Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The leader of the Egyptian Geese started her training class early this morning as we began feeding calves. 
It was obvious by the response to the leader's call, they had been through this drill before as they marched from the feed bunk to the edge of the grass.

These are just one of the many birds that we see and enjoy  everyday on the dairy farm. 
                   I'm thankful that our farm land provides a natural habitat for many of God's creatures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Faith of a Farmer

I never cease to be amazed by the faith of a farmer as I watch the planter 
moving back and forth across every field.  
Other than an unexpected downpour, nothing stops the planting process. If the machinery breaks, you fix it. If you miss lunch, your wife brings it to you in the field.  If employees don't show up for work, the planting is delayed until all our cows are fed and cared for, but the planting is going to continue as planned.
It may even continue into the darkness if needed. Thank goodness for tractors with lights!

Although the look of the family farm and the technologies have changed, the same values of caring for the land and animals still exist. In fact, 97 percent of U.S. dairy farms are family owned and operated, often by multiple generations of the family.

It's the dreams and determination of a farmer in combination with faith  that provides
 the food on our table and milk in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dairy Q&A


How much water does a dairy cow drink?


At least a bathtub full every day!

It's a little more complicated than that but it does give you a picture of the amount needed for a grown cow. The complicated part is that cows not only drink water but their needs are also met by  water that is contained in their feed, as well as from metabolic water produced by the oxidation of organic nutrients.

The amount of water lost from a cow's body is influenced by the animal's activity,air temperature,humidity,respiratory rate,water intake, feed consumption, milk production and other factors.
The heat and humidity we are experiencing in Northwest Arkansas definitely makes a difference in how much water each cow will drink!

On our farm, water is provided in water tanks located in convenient locations for the cows in every pasture and inside the feed barn.
 It's our job to make sure that clean,fresh water is available everyday. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

With excessive amounts of rain in May and June, I wasn't sure we would plant garden but we finally managed to plant the garden in a  narrow window of dry days. 
Mother was determined that we would have corn--so, we have corn!
It's a partnership garden--I run the tiller and she pulls the weeds.

I'm thankful for the inch of rain we received early this morning 
 on the garden and our crop fields!

                                                               Rain makes happy farmers!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mountain Blackberry Cobbler

A generous neighbor presented us with a gallon of blackberries late Friday night. It was a complete surprise and brought a flood of childhood memories of going to the blackberry patch down in the pasture  with my grandparents on hot,steamy July days.

When going to the blackberry patch,   I was always cautioned to watch for snakes but not one word of caution about those chiggers! It was well worth the discomfort for the reward of blackberry cobbler, dumplings or jelly that followed those picking experiences.

 I don't think I will ever match my grandmother's  blackberry cobbler, but Mountain Blackberry Cobbler comes pretty close. The recipe is found in the Junior League of Springfield,Missouri's cookbook, Sassafras!. 

Mountain Blackberry Cobbler

2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening

2 quarts fresh     
   washed and drained 
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare crust,mix 2 cups flour,1/4 cup sugar, salt and shortening with a fork until crumbly. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 parts with slightly more for bottom crust. On a heavily floured board, knead dough until smooth. Roll each portion of dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Arrange larger portion of dough on bottom of a greased 8x10-inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup flour with a fork. Pour berries into pastry-lined baking dish. Sprinkle flour and sugar mixture over berries; dot with butter. Place top crust over berries and crimp edges. Cut slits in decorative pattern in dough to release steam. Bake 1 hour. Serve warm. Serves 10 to 12.

                     Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Urban Farm Girl

After a lifetime of city living in Bentonville, my mother has moved to the farm with us. 
We're providing her with a lot of new experiences in this transition from urban to rural living.

This afternoon, Mother  took her  first ride in the  big tractor  while Cody
 was preparing the field for planting the fall silage crop. 

                                    Although she has heard us talk about what we do on the farm,
                          there's no substitute for experiencing it first hand from the cab of the tractor!

The smiles say it all...

life is good down on the dairy farm!   

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

On  hot,humid afternoons, these pregnant cows 
  love this   shady  resting place next to the house. 
I planted the pine trees along the fence twenty five years ago never thinking that the bundle of twigs I received from the Arkansas Forestry tree program would live!

                     I'm thankful for these pine trees that provide shade for the dairy cows that we love
                   lift my weary spirit as  I walk across the yard listening to their song in a gentle breeze.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dairy Rounds Up Zucchini

In spite of the rainy spring weather and  the priorities of silage chopping and hay baling coming before any garden planting, we did manage to plant  a small garden that is now growing by leaps and bounds. You can almost see it growing every day with our hot,steamy summer days. Everyone in the family is keeping their eye on the corn, beans,okra and tomatoes but you don't see too many of them pulling any weeds!

Although I didn't plant any squash in our garden this year, I'm lucky to have a generous neighbor that is delivering squash to my back door!  Midwest Dairy created Zucchini Parmesan Rounds  for zucchini squash but I found that yellow crook-neck squash works great,too. Whether it's from my garden or the neighbors, there is nothing better than fresh, home grown vegetables!

Zucchini Parmesan Rounds


Non-stick cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Paprika to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Slice zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds, leaving green skin on. Place rounds in a resealable plastic bag with olive oil; shake to coat all sides. Combine Parmesan cheese,bread crumbs, salt,pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Press each zucchini round into the Parmesan mixture, coating on both sides. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve warm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It's been a family tradition before I was a member of the dairy farm family
 to have a picnic supper on July 4th  on the banks of this spring fed pond.

Adventure has always been part of the gathering!

I'm thankful for the land that we work on, play on, 
 protect for the next generation to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dairy Q&A


                    What kind of dairy cattle do you have on your farm?


Holsteins (black and white)
Ayrshire (red and white)

There are 6 dairy breeds of North America: 

Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey, Ayrshire,
Milking Shorthorn and Brown Swiss

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dairy Farm Dog Delivers Devotion

There's nothing easy about losing a pet.
 Best way I can describe losing my dairy farm partner,Chester, is that  my heart hurts.

 Chester and I developed our partnership 12 years ago when he left 
a Missouri farm to live in Arkansas with me and my dairy farm family. 

His unique look--what we think was a cross of wire- haired terrier and blue healer--was so ugly, he was cute.
He had the sweetest brown eyes.

Chester lived life to the fullest.
He rode the 4-wheeler when any one would allow it.
In his younger days, he did like to nip your heels when you least expected it. This trait was not too pleasant and made a definite impression if you were a victim. 
He thought he was a cow dog--he just didn't know which end he should be moving. Most of the time, he enjoyed chasing them away from the fence.
He loved attention from any children that came to visit the farm. 
Chester was totally devoted to me. If you were looking for me on the farm, Chester was by my side.

                                           It was a lonely walk to the calf hutches this morning.
                                                         We have other farm dogs to love
                                                               there will never be another


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Freedom Rings Down on the Dairy Farm

My Country,'Tis of Thee

My country,'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died, 
Land of thy Pilgrims' pride.
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!

                             ---Samuel F. Smith

                                                     Freedom rings down  on the dairy  farm!
                                  Like dairy farm families across America, we'll be working today to
                                               care for our animals and  provide high quality milk.

                                       At the end of the day, we will be enjoying a picnic supper and
                                              the fireworks display from surrounding communities.
                                                              From our family to yours,

                                                             Happy July 4th!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Last weekend I was the keeper of Margaret and Cody's  chickens,dogs and goats while they were away for the weekend. It was very entertaining, especially when Mother goat managed to get out of the pen and decided it was more fun to be on the side of the grain sack! 

                                          I'm thankful  for  the smiles Bonnie and Clyde provide
                                         to me and others just because they are sweet and cute!