Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday Dairy Delivery

Although UPS,FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service stopped delivery on Christmas Day, we had three special  holiday deliveries on the dairy!

Santa's dairy elves (also known as dairy farmers)  were on duty to make sure each delivery was a healthy one with no complications. 

                             I  love and appreciate  these dairy elves everyday down on the dairy farm!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
 And His name will be called 
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
                            --Isaiah 9:6

I'm thankful for the sights and sounds of Christmas
 that I enjoy each year with my family down on the dairy farm.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rave Reviews Coconut Cake

A special friend shared this recipe with me many years ago but it's still a favorite choice for any special occasion-- especially December birthdays!

Rave Reviews Coconut Cake

1 package (2 layer size) yellow cake  mix
1 package (4 servings) Jello Brand    Instant Pudding
11/3 cup water
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 cups Bakers Angel Flake Coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Blend cake mix, pudding mix,water, eggs and oil in large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for four minutes. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour into 3 greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes; cool in pans 15 minutes, then remove and cool on rack. Fill and top with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups Bakers Angel Flake Coconut
1 package 8 ounce cream cheese
2 teaspoons milk
31/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet; add coconut, stirring constantly over low heat until golden brown.  Spread coconut on absorbent paper to cool. Cream 2 tablespoons butter with cream cheese; add milk, beat in sugar gradually. Blend in vanilla.Stir in 1 3/4 cups of the coconut, and spread on tops of cake layers. Stack and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Optional: I spread icing between the layers, on top and the sides.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dairy Q&A


                           Are dairy farms closed on holidays?


Dairy farms are never closed!
We milk our cows every day of the year--even weekends and holidays!
Our commitment to providing high-quality milk begins with taking good care of our cows everyday.

On Christmas Day, like every day, we'll milk our dairy cows twice a day,


make sure the milking cows have plenty of nutritious feed to eat,

provide hay and grain to our soon-to-calve dairy cows, 

keep a close eye on any cows giving birth,

and feed our baby calves in the hutches and pastures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I love our Christmas tree because it is a memory tree filled with ornaments given to us as gifts, ornaments the boys  made when in elementary school or during our  4-H experience and gathered from places we've visited.
I'm thankful for the moments during the holiday season that we can just enjoy being together as a family to make new memories and enjoy sharing  those of the past.

Of course, the dairy  cows have their special place on the tree!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dairymom's Butter Tradition

A few weeks ago, while standing in the grocery check-out line, I spotted the new Taste of Home Cookies recipe book. I couldn't resist adding it to my collection and so glad I did!  Lemon Butter Spritz, a recipe submitted by Iola Egle of Bella Vista,AR,   turned out to be a perfect recipe for my first experience using the new cookie press that I happily brought home from the  Dirty Santa  Game I participated in  last week at a family Christmas gathering.

I'm pretty sure these buttery cookies will become part of my Christmas cookie tradition after today's experience! 

Lemon Butter Spritz

1 cup butter,softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 Tablespoons whole milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light an fluffy. Beat in the egg,lemon juice and peel. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Using a cookie press fitted with a bar disk, form dough into long strips on ungreased baking sheets. Cut each strip into 2 1/4-inch pieces (do not separate pieces).
Bake 5-7 minutes or until set (do not brown). Cut into pieces again if necessary. Remove to wire racks to cool.
For glaze,in a small bowl, combine the sugar,cocoa,vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand until set.

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The Bentonville City Council honored my mother,Mary Baggett, for her years of service to the community and in her position as city alderman for the last 12 years. 

It was absolutely perfect in every way--especially the dessert reception following the meeting!
( My mother's favorite meal--sweets!)

I'm thankful for this community leader that leads by example in serving others  and always strives to make our corner of the world the best it can be!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dairy Q&A


How do I know which milk or dairy product is antibiotic free?

           All milk is tested for antibiotics when it leaves the farm
                                   and before it is pasteurized.

                                                In fact,
 it is illegal for a dairy farmer to sell milk that contains antibiotics. 

Healthy animals are the foundation of a safe and abundant food supply. We use antibiotics under  the advice of our veterinarian  to treat a cow that is sick.  The milk from a cow being treated with antibiotics is separated to ensure it does not go into the milk supply.
You can find  more detailed information about antibiotic use on the farm at Dairy Makes Sense

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Feeding our dairy cows a nutritious diet is an everyday activity. 
 I'm thankful for the the grain farmers that grow the corn we purchase for our cows to enjoy everyday of the year,

for equipment that makes it possible to load feed  easily,


for the satisfaction of knowing the cows are enjoying the fruits of the farmers' labor.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dairy Q&A


Is it painful for the dairy  cow when being milked?

Milking a cow actually provides relief from the pressure of being full of milk. 
The milking machine applies a very gentle pressure on each teat in an alternating pattern.
Although every dairy farm may have a different type of milking equipment, milking the cow provides relief and comfort for the cow. Dairy farmers make sure their cows in the milking herd  are milked at least  twice a day, the same time every day, everyday of the year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Before we have our traditional Thanksgiving gathering with our family, we'll be

caring for the baby calves,

milking and feeding the cows,

and making sure the new babies arrive safely.

I'm thankful for America's dairy farm families, just like mine, that are committed to providing safe, high-quality milk and dairy products for your family to enjoy not only on holidays but everyday of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Celebrating Dairy Time

Life is full of moments and milestones. 
Ryan and I reached the milestone of thirty years of marriage today, November 24th.
Being a city slicker, I've had a lot to learn about moments with a dairy  farmer.  Actually, I've learned to live by dairy time. We use clocks and watches and cell phones to keep us on time but we could function on the farm without them because everything we do is centered around caring for our dairy cows.

First of all, the cows come first. I'm not complaining, it's just the way it is. Dairy cows get milked twice a day, the same time every day of the year including weekends and holidays.
The dairy farmer started me off right by incorporating my first lesson in dairy time with the wedding planning. Our wedding was at noon so our farmer friends could come to the wedding and be home in time to milk their cows and the wedding date occurred after the silage harvest.

I may resist dairy time sometimes , but never the love of the dairy farmer!



                      I'm looking forward to more moments and milestones that happen on dairy time!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Dairy Shake

I'm not suggesting that any recipe can take the place of the traditional Thanksgiving  pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream or ice cream, but you may want to ease into the holiday  season with Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake.  It meets one of my most important   requirements for a busy schedule---easy!

You'll find Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake  and other delicious, nutritious dairy recipes at DairyMakesSense.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake


1 can (14 ounces) pumpkin,chilled
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese                        
1 container (6 ounces) low-fat  vanilla yogurt
2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs,optional


Place all ingredients (except graham cracker crumbs) in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top each serving with a teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

Servings: 6

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Araminta Richardson, my childhood piano teacher, was a remarkable person and obviously very patient when you think about the many hours spent with a variety of students. She traveled every month to small towns in Northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma to offer an opportunity for young people to not only play the piano or organ but to create an army of pianists and organists  for future service to the churches in our area. 

Students from across the area  were brought together for several Christmas programs in Bentonville.
Not all came willingly, but we had a lot of fun practicing!

As I prepare music for our church service this week, I'm thankful for my special friend, Araminta, who lovingly taught me a skill that I could use in service to the church and for my own enjoyment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dairy Q&A

                       How does a calf stay warm in the winter?

 For the first three months, our calves live in a clean, dry individual pen called a calf hutch. Our hutches are made from fiberglass that  provides protection from wind and bad weather, allows ample space for the calf to move freely and protects them from other calves in the herd.

When the weather gets really cold , like this past week when temperatures dipped into the teens, we add sawdust shavings or straw inside the hutch for extra warmth and comfort.

Twice a day  each calf receives a measured amount
 of warm milk and grain and is  monitored closely for any signs or symptoms of illness. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Harvest

A lot happens from the beginning of harvest until the last load of chopped sorghum  crop is on the way to the silo. Weather changes  and mechanical challenges are constant  reminders of the need for a dairy  farmer to find his happy button and bucket of patience.  Weather conditions definitely stood out on Saturday afternoon as the last round was made by the chopper for  the 2014  harvest season. 

 When we began harvest, the days were longer and much warmer--at least 40 degrees warmer!

Although freezing temperatures over the last couple of weeks   changed the sorghum from green to brown, 
it will still make great nutritional silage for our dairy cows to enjoy this winter.

With the prediction of snow and colder temperatures, 
I'm pretty sure the chopper is happy to head to the shed 
 and settle in for a long winter's nap!

Happy Harvest from down on the Arkansas  dairy farm!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Celebrating Veterans Day always reminds me of how fortunate I am to live in America.
I'm thankful that our family has the freedom to farm and that the freedom to farm allows other Americans to follow their dreams and ambitions.

Dairy Farm Fact:

More than 51,000 U.S. dairy farms provide
 milk, cheese, and yogurt to  the United States and other countries.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day!

During World War II, Ryan's mother, Bonnah Lyn,  milked cows in this old barn that sits in the middle of our dairy farm while his Dad was stationed in Japan as an army medic. As a multi-generational  dairy farm family, we appreciate the sacrifices that our family made for our country--it was definitely  a team effort. 

  We will forever be in debt to the men and women who have served and are serving  our country in times of war and peace.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dairy Q&A


How long is a cow pregnant?


9 months

FYI: A pregnant dairy cow that is being milked will be removed from the milking herd at 7 months so she can rest, enjoy a special diet  and prepare for the birth of her calf. We commonly  call this the "dry" period. In human terms, this is maternity leave!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Fall harvest is always an amazing time on the dairy farm. I consider the perfect timing and coordination between the chopper operator and the truck driver to be a form of harvest art.
It does pay to stay alert at all times unless you want a cab full of chopped crop!

                                 I'm thankful for the opportunity to live on an Arkansas  dairy farm,
                                    raise crops for our cows to enjoy and work everyday with
                                            my family to produce wholesome,nutritious milk.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Celebrate Your Vote With Dairy

When the last ballot is cast, the polls are closed and we wait anxiously for the election returns,what better  time for a celebration of the election season!  No matter whether your candidate wins or loses, you can celebrate the greatness of America and the democratic process  that we often take for granted.

I'm going to include this special dairy dip in my election celebration. It was served to us last week by our special family friend Karla in Dallas. It's one of those recipes passed from friend to friend and doesn't require a lot of preparation time so you have more time for visiting and watching those election returns!

Karla's Dairy Dip

1 16 ounce cream    cheese,softened
1 can black beans, drained
1 can Rotel, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix cream cheese, black beans, and Rotel; spread in 8 or 9 inch baking dish.
Cover with shredded cheese and bake in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted.

Serve with Pita chips or crackers.

                                                             Vote for dairy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cows and Clocks

 Our dairy  cows don't have to worry about  how to change the clock when Daylight Savings Time starts or stops because regardless if we're springing forward or falling back, they always have plenty of feed to eat, water to drink and a dairy farmer checking to make sure they are comfortable.

 It's the dairy farmers that have to adjust to the time change in scheduling chores and making sure everyone else  on the farm  understands the schedule!

                      One thing for sure,  cows don't need clocks to know when it's time to have a calf !
                                       That was obvious today--we had three new calves born.

What better way to celebrate the end of Daylight Savings Time--
3 new babies and an extra hour of sleep for the farmer!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Fall colors in late October  are usually limited to the trees, 
but you never know when Mother Nature may surprise us!
Old fashioned Iris, also known as "flags", are usually blooming in May but for some reason this yellow beauty is blooming like crazy this week.

                               I'm thankful for these unexpected surprises  that happen to remind me
                             that God is always in control and provides a blessing when unexpected!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dairy Treats With Essential Nutrients

It's easy to get tricked into thinking that a lot of drinks we find in the dairy case at the grocery store  are as nutritious or economical as real dairy milk. For 25 cents per 8 ounces, milk treats you to nine essential nutrients. You're being tricked if you think the nutrition of alternative drinks offers you  and your family the same nutritional benefits.
According to Midwest Dairy, milk alternatives use fortification to mimic the nutrient profile of cow's milk.
Here's how some of the most common dairy alternatives stack up:
  • Soy beverages--made from soybeans and are a good source of protein, but the soy protein is a lower quality protein than the whey protein found in dairy products.
  • Rice-based beverages-- are generally processed from brown rice and are fortified with nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Rice beverages contain only one gram of protein compared to eight grams in cow's milk.
  • Nut-based beverages-- can be ground from any nut, the most popular is almond. Almond beverages supply only one gram of protein per serving and lack many of the natural benefits found in almonds.

It's okay to get tricked on Halloween,
 but don't let it happen when you're making nutritional decisions!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dairy Q&A


    Why does a farmer use genetically modified (often referred to as GMO)  seed when planting a crop?

Farmers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and protect the environment.  Genetically modified crops are more tolerant  of drought,are more resistant to disease and herbicides and allow farmers to increase yields on the same amount of land.

According to the Center for Food Integrity, more than 80 percent of grain crops used for animal feed, such as corn and soybeans are genetically modified. Extensive research has revealed no difference in the
nutritional value of GMO feed compared to conventional feed, there is no evidence that GMO  feed impacts growth or feed intake and it is safe.