, stirring until melted. Stir occasionally. Fold turkey into soup mixture.

Place spaghetti in bottom of greased 13x 9 inch baking dish. Cover with turkey mixture. Top with remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Although I credit Ryan with having made the right decision to marry me twenty-nine years ago,
my life  on the dairy farm wouldn't have been possible without Ryan's parents!

Holidays will never be the same without them, but I'm thankful for the memories we have and the stories we can share as we bring others around our dairy farm family table.
                                                          Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Butter Up

Have you tried to butter up your turkey? I know there are many ways to cook a turkey, but I was intrigued by this Dairy Makes Sense  special blend of butter for turkey basting, vegetable seasoning or serving with hot bread. Not only can you try it for Thanksgiving--you may want to share it as a Christmas gift!

Sage,Rosemary, and Thyme Butter


1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter,softened
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon into an airtight container; store in refrigerator.

Recipe Variations: Use your favorite herbs and/or spices to flavor unsalted butter. Add your own salt to taste. We purchased a combination package of "poultry blend" herbs--sage, rosemary, and thyme--making it super easy to prepare this flavored butter. Sage,Rosemary, and Thyme Butter can be used as a rub to flavor and moisten your holiday turkey. Also, add flavored butter to season any vegetable or serve with hot bread. Give as a gift in an airtight decorative container with lid.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dairy Love

Twenty-nine years ago at high noon, the time that all Ryan's  farmer friends could make the event...
                                        we were drinking milk at our wedding reception!

              Twenty-nine years later, we're still celebrating dairy love everyday down on the dairy farm!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

If you visit our dairy  farm, Chester will be one of  the first to greet you. We're not sure what kind of dog he is but we guess him to be a mixture of terrier and blue heeler. He's obviously not beautiful, nor trained for any particular job on the farm, but he wins the heart of all children and visitors. He does have a bad habit of nipping your heel when you least expect it-- it's always the grown men that  fear him!
 Chester has   been my faithful companion every step I take on the farm for at least twelve years.
With cooler weather, he has reclaimed his warm bedtime  spot on the back porch. I'm pretty sure he would like to be a house dog.
                                               I'm thankful for Chester--so ugly, he's cute!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dairy Sustainability

With silage harvest complete, it's off to the next farm task---planting for spring crops! It was a perfect weather day for getting started and with more rain predicted later  this week, there's  no time to waste.
Part of the preparation for planting today started several weeks ago when cow manure was spread on the fields for fertilization of the soil in the fields that will be planted. Cow manure is a great nutrient for the soil and also increases the water holding capacity.
Our dairy is licensed   by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (often referred to as ADEQ) to store and utilize the cow manure produced on our farm. Manure is spread on designated fields on our farm with limits of how much can be applied. Following these regulations and best management practices protect the health of my family, our cows and the environment.
Recycling the manure produced by our dairy cows makes economic sense, helps the environment and protects our water quality.
That's what I call sustainability down on the dairy farm!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dairy Goes Bananas

I love this month of gathering with friends and family to celebrate and give thanks for the blessings we enjoy on a daily basis.  As I flipped through a new cookbook, 'What's Cooking at Wye', that I picked up on my visit to see the spring daffodils on Wye Mountain, Banana Pudding seemed to be the perfect choice to carry to our Thanksgiving church dinner today. It meets my criteria for using dairy products and serving a crowd!

The recipe didn't have a lot of detailed instruction so I decided on my own to line the bottom of the 13x 9  serving dish with a layer of vanilla wafers with a layer of banana slices on top,pour the pudding mixture  and top it with the rest of the vanilla wafers. I can tell you from licking the spatula--it's mmm... good!

Banana Pudding

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese,softened
1 can condensed milk

Mix ingredients above together and set aside.

1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the above ingredients together; then add to the cream cheese and condensed milk mixture.

8 bananas-sliced
1 large tub Cool Whip
1 package of vanilla wafers

Add to the mixture above: 1 large tub of Cool Whip (fold one big blob of this into the mixture above)
use the rest to top the pudding. Pour into large bowl, top with remaining cool in the refrigerator.

                                                                          Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feelin' the Farmer Love

Dairy farms can be found in all 50 states and even though each farm is unique, we are all working for the same outcome--producing nutritious, high-quality milk by caring for our animals and the land we call home. 

This video thank-you from McDonald's  was shared at the National Milk Producer's Annual Meeting in Phoenix this week.

I  felt the farmer love all the way to Arkansas---thank-you from all of us dairy farmers!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Arkansas Farm Bureau leaders from all 75 counties met in Little Rock last week for the State Resolution Committee meeting  to discuss resolutions for policy changes in preparation for the annual meeting in December. This process is why Farm Bureau is called a "grassroots" organization. Changes or additions  made to Farm Bureau policy start at the county level, are  reviewed by the State Resolution Committee and  then presented at the annual meeting for adoption.
At this two day meeting, we discussed both state and national policies that are important to our members across the state. I just love talking about chickens and dairy!
After review and suggestions for adoption of changes, resolutions are approved for presentation at the annual meeting in December.
I'm thankful for this policy process that serves to fulfill the mission of Arkansas Farm Bureau in advocating the interests of agriculture, disseminating information concerning the value and importance of agriculture, and provide products and services which improve the quality of life for our members.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dairy Cow Approved Weather

It was a Dairy Cow Approved Weather Day  and I'm going to recommend a bonus for the  weatherman's perfect prediction of today's cold weather in Northwest Arkansas.  As I waddled out the back door this morning  all bundled in my warm coveralls, hoodie, coat and gloves--I wasn't too stylish looking but I was    prepared for that cold north wind!
Our dairy cows actually seem to thrive on colder  temperatures.  They embrace and enjoy  the cold weather  by eating more hay.
 From now till spring, one of our daily tasks will be  making sure hay is in the manger to provide good nutrition during cold weather   for these pregnant cows.

As I watched the cows enjoying their bale of hay, I couldn't help but think
 we're a lot like cows--eating is the natural thing to do when the weather gets chilly!

Nutritious dairy products--- always in style and perfect for any weather!
                                                       ---Dairymom Approved Statement

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day

Ryan's parents ,Bill and Bonnah Lyn, were married in 1944 at Tyler, Texas,  just a few days before Bill was sent to Japan during World War II. Just a day or two after being married, Bonnah Lyn returned home to work on the farm with her father  while Bill was overseas.  
While we can never thank our Veteran's enough for their service to our country, 
I also give thanks to the families of these men and women for keeping the home fires burning  during times of war and peace.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Harvest Wrap-Up

We've been enjoying great weather as fall harvest wraps up.   Even though it has frosted and  the days are cooler and shorter, hay can still be cut, baled and wrapped to make silage bales.  
Today's hay wrapping is  a great example of teamwork that happens on the dairy farm everyday.
Cody baled the hay, Casey moved it from the field onto the wrapper, and
Ryan and his dog supervised!
Harvest wrap-up activities are a part of our  commitment to providing high-quality milk by making sure our cows have nutritious feed. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Movember Dairy

November is Men's Health Awareness Month and it's the perfect opportunity to share information about the  health challenge of prostate cancer.  
Here's the facts:

  •  Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • There are no early signs of prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer is slow growing but by the time symptoms occur, it is usually in advanced stage and more difficult to treat.
That old adage " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" rings true when thinking about prostate cancer.  It's important for men to have that yearly prostate exam--85% of prostate cancer is diagnosed in the early stage when it  is more likely to be treated successfully.
You can follow the Movember Dairy or donate to the Movember USA campaign which funds prostate cancer research.