Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

   It's easy to talk about a subject that you are passionate about and an organization where membership matters. My friends James and Rick shared what Farm Bureau means to them personally and the benefits of membership during the KURM radio program. I'm thankful to be a Benton County Farm Bureau member!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dairy Recipe Adventure

For the last few weeks, quick and easy have been  the top criteria for the meals served from my
kitchen. Fancy Baked Chicken (found in my Southern Living 1979 Annual Recipes)  not only met the criteria but also  brought positive remarks from my  sons when they came in for lunch!  Although they are not too critical when I try new recipes, I do get the rolling eyes and heavy sighs over being part of a new recipe adventure.

I will admit that in my hurry to get the chicken in the oven, I used shredded Parmesan cheese rather than grated. It was a little crunchy on top  but still dairy  good! 

Fancy Baked Chicken

1/2 cup butter,melted
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 to 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 whole chicken breasts,skinned and boned
1 to 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs

Combine butter,cheese,garlic, and salt;mix well.
Dip each piece of chicken in mixture, reserving remainder; coat with breadcrumbs.
Place chicken in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish; spoon remaining butter mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. Yield: 4 servings

Life on the dairy farm is always full of adventure--especially in the kitchen!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Blessings often come when least expected. After attending the first day of the Southern Dairy Conference in Atlanta learing about dairy industry policy and on-farm practices, I enjoyed a visit with Nancy, my nursing school roommate from thirty-nine years ago, who lives in Atlanta. I'm thankful for the blessing of sweet friendship. 
"To know someone here or there with whom you can feel understanding in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed that can make of this earth a garden"

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dairy Cow Check-ups

Thank goodness we don't have to load up all the dairy cows and haul them to the doctor's office for their routine check-ups! Cow check-ups happen once a month  when Dr. Gary France, our cow family's veterinarian, comes to the farm for what we call  "herd health" day.
As I watched the cows approach for check-ups
this morning, it was obvious that they were aware of a change in the daily routine!

On the way to the feed barn after being milked, the cows took a detour to the doctor's farm office known as the health management area. This area is a simply designed place for the cows to stand comfortably for examination and treatment when needed. After being examined for pregnancy or any health issue, the cows return to their normal everyday schedule of walking to the feed barn to enjoy their balanced diet before going back to the pasture to rest.

My job during cow check-ups is to provide information to the doctor about each cow and record all the health information from the veterinarian. Information from today's herd health exams will be entered into our computer records and used to manage the health care of each cow. Cow check-ups are an important part of our commitment to providing high-quality milk by taking good care of our cows.

                                       I'm thankful veterinarians still make dairy farm calls!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The best part of any trip for me is coming home! Although the calves did seem to be extra happy to see me, our sons and employees took great care of all the calves and cows while Ryan and I  were attending the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Nashville,Tennessee.
I'm thankful for living on the dairy farm with my family and working to provide high-quality,wholesome milk.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Farm Bureau Style Storytelling

As I prepare to leave for Nashville,Tennessee, to attend the American Farm Bureau Convention, I am reminded of my friends who share their passion for agriculture by volunteering each year to educate children about the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives. This past year we had a great experience in downtown Bentonville sharing information about Benton County's agricultural history.

Mrs. Sears shared about the impact of electricity to rural Benton County and the impact it made on agricultural productivity.

            Mrs. Tina Crawley shared about her fifth generation Benton County  dairy farm family.

Ms. Edith Glover shared how her father decided to transition her backyard chicken flock into a booming poultry industry in Northwest Arkansas.

Apple Dan provided information and entertainment to inform how Benton County transitioned from apples to poultry,beef and dairy. 

 Volunteering brings great joy and it is an honor to be a farmer and  share the agriculture story! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January's Comfort Food

No one in my family is too happy about eating leftovers so Mama is very happy to find a recipe that uses leftovers and produces smiles and the thumbs up when asked if it's good enough to be served again! Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Ham from was the perfect solution this week when we thought it was too difficult to eat any more leftover ham.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese With Ham

6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 3/4 cups of half and half
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 14 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups diced ham
5 cups cooked macaroni
1 cup bread crumbs-half for the inside crunch and half for the topping
1/4 cup scallions,diced
pepper to taste

Using a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour; stir and gradually stir in half and half, making sure to keep stirring as the entire mixture thickens.
Pour in your cooked macaroni. Add your shredded cheese and your Parmesan to the mixture--now you can add half the bread crumbs and scallions, and add the cubed ham.
Stir well and pour into a well-greased casserole or baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the top is crisp.

Next thing you know, they'll be asking when we're having ham leftovers!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Arkansas legislators will gather in Little
Rock next week to  begin the 2013 Regular Session of the 89th General Assembly. I'm thankful for the dedicated representatives from across our state  that will be embracing challenges,  solving problems and   working to make life better for Arkansans.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Flat Aggie Teaches Farmers

Flat Aggie hasn't been taking any spelling or vocabulary tests while visiting the farm, but I'm quite sure he has gained knowledge of both. I've also had a lesson from Flat Aggie.

 In our every day work on the farm, we farmers forget that what we are talking about may not make any sense to a non-farmer. Flat Aggie  reminded me about this when we were feeding the dry cows.

 'Dry cow'  in dairy farmer language is a cow that is pregnant and is resting in the pasture until she has her calf. She has been ' dried off' and removed from the milking herd. Explaining that the dry cow gives milk once she calves made perfect sense and answered the confusing question--how does a dry cow give milk!

It's been alot of fun showing Flat Aggie around the dairy farm to share how we work every day to care for our animals and the land to produce high-quality milk! 
Flat Aggie is leaving us to visit an Arkansas poultry farm this week.  Wonder what he'll teach the poultry farmer? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Benton County elected officials were sworn in this morning at the Benton County Courthouse by Judge Schrantz.  Mother and I were making family and county history today--taking our oath together for public service.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve the public as Benton County Justice of the Peace  and for all the encouragement of family and friends.