Monday, September 29, 2014

Dairy Farmer's Labor of Love

As the days grow shorter and cooler, the fields of sweet sorghum  (also called sorgo)  are calling the dairy farmer to prepare for  harvesting  this sweet tasting silage crop for the dairy cows to enjoy this fall and through the winter months.  
Growing a crop is a labor of love for my  third generation dairy farmer husband. I love seeing the smile on his face as he looks across the sorghum field.

We drove to several of the fields this afternoon to see how the sorghum  is maturing and make a plan which field we will begin harvesting first.  Most of the sorghum is seven to eight feet tall and the tops are beginning to change from yellow to a reddish brown  color as it matures. 

He thought he was hiding from me, but I could still see his smile!  

Harvest of this labor of love begins next week!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It was a perfect first day of Fall  down on the dairy farm!
Babies are always welcome but it seemed fitting that this mama cow gave birth on the very first day of the fall season. We're expecting and looking forward to  a lot more babies in the next few weeks.  

I'm thankful for the cooler temperatures ,the beginning of the fall calving season
and the time we have left with bright summer flowers!

                                                            Happy Fall,Ya'll!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dairy and Larry Team Up for Protein Power

Do you know the name of the Quaker man on every box of Quaker Oats?  It's Larry!  In the coming weeks, you may notice that Larry is sporting a milk mustache with the hope of encouraging consumers to make their oatmeal with milk. It's a winning combination that provides a boost of protein power to start any day in the right nutritional direction!

Larry's mustache may be new but Quaker Oats has always been a staple in my pantry so to  celebrate the fact that Larry's promoting MILK, I'm planning to bake Quaker's Best Oatmeal Muffins!

Quaker's Best Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned,uncooked)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup skim Milk
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 egg,lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup Quaker Oats
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter,chilled and cut into pieces

Heat oven to 400 degrees. line twelve medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with cooking spray. For streusel, in small bowl, combine oats,flour and sugar; mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Set aside. For muffins, in large bowl, combine flour,oats,sugar, and baking powder; mix well. In small bowl, combine milk,oil,egg and vanilla; blend well.
Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not over mix.) Fill muffin cups almost full. Sprinkle with reserved streusel, patting gently. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool muffins in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm.  

                                               Have you had your Milk and Oatmeal today?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for Farm Bureau leaders like our Benton County Farm Bureau President Bob Shofner,

For the women I serve with on activities to educate children and adults about agriculture,

the youth activities that are supported by our county and Arkansas Farm Bureau,

and for the blessings I have received as a Farm Bureau member and volunteer.

The mission of Arkansas Farm Bureau is to:
1. Advocate the interests of agriculture in the public arena.
2. Disseminate information concerning the value and importance of agriculture, and 
3. Provide products and services which improve the quality of life for our members.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Arkansas Grown

Arkansas Grown is a  branding label developed by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to assist Arkansas farmers in promoting  products grown in our state. When I found this Arkansas Grown  bumper sticker tucked in my Foodie Friday swag bag at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference, I couldn't help but think about our dairy farm and the high quality milk produced every day for Arkansas consumers.

       A big thank-you to Arkansas Grown for sponsoring the Foodie Friday portion of the conference,
       for helping Arkansas farmers promote our products and for providing me with this fun bumper sticker!
                      Our Holstein dairy calves are Arkansas Grown  on our third generation dairy  farm!

The milk that our Arkansas Grown cows produce is processed at the local Hiland plant for Arkansas consumers,

                                                                   and if that's not enough,

I'm an Arkansas Grown (born,raised and educated in Arkansas)  farmer
 living down on the Arkansas dairy farm!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Dessert for Moovelous Mondays

                          We don't have marvelous Mondays on the dairy farm--they are mooo-velous!

                           Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding is a perfect dessert  choice whether you're
           celebrating a regular Monday, a moo-velous Monday or the fact that it's   National Rice Month !
                            It just happens to be one of the great recipes shared at DairyMakesSense.

Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding

3/4 cup white rice,uncooked
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk,divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 (3.4 ounce) package Jell-O vanilla flavored instant pudding mix

In a medium saucepan, add 1 1/2 cups water and rice; bring to a boil. Stir once and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add 2 cups of milk ,egg yolk and pudding. cook on low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

On the way to our friend's house, we stopped to check the status of the milo crop that we plan to chop for silage.  While I was getting out of the truck, Ryan moved quickly out of site between the rows. 
I was searching for him when his head popped up and I heard him laughing.

                                                  He  reminded me of a Jack-in-the-Box toy!
                     I'm thankful for this Farmer-in-the-Field and for his dedication  and love of farming!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rice Farmers Connect with Arkansas Women Bloggers

Arkansas Women Bloggers gathered in Rogers this past weekend for an annual event of gathering,growing and connecting. What's not to love about an experience that motivates you,sends you home with  more ideas and knowledge and  inspires you with information about Arkansas companies that contribute not only to us personally but to our state?

Riceland Foods, a cooperative of family farmers,  not only sponsored part of the conference, they provided us with an insulated lunch bag filled with Riceland products! Here's a few facts about Arkansas Rice:

  • Arkansas is the nation's number one rice-producing state.
  • Arkansas produces almost 50% of U.S. rice.
  • Arkansas farmers grow an average of 1.5 million acres of rice each year.
  • Arkansas total economic impact from rice equals over 25,000 jobs and over $6 billion annually.
  • Arkansas rice provides thousands of acres of migratory waterfowl habitat.
  • Arkansas has designated rice as its official grain.
  • Arkansas's top agricultural export is rice.

I'll have to admit, it seemed a little like Christmas when I pulled each item out of the lunch bag!
I can't wait to try the recipe for Brown Rice Cornbread--perfect for celebrating the fact that September is National Rice Month!

Brown  Rice Cornbread

1 cup cooked Riceland Natural Brown Rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 large beaten eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno  peppers (finely diced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole corn kernels
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the butter, and mix together well with a spatula. Melt the butter in the hot skillet,then pour off the excess into the batter and mix in well. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Pour the cornbread mixture into the skillet, place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly, carefully remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack to cool until ready to eat. 

                                                         Happy Rice Month!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dairy Farmers Working to Fill the Milk Gap

All during the month of September (Hunger Action Month), dairy farmers are working with Feeding America and the Great American Milk Drive to bring greater awareness to the issue of hunger in America and promote ways for all of us to get involved in helping our communities solve the issue of hunger. 

The Great American Milk Drive, the first nationwide program to deliver gallons of milk to food banks for hungry families, kicked off early this year. To date, more than 90,000 gallons have been donated as part of the dairy industry's ongoing commitment to helping families get much needed nutrient-rich milk.

You can help fill the milk gap with your donation at MilkLife.
Thank-you for helping reach out to  the 49 million people facing food insecurity in America.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Committee work isn't always fun but for the last few months, I've enjoyed meeting with other members of the Vaughn Presbyterian Church to plan a special celebration day for the 125th anniversary of the church.

A highlight for this week's meeting was to display  a banner in front of the church to invite the community to celebrate with us on September 28th.

                            I'm thankful for the dedicated members of the Vaughn Presbyterian Church!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Dairy Diversion

Labor Day is always a day of labor on the dairy farm. Our dairy cows would not understand if we didn't show up at the milk barn at milking time or make sure their feed was mixed and served   in the barn on time!
Our Labor Day  holiday did begin with
a gentle rain this morning that  brought cooler temperatures and created the opportunity for a diversion of our planned silage chopping activity to vaccinating a couple of our herd bulls. 

That's how holidays on the  family dairy farm are created...

                                       they happen when least expected and  are  always unplanned!