Saturday, May 31, 2014

Can You Hear the Moo-sic?

From the feed barn,
to the hay field,
from the visitors on the farm,

to  the calves in the hutches,
and from the dairy farmer getting ready to tie the knot,

It's the Moo-sic of June Dairy Month that we hear!!
Happy June Dairy Month!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

        I'm thankful for not only the beauty of the season but the smell of sweet roses and the wild       
                             honeysuckle blooming in the fence rows. It is absolutely heavenly!

It was so fitting when I read this from  Sarah Young's Jesus Calling devotional book:
"Approach each new day with desire to find Me. Before you get out of bed, I have already been working to prepare the path that will get you through this day. There are hidden treasures strategically placed along the way. Some of the treasures are trials, designed to shake you free from earth-shackles. Others are blessings that reveal My Presence: sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayer. I have not abandoned this sin-wracked world; I am still richly present in it.
Search for deep treasure as you go through this day. You will find Me all along the way. "

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Farms and Friends

A crane is not part of our dairy  farming operation but we were happy to see our friend and his crane   this morning after the axle under our feed wagon broke as the loaded wagon was moving towards the barn to feed the cows. Although this is a bad situation, we were very fortunate that no one was injured and that we have a friend that owns a crane and was willing to help us get it pulled up right so that it can be repaired.
Before the crane had set the mixing wagon upright, the boys were hooking up another friend's mixer wagon so that our cows could be fed.
Our cows definitely appreciated our friend's willingness to let us borrow the wagon.
They never missed a bite of nutritious feed!
If our days were always trouble free, we would miss out on these opportunities to appreciate the friendships we have in our farming community!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfait

I picked 5 strawberries from my three brave  strawberry plants that survived our harsh winter. What can you do with 5 strawberries? The simple answer is--just eat them! Thanks to strawberry farmers, I bought fresh strawberries this weekend  and can combine them with my five to try  Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfait from the recipe collection of Dairy Makes Sense.

Fruit Salsa Yogurt Parfait

 1 can (15 oz) peach slices in juice
1 can (8oz) pineapple chunks in juice
2 kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 cup strawberries,chopped
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
1 carton (32 ounces) non-fat vanilla yogurt

Drain peach slices, discarding juice. Drain pineapple chunks, reserving juice. Chop peaches and pineapple.

Toss peaches, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, brown sugar, spices and reserved pineapple juice in a medium bowl.

Layer 1/2 cup yogurt with 6 tablespoons of fruit salsa in each of 8 parfait glasses or dessert dishes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Remembrance

When I look at these old pictures of my dad, the Navy boy, and Ryan's dad, the Army guy, I find it hard to imagine how the world really was when each enlisted to serve our nation. As I placed the flowers on their graves yesterday for Memorial Day, I felt fortunate to have known and loved  such great men  that served  their country and instilled a love for  our nation   in both Ryan and myself.
I'm grateful for  the men and women who have given their all for our country for  the freedoms we enjoy. Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made for all of us.

God Bless America!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Saturday's Sweet Treat

If you're needing a quick, easy and delicious fresh fruit recipe for a busy schedule, I suggest Berry Brownie Pudding.  What better way to enjoy fresh local fruit and nutritious milk!

Berry Brownie Pudding


4 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 packages (4 serving size each) vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of 1-inch low-fat brownie pieces
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries

Add milk to pudding mix and prepare according to directions on box (instant pudding may be substituted).

Place half of brownie pieces on bottom of a medium glass bowl and layer with half of vanilla pudding, 1 cup of strawberries and 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Repeat layers with remainder of ingredients. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Substitution Idea: If fresh berries are not in season, you  can also use frozen berries, thawed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Benton County Farm Bureau Women's Committee brought Farm Expo to Russell Jones Elementary in Rogers on Monday.  Students rotated through stations to learn about Arkansas agriculture  from  farmers, University of Arkansas  extension agents, Arkansas Farm Bureau and Arkansas Beef Council staff.
I'm thankful for the students and teachers who allowed us to share about...
how seeds germinate and farmers raise crops,
the life cycle of a water drop and the importance to agriculture,
how farmers raise healthy chickens that included
 poultry terminology bingo,
how dairy farmers work to provide high-quality milk,

the benefits of beef and beef by-products we use every day,

safe food handling,

cotton farming and ginning,
rice production,
including milling the rice.
It was a win-win day for students and volunteers---
the students had a fun learning experience and the volunteers passionately  shared how agriculture  impacts our everyday lives!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chick Whispering

It was all in a day of fun learning about Arkansas agriculture that Russell Jones Elementary fourth and fifth grade  students turned into chick whisperers! 
As the students held the chicks, we provided information about how  farmers care for the chicks  to provide food for our families.  It's pretty amazing that even though we don't have any formal education for chick whispering, the students are experts!
One observation about chick whisperers--they always smile when holding a baby chick!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Arkansas Dairy Supports Ditch the Rule

After little rain in the month of April, mud puddles and water standing in the pastures and fields is a welcome sight. This has always been a very expected outcome after a good rain in Northwest Arkansas!
Normal Arkansas weather outcomes  could become costly if the Environmental Protection Agency, lovingly known as the EPA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)  get there way in proposing the rule to change the definition of "waters of the U.S." and expand the range of waters that fall under federal jurisdiction.
Can you imagine needing a permit for a mud hole? Sounds silly, but under the proposed rule change, it's not impossible. It goes deeper than just water--it would impact common farming practices that have existed for years. The rule change would make it more difficult for private landowners to farm and ranch, build homes or make changes to the land--even if the changes that landowners propose would benefit the environment.
Even if you live in the city, you can be affected by this rule change because cities and counties would be subject to new rules or standards that will increase the cost to citizens by requiring increased  permitting of more ditches  that will be more time-consuming and expensive for local and state  governments. 
You can learn more about the impact of this law change and how you can help oppose this law   at Ditch the Rule.
We already follow rules enacted by the Clean Water Act and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and  use best management practices that help us to protect our natural resources for our cows, our family and our community. 
I support Ditching this Rule!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Rain and chilly weather lingered most of today in Northwest Arkansas.
Wearing coats and gloves this afternoon while feeding calves was  a  sure sign of "blackberry winter"  on the dairy farm.
I'm thankful for the late afternoon sunshine  and the  spring rain that we so desperately needed
to refresh  our grass for the  cows to enjoy

lift our spirits with new surprises of   color in the garden.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Rollin' On the Dairy

We're rollin' on  the dairy...spring harvest of rye and wheat has begun!
Part of the crop is being chopped and hauled from the field to the silo but the rest of it will be wrapped in plastic and allowed to ferment for feeding later in the year.
I was called to field duty late Saturday afternoon to assist in getting the last few bales hauled home to be wrapped.  Once we got to the wrapper, my job was to stand by the wrapper and be ready to push the STOP button if needed. Fortunately, everything worked properly and I did not get in trouble for doing the wrong thing!
It wasn't a bit hard to enjoy the afternoon sunshine with a thankful heart for this crop that will provide nutritious feed for our dairy cows.
 Working with my family while we're Rollin' on the Dairy is just one of the perks for living and working on our family dairy farm.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

My life has been blessed by  this experience called motherhood--
make that double blessed!
It's hard to believe I've had twenty-six years of these blessings!

The older I grow, I  also realize how lucky I've been to have a Mother that has loved and nurtured me, supported and encouraged me, guided me with wisdom and patience and shared her faith in God every step of the way.
                                                         Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

We're on duty around the clock during spring calving season to make sure that our dairy cows have a healthy delivery. I'm thankful for this "special delivery" that happened without any complications  in the middle of a hectic day  down on the dairy farm.
Mother Nature always has perfect timing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sustainable Dairy Farming

For the last few days, we've been harvesting (also known as "green chopping")  the spring crop of wheat and rye grass that will be included in the balanced diet for our cows to enjoy this summer.
It's a perfect example of how we recycle on the farm and protect the environment.
Cow manure is recycled as fertilizer for crops by following a farm plan designed specifically  for our farm that guides the amount, source and placement and timing of manure on fields.  Utilizing cow manure as fertilizer adds organic matter to the soil and helps the soil hold moisture. Manure nutrients are absorbed by crops and not groundwater which fits perfectly with federal, state and local clean water laws.
It's true...Earth Day is Everyday on the dairy farm!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Slide into May with Dairy

No matter what the occasion you're celebrating--Derby Day,graduations, weddings or just welcoming warmer weather--Beef Sliders with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce and Cheddar Cheese is a perfect recipe  for kicking off  the May grilling season.  You can find this recipe highlighted at Dairy Makes Sense.

Beef Sliders with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce and Cheddar Cheese

For Sauce:
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 to 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce,chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
For Sliders:
1 pound ground beef chuck
6 whole wheat slider buns
1 1/2 slices mild Cheddar cheese,quartered

For sauce, in a medium bowl, combine yogurt, chipotle pepper(s), adobo sauce, and cumin. stir until well blended. cover and chill to allow flavors to blend.

For slicers, shape beef into 6 patties about 3 inches in diameter. Cook beef on an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium heat until center registers 160 degrees with a quick-read thermometer, turning once during cooking. Remove from heat.

Spread 1 tablespoon,divided, Chipotle Yogurt Sauce, on top and bottom of each bun. Transfer each beef patty onto a bottom bun. Add a cheese quarter and top bun to each slider. Serve warm.