Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Last week while I was working at the computer on farm records, the lights flickered and a wind gust brought two stories of a six story sycamore tree crashing down in front of the house. From the sound of the crash and the vibration I felt in the house, I ran upstairs to see if I might see the sky! 

Although I was sad to see this old,beautiful  tree broken, I am very thankful that no damage occurred to the house and that my family, our employees, and our cattle were safe during this unexpected wind storm.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wednesday's Dairy Wrap

Barbecue chicken is perfect for wrapping up these  crazy days of summer down on the dairy farm.  I'm wrapping up my week with  BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Foil Packet Dinner  from the Dairy Makes Sense recipe collection. 

BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Foil Packet Dinner

3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts 
2 small unpeeled red potatoes,thinly sliced
1 green onion,finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a foil sheet, approximately 12x12 inches, on a work surface. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the barbecue sauce in the center of the foil. Place one chicken breast half over barbecue sauce and spread another teaspoon of sauce over chicken. Top with quarter of the potato,bell pepper and onion.

Fold foil in half to cover contents; make narrow folds along edges to seat. Repeat with remaining ingredients to assemble three more packets. Place the four packets on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.

Open foil packets with scissors and carefully pull back edges as contents may be very hot. Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the top of each chicken breast and return to oven, unsealed for two minutes or until cheese is melted. With a spatula, transfer the contents of each packet onto individual serving plates. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's not unusual to have mechanical failures when farming but it seems to happen at the least convenient times. Monday's task was to bale 40 acres of good quality hay.  When the first bale kicked out of the baler, a bearing went out and stopped everything. 

I'm thankful for the generous neighbor who loaned us his baler so that we could get every bale harvested before the wind storm  struck just an hour after the last bale was rolled up!

Wednesday Wake-up

Would you like this kind of wake-up call?

This baby was born after midnight and is enjoying a time of rest but this new mama says it's time to get the day started!
In just a couple of hours, this new mama will join the milking herd and the care of this baby will become my daily responsibility.

Calves grow up to become the cows that produce milk, so we make it a priority to get them off to a healthy start. For the first three months, this baby will live in an individual pen called a calf hutch that allows the calf to freely move about but provide protection from the heat and cold weather. 

Happy Wednesday !!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Labor of Love

Yesterday we celebrated my Aunt Alice and Uncle Pete's fiftieth wedding anniversary with a fantastic gathering of friends and family. Our labor of love  was  a fun and memorable event  that  also  brought us together as a family throughout the last few months as we  planned  and implemented  details for the event.

I enjoyed watching Aunt Alice'  friend, Linda, prepare the cake. It was absolutely a work of art--edible art. A personal touch was the addition of brooch pins  from my grandmother and Uncle Pete's mother as part of the cake decoration.

My own love for blue probably started with my Aunt Alice wedding--that was her   color!

We were all amazed that our blue punch matched the cake and no one went home with blue teeth or lips!
I'm not sure you could make a more delicious punch than equal amounts of 7-Up and Blue Hawaiian Punch topped with a carton of pineapple sherbet!

When it was all said and done, 
these smiles were the greatest reward for our labor of love!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

While I was  mowing along the fence yesterday, grass clippings blew within reach of these soon to be mama cows. Although our pregnant cows  enjoy grazing in the pasture and are fed a  special balanced and nutritious  diet to prepare them for calving, they were enjoying the grass clippings like kids in a candy store.

                                       I'm thankful for these unexpected moments that bring a smile
                                 and for the  appreciation I have  for these perfect recycling experts!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Farming: A Family Affair

Today was the the announcement of our  2014 Benton County   Farm Family.  It was exciting to see this young family receive this honor for their hard work and dedication to their row crop,beef , and agri-tourism farming operation   and commitment  to   their church, 4-H  and community.

Farming is a family affair. According to the USDA, 97 percent of U.S. farms are family owned and operated, often by multiple generations of the family.  Although the look of the family farm and the technologies have changed, the same values of caring for the land and animals still exist.

For me, today was not only recognizing and celebrating this great farm family's accomplishments, but also  acknowledging the generational impact made by our agriculture and farming community. 

Congratulations to Cody,Carrie and their children Garrett,Emily and Ty!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Peaches and Cream

 We made vanilla ice cream for our 4th of July celebration and topped it with fresh blueberries and strawberries   so I'm now on the look out for some ripe peaches that will be perfect for peach ice cream. Although I don't remember who gave me this peach ice cream  recipe that I found in my recipe collection box , I'm certain  it will be good!

Peach Ice Cream

1 quart very ripe peaches,crushed
Juice of 3 lemons
1 can evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
dash salt
whole milk ( add to fill 1 gallon ice cream freezer)

Mix peaches,lemon juice, evaporated milk, sugar and salt in large bowl; pour into ice cream freezer can.  Add whole milk to fill line of freezer can and freeze according to ice cream freezer directions.

                        There's never a bad time for summer  picnics, puppy dogs or homemade ice cream!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I went to check on this group of calves that were moved from the hutches to the pasture a few weeks ago. They're all doing great and I laughed to see who was leading the group of Holsteins--our little orphan beef calf, Lucky. 

Lucky will join the beef cattle herd when she gets a little older but for now she seems to be enjoying life with the Holsteins.

I'm thankful to work every day on our family dairy farm 
raising and caring for animals on the land we call home.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dairy Red Delivers a Firecracker

It seemed fitting since we're still hearing the pops and bangs of the neighbors leftover firecrackers  to extend our celebration with the birth of this red Ayrshire beauty. With our dairy cow herd consisting of mostly black and white Holsteins, it's a thrill to see a beautiful red baby!

Ayrshire dairy cattle originated from Ayrshire in southwest Scotland and are known to be strong, rugged and easily adaptable to any type of dairy herd. An average Ayrshire cow will weigh 990-1320 pounds and produce milk that has moderate butterfat and high protein. 

The Ayrshire cattle became part of our herd when Cody, our oldest son,  purchased his first registered Ayrshire for his 4-H dairy project. His first Ayrshire was named Sunshine and she was full of personality. She always let us know who was boss when getting ready to show at the fair!

 This  baby had plenty of energy while I was feeding her the bottle of milk  this afternoon.
 Firecracker will be a perfect name for this new addition to the herd!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom to Farm

We'll be milking the cows, feeding the calves , baling hay and planting a crop before  we pack up our traditional  picnic supper, load the lawn chairs and head to the pasture where we watch the July 4th fireworks provided by the communities that surround our farm property.  

We don't take our freedom to farm for granted--it's an honor and privilege to be an American dairy farmer working to provide high-quality milk everyday (that includes weekends and holidays)  by caring for our animals and the land we call home. 

                                                               God Bless America!

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

From the rehearsal to the wedding, I'm thankful for the fun we had with family and friends to prepare for Margaret and Cody's special day!