Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dairy Farming Benefits

Although working with family doesn't always create a stress free work environment, I feel really fortunate to work  with my family everyday on the dairy farm. 
It's a rewarding experience and what I consider as one of my dairy farming benefits  to see my sons share in the daily responsibilities of caring for our dairy cows and the land we call home.
One of our daily farm chores  done every  morning and afternoon is the calf feeding. Yesterday afternoon  I beat Cody to  the tractor driving job, so he fed the calf on the bottle while
Casey fed the calves that drink milk from the bucket.

  This tractor driver, besides being a great calf feeding tractor driver,  provides benefits to the hard working dairy farmer sons  
                                             with labors of love from  dairymom's kitchen!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

     National Ag Day celebrates the fact that American agriculture is doing more and doing it better.

 I love this picture of my mother-in-law, Bonnah Lyn.  It's a reminder to me of how hard she worked, the sacrifices she made for her family and family farm, and how technology has changed the efficiency of food production.
    I'm thankful for  our agricultural heritage and for the third generation farmer she raised just for me!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dairy Sweet Cake

When trying to decide what kind of cake to bake for my Mother's birthday last week, I found  this recipe tucked in my stack of  recipes that I had pulled from a December 2012 edition of Southern Living. It's a stately three layer cake, perfect for a celebration of any kind and has the perfect dairy ingredients--milk and butter!

Even though we never met Mrs. Billett, we certainly thank her for providing this sweet dairy-filled cake  recipe!

Mrs. Billett's White Cake

1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter,softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
5 egg whites
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 (8 inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour paper.
Stir together milk and vanilla.
Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar beating until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 40 minutes).
Spread Vanilla Buttercream Frosting between layers (about 1 cup per layer) and on top and sides of cake.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter,softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (32oz) package powdered sugar
6-7 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Beat butter and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 6 Tablespoons milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency.

                            You can't go wrong with this cake, especially if it's topped with ice cream
                                                           or served with a glass of milk!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dairy Spring Break

Triple A Farms, also known as Anglin Dairy, was the first  stop on the spring break tour for University of Arkansas animal science students  in search of  knowledge about different types of dairy production and the day to day activities on a dairy farm.
Only one or two of the students had ever been on a dairy farm so I'm pretty sure we provided the start of a unique spring break--much more entertaining than a  sunny, sandy beach!
The cows were curious about visitors in the feed barn but they kept on eating!
The students saw first hand that dairy farmers care for their cows by providing a nutritious diet.
Although the baby calves are the last stop on the tour, it's always the favorite for any visitors!
These calves are the future of our dairy farm and it's easy to understand that we make it a priority to get them off to a healthy start with individual care and attention.


                     A fun dairy spring break tour  always ends with plenty of cheese, milk, ice cream
                                               a lot of smiles from both farmers and students!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dedicated to Dairy

Ryan and I just returned from the annual meeting of our dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America in Kansas City,Missouri. The theme, Dedicated to Dairy, was a perfect description of the people attending the meeting.  Dairy farmers are committed to producing safe, high-quality milk that is consumed on family tables around the world. Our dairy cooperative is just as dedicated to making sure that from the moment milk leaves our farm, it is processed and delivered to consumers with the focus on safety and the needs of the families who will consume our dairy products. 
 In a hallway going to the meeting room was  a great display of all the different brands of milk and dairy products produced by our farmer members. I loved this display of all the different brands of milk sold across the country because it represents the fact that  no matter  where you live or buy your milk--you and I  can purchase safe, high-quality milk for just pennies on the dollar because of the dedication of every member in the dairy industry.
                   Milk is always a  nutritional bargain because it supplies nine essential nutrients
                             including calcium, vitamin D, protein, vitamin A, and potassium.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

No matter how many birthdays we celebrate, each one is special.
We'll be celebrating my Mother Mary's birthday this weekend with a family party.
                                               I'm thankful for my 83 year young Mother,
                                                        a true flower in the garden of life,
                                                    who brings joy to all who know her!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dairy Farmer's Field of Dreams

Dairy farmers often have a different perspective. You may just see a field of cows but I see the dairy farmer's field of dreams...
                   it's a field full of pregnant heifers that will soon produce  a new spring  calf crop,
                                            the  potential milking cows for our family  dairy farm.
                                                              A dairy farmer's dream!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Farmers Appreciate Northwest Arkansas Dairy Tour

A couple of years ago I met  Tiffiny, a Midwestern farm girl, the  owner of a local  tour agency specializing in agricultural tours.  Combining her love for  and interest in agriculture with her passion for traveling has brought her great success in providing tour packages for farmers wishing to learn more about agriculture in a variety of places in the United States and around the world.  To celebrate 15 years of  agricultural tours with Trump Tours, Tiffiny invited customers to come to Bentonville for the weekend to give a taste of Arkansas agriculture and a view of Northwest Arkansas.

                               It was our privilege to share our dairy  farm with these farmers from
                               around the country as part of their tour day in Northwest Arkansas. 

         With their knowledge of and connection to agriculture, it was obvious that these farmers
                understand  the commitment of food production and appreciate the responsibility 
                                       that  dairy farmers take seriously seven days a week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

We're celebrating a birthday today!!
                                                          Spring hasn't officially started
                          I'm thankful that our spring calving season officially started today  with
                         our young Holstein  heifer giving birth for the first time  to  this   sweet heifer calf!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dairy Recipe Celebrates St. Patrick Luck

In honor of St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, my church is planning a Sunday dinner with a green theme. It's always fun to see what creative dishes may appear from some of the best cooks in the county! 

I've  eaten Lemon-Lime Gelatin Salad   at many  potluck dinners but never made it myself so I'm hoping  St. Patrick's Day will hopefully bring me good luck in the kitchen!  After all, legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

Lemon-Lime Gelatin Salad

1 (3oz.) pkg. lime gelatin
1 (3oz.) pkg. lemon gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 cup small curd  cottage cheese
1 cup cream or evaporated milk
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped  pecans

In a large measuring pitcher, mix reserved pineapple juice and enough water to yield 2 cups. Pour into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the lime and lemon gelatin mixes and stir until completely dissolved.

Stir the mayonnaise and evaporated milk together in a mixing bowl. Stir in the gelatin mixture until completely blended. Mix in the crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and pecans. Pour the gelatin mixture into a serving bowl. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

                                                              Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dairy Bull Shares Daylight Savings Attitude

Even though Daylight Savings Time reminds us that spring is just around the corner, I must admit I really hate to give up my hour of sleep! It will take me a few days to get adjusted to the change and I will be the first to admit, my attitude for a few days is a lot  like the dairy farm  bull--mean and ornery!
Although we use artificial insemination for breeding dairy heifers and cows, we still keep registered Holstein bulls on the farm to assist our breeding program. Holstein bulls are known for having bad attitudes and must be treated with respect. Even if they act friendly, we handle them with great care for everyone's safety.  This particular bull enjoys standing by the fence anytime we are near, pawing at the ground and loudly bellowing.

                                      Looking on the bright  side of Daylight Savings Time,
                                my attitude  will eventually  improve  but  the bull's never does!       

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dairy Celebrates National Nutrition Month

Since March is National Nutrition Month, it's the perfect time to focus on exploring new foods, flavors and as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states "Enjoy the task of eating right".  Eating right includes not only making informed food choices but developing sound eating habits and physical activity habits.

Dairy foods are a perfect fit for celebrating National Nutrition Month!

I'm planning a personal celebration by trying some tasty nutritious  recipes from  Dairy Makes Sense  that will expand my nutritional horizons. I'm living proof---you're never too old to improve my eating habits or try new recipes!

Roasted Asparagus with Chive Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Ingredients for dressing:

3/4 cup low-fat Greek style plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
For asparagus:
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder,pepper and salt. Slowly pour in buttermilk, whisking constantly. Mix in chives. For best results, make dressing ahead of time and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and break ends off of asparagus. On a baking sheet with a lip (like a jelly roll pan), place asparagus and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss until fully coated. cook for 10-12 minutes (depending on size of stalks). Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

For each serving, divide asparagus into six shallow bowls and pour 1/3 cup dressing  on top.

You can enjoy the taste of  eating right with dairy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Just as these pregnant  cows and heifers are waiting patiently for their afternoon grain to be fed,
we're anxiously waiting to  welcome  new baby calves to our dairy farm!
Even though we welcome new babies any time,
 I'm thankful that these cows and heifers will calve in warmer temperatures and without  sleet, snow or ice!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Where Will You Celebrate National School Breakfast Week?

                                            Winter just won't give up in Northwest Arkansas!
                                 It's been a day of sleet, snow and extremely cold temperatures.

Even though our local schools are closed tomorrow, I'm sure other students across the country will begin celebrating National School Breakfast Week, March 3-7,2014.
School breakfast is important for every student because research  states that feeding a child's mind with a nutrient rich breakfast supports better performance in school.
 As a dairy farmer, I'm proud to support activities that encourage good nutrition and physical activity through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Encouraging school breakfast is one component of this program. School breakfast is convenient,healthy, and a timesaver for families with busy schedules.
While our cows will be getting a nutritious breakfast on the farm, I hope students in your family or neighborhood are enjoying a nutritious breakfast at school!