Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

If cows could ride a sunbeam,
 it looked quite possible this afternoon when the sun was setting.
My thought really  was that after  an afternoon of  eating whenever I felt like 
it and resting leisurely in the pasture, a quick ride to the milking  barn
 would be appreciated.

                             I'm thankful for these extraordinary  natural scenes of beauty down
                                         on the dairy farm that occur on ordinary days.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Helper Recipe

As I was thumbing through my recipe file this past week, Sausage Breakfast Casserole from Simply Recipes  was the perfect holiday helper  recipe for my Christmas morning schedule that included calf feeding and making it to church on time.

I heartily recommend Sausage Breakfast Casserole for anytime you need a holiday helper recipe or trying to feed a hungry family!

Sausage Breakfast Casserole


1 lb pork sausage, (cooked,drained,crumbled)
4 1/2 cups cubed day old bread
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
10 eggs slightly beaten
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup peeled, chopped tomato (optional)


1. Heat a skillet on medium high. Break up the sausage into chunks and cook, working in batches if need be, until browned all around. Make sure the chunks of sausage have some space around them or your meat will steam and not brown. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and let sit on paper towels on a plate to soak up the excess fat. Crumble into smaller pieces.

2. Place bread in a well buttered  9 x 13  inch baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, onion powder and pepper. Pour evenly over the bread and cheese. Sprinkle sausage and optional ingredients over the top.

3. At this stage you can cover and chill overnight, if you want to prepare ahead. If not, let sit for 10 minutes before putting in the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake uncovered for about one hour. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Dairy Traditions

Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments that have been lovingly
 received as gifts from friends and family over the last thirty-two years.
Placing these special ornaments on the tree each year is 
an important part of our family tradition, a celebration of friendships
 and a thankfulness for the relationships of those who are no longer with us.

These two ornaments always bring a smile to this  dairy farmer!

Christmas Day on the dairy farm will be busy as usual  as we 
 milk the cows, make sure all the cows and calves are fed 
 and add the usual fun family Christmas traditions
 of eating a lot and opening presents.
A merry  day on the dairy  indeed!

From down on the dairy farm...

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

It seemed like the calves were celebrating the first day of 
winter with a moooving song  while waiting on their morning milk.

Since it's just a few days before Christmas, 
they may have been singing their version of Jingle Bells
 or letting us know how they appreciated a warmer
 morning with bright sunshine.

Although we don't like to dwell on the type of winter weather we may face,
I'm thankful for the warm sunlight and the promise of longer daylight hours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

On a cold,damp dreary day, 

                                      I'm thankful for the blessing of new life that brightens
                                          the day and warms the heart of the dairy farmer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Cafe-Au-Lait Kind of Day

                                       Although winter won't begin until December 21st,
                                    Sunday afternoon calf feeding chores  must have been
                                     a trial run just to see how many layers of clothes we can
                                                               get on under the rain suit.

Midwest Dairy's Hazelnut Cafe-Au-Lait was a perfect beverage
 choice after feeding calves on a damp and chilly Sunday afternoon. 

Hazelnut Cafe-Au-Lait                           


3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups brewed coffee
3 tablespoons hazelnut-cocoa spread*
Dash ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons whipped cream


Microwave milk,coffee and hazelnut spread in a large,heat proof glass bowl on high for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot,not boiling. Whip with a hand mixer or whisk until frothy. Pour into 3 serving cups. Top with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.

Yield: 3 servings

Helpful Tips:

*Nutella was used for this recipe
To save time, use a can of pressurized whipped cream to top the drink.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

The Arkansas Farm Bureau 82nd Annual Convention was held
 in Hot Springs last week. 

It's always great to connect with other Arkansas farmers and ranchers
  to share information and celebrate the activities
 that have occurred during the year. 
The conference theme "Our Common Ground" was a perfect fit.

I'm thankful for the many Farm Bureau  contests like Sew With Cotton 
that  highlight commodities raised in Arkansas and provide
 opportunities for competition and learning for 4-H members,

                         for the grassroots policy developed by the members of Farm Bureau,


 for the many volunteer opportunities allowing me to contribute
 and work with others to  benefit our  communities across Arkansas. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Having no internet service for a period of time does create a lot of issues 
and inconveniences when we rely on internet access for doing business 
I'm thankful that internet access isn't required 

for caring for our dairy calves and cows

                                                                 playing with Hattie!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Count Your Blessings

Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many  blessings;
See what God hath done.

                           ---J. Oatman,Jr. 1856-1922

                                                     I'm thankful for the blessings of life--
                                                         faith, family, farming and friends.

                                                    Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dairy Farm Recycling

It's a fact--if you have cows, you have manure. 
Recycling cow manure is an important part of our  dairy farming operation.

Hauling manure  doesn't happen every day but it's on the weekly
 to do list.  In between hauling events,  the manure that our cows
 produce is stored in a large concrete pit by the dairy barn or in the
 dry stacking area  in the feed barn. 

All of our storage areas meet the requirements of the 
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

Nutrient management plans  are designed specifically for our farm by
 engineers and technicians. The plans  guide the amount,source, 
placement and timing of manure  to fertilize the soil and
 improve the water holding capacity for crop fields and pastures.

Storing and hauling manure is all about protecting the environment
 for our cows, our farm, our family and our neighbors and is important
 to the sustainability of our farm.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Would you know how to create a recipe from a list of food ingredients 
and explain everything about your prepared dish that included
 nutrient content, nutritional value,cost and food safety?

Ten teams of Benton County 4-H members rose to the occasion of participating
 in the first Benton County 4-H Food Challenge contest last weekend.
As one of the judges representing Benton County Farm Bureau,
 I can say first hand that it was a blast watching kids
 from age 9 to 19 work together for learning and competition.

I'm thankful for the many youth activities supported 
by Benton County Farm Bureau and for the members
 and leaders of Benton County 4-H.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happy Veteran's Day

As I traveled to the monthly Benton County Farm Bureau board meeting tonight, I tuned into a special KURM  radio broadcast of a Veteran's Day assembly at one of our local schools.
Students were singing the most beautiful  arrangement of America the Beautiful.

Listening to the music reminded me of all the blessings of freedom 
 we enjoy daily thanks to the service of  our Veterans.

May we never take our freedom for granted.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Policy making time at Farm Bureau is serious business.
 It's our policy framework that guides the work of our organization. 

As stated in a recent  membership brochure-- 
"Farm Bureau policy, because it is crafted by individuals, 
reflects a wide range of needs and interests. Issues are as far-ranging as
 soil testing,production research,public education, taxes,
 roads, trespassing,health and safety."

Resolutions for policy  are presented at the county annual meeting. 
Every member who chooses to do so can have a say in our policies and programs.
It's the grassroots process of policy development that sets us apart from other organization.

Last week the State Resolutions Committee, met in Little Rock 
to discuss the presented changes or additions to the 
policy adopted at the county level.

Discussion of each issue that is presented is interesting,enlightening and
 although we may not all agree, majority rules. 

The final step in policy development will be the presentation of these 
policy changes to the Delegates at the Arkansas Farm Bureau 
Annual Meeting in December.

I'm thankful to be involved in an organization 
where membership does really matter!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dairy Time

As the sun was setting this afternoon, the dairy cows  were resting and 
 enjoying their leisure time in the pasture.  

It was obvious that even though we changed the milking times  
 to accommodate the time change, the cows didn't seem to notice that
 Daylight Savings Time ended today.

I'm afraid it will take me a couple of days to adjust to the schedule 
changes in chore times even though I did get that extra hour of sleep!

We live on dairy time regardless of the 
beginning or end of Daylight Savings Time.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

You could set your clock by these pregnant  dairy cows. 
They know when they hear the little feed truck come down the lane
 that it's time to eat!

                                     I'm thankful for the daily scenes just like this because it
                                   reminds me that everything we do down on the dairy farm
                                          to care for our dairy cows  has value in producing
                                                                  safe, high-quality milk.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dairymom Job Security

When I get the call, "Are you home?", I know that my plans have changed.
 It's how things operate down on the dairy farm. 

It wasn't a difficult task to follow the farmer and tractor to the field  but
 in the scheme of everyday farming life, it was one of the many
 measures of time efficiency and safety.

As our population has grown, so have the number of vehicles traveling our roads.
Not every one understands or cares  that a tractor and an implement 
like the culti-packer don't move at lightening speed and even dirt roads 
are not always easy to maneuver when you meet oncoming traffic.

For our safety and in trying to be considerate of  our neighbors
 traveling the same roads,
 we use  the least traveled roads and if possible, choose the time
 of day for less traffic.
Traveling behind the tractor in a vehicle with flashing lights is
 the least I can do to try protecting my family.
It's my job.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Cheesy Treat

We never get too old for treats on Halloween so why not plan  a little cheesy treat for  your family? Midwest Dairy's  Cheese Lovers Pizza Squares is perfect for supper before, after or in-between greeting the Halloween characters that may show up at your house to collect a treat.

Cheese Lovers Pizza Squares


1 can refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup Ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz,) shredded low-moisture part-skim
   Mozzarella cheese
2 ounces turkey pepperoni,diced
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup yellow pepper,sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Press pizza dough into 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan.

Bake for 12 minutes; remove from oven and spread Ricotta cheese over crust. Top with Mozzarella,pepperoni,tomatoes,pepper and oregano.

Return to oven and bake for 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley, cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 10 servings

                                                                 Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Foggy mornings on the dairy farm  make chore time a little more difficult 

                                          I'm thankful for the beacon-like white spots on our
                                          black and white Holsteins that assist us in finding a
                                                       sweet new overnight addition.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rolling Up October

We're rolling up October in the hay field.

Even though we haven't had a killing frost yet, 
the grass has stopped growing and much of it has already
 turned pale green or brown due to  the seasonal changes but
 it can still be harvested for feeding our beef and dairy cattle.

                                   After rolling up  the hay from this field, we will apply
                                 a measured amount of cow manure (what we call nutrient)
                                                                 to fertilize the field.

                                     Nutrient management plans guide the amount,source,
                                              placement and timing of manure on fields.

                                     Rolling up October  is a sustainability  win for the
                                                 environment and  the dairy  farmer.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

When a farmer goes to the vet clinic, you never know what may 
come home with him  in the truck. Last week, Beagle, the little black dog
  joined our farm family.She had been delivered to the clinic which
 serves as the local dog pound and desperately needed a home.

We didn't really need another farm dog but 
as it was explained to me, 
Beagle is the kind of dog that will just lay by
 your feet and soak up any attention you offer.

 As you can see , even the cows know when there is a new dog on the farm.

Beagle has a lot to learn about living on the dairy farm 
but I'm thankful for our new friend!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dairy Spooks

                                           Here's a little  dairy fun   for  your spooks!

Spooky Ghost Milkshakes


2 cups reduced fat milk
1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
2 tablespoons chocolate chips,melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips at 50% power  for 4 seconds,stir and repeat at 10 second intervals until melted.

Using a clean paintbrush, paint ghost face on the side of a clear cup.

Allow to set (5 minutes).

In a blender, combine the milk,frozen yogurt and vanilla.

Pour into prepared cups.

*Recipe provided courtesy of Florida Dairy Farmers/Midwest Dairy Association

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

My job description down  on the  dairy farm is 
"whatever they tell me to do or need me to do".

That's what brought me to be the gate keeper as 
we were sorting the dairy cows for a herd health check-up. 

Not every job on the dairy farm is my dream job  but one
 of the benefits is watching my sons work together. 

Although they were quick to let me know when I messed up on my job,

I'm thankful for days like this when we are working together as a family.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Debate Free Dairy

Absolutely no time for  debates down on the dairy farm...

                               We're too busy welcoming new members to the dairy herd!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Harvesting any crop can be challenging  but it seemed totally unfair 
with six or seven loads of silage  left in the field that we had a mechanical 
failure that caused a halt to finishing the job.  

Of course the entire chopper head had to be dismantled to 
find the one broken bolt that created all the problems. 

It was definitely a day of celebration when all the parts were 
back on the chopper and it made it's return journey to the field.

I'm thankful for the working relationship between brothers 
and father to keep the wheels rolling everyday down on the dairy farm.

                            I know just what Paul Harvey meant when he wrote that poem
                                                          "So God Made a Farmer."

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Harvesting any crop can be challenging  but it seemed totally unfair 
with six or seven loads of silage  left in the field that we had a mechanical 
failure that caused a halt to finishing the job.  

Of course the entire chopper head had to be dismantled to 
find the one broken bolt that created all the problems. 

It was definitely a day of celebration when all the parts were 
back on the chopper and it made it's return journey to the field.

I'm thankful for the working relationship between brothers 
and father to keep the wheels rolling everyday down on the dairy farm.

                               I know just what Paul Harvey meant when he wrote that poem
                                                          "So God Made a Farmer."

Monday, October 3, 2016

October Joy

Pocket dialing with a cell phone is pretty common but how often do you take 
500 photos with your phone in your pocket while feeding baby calves? 
 I saved this one picture because it captures the crisp color 
of the October sky on an ordinary afternoon down on the dairy farm.

Deleting the other four hundred and ninety nine pictures wasn't too fun  but 
it was  a reminder that although mistakes happen quickly,

joy can be found easily in an upside down situation.

May your October be full of joy.

                                                            Happy October!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

One of the signs of fall on our dairy farm are the new
 calves that are being born almost daily.
We call it the fall calving season. 

Calves born during this season are the first babies of the heifers 
we have raised on the farm. It takes two and a half to three years to
 raise a calf from birth until she will have her first calf.

It's truly  a celebration for us to see this new mother have her first calf.

                       I'm thankful for new life down on the dairy farm and for the opportunity
                                   to see each calf grow and give birth to the next generation.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Memory Making Pie

How will you begin your fall celebration? I started mine  by baking  Autumn Pumpkin Pie, a Southern Living recipe that's been in my recipe file box since 1987. The first time I baked this pie, I took it to Sunday dinner with my in-laws. I never dreamed that my mother-in-law would ask me for a recipe because she was such a wonderful cook. Obviously, the recipe made the family favorite list.  It was one of those proud daughter-in-law moments and a sweet memory for me.

 We love regular pumpkin pie but this is just a little fancier and perfect for any special occasion. Of course, you always serve it with a big scoop (or two)  of vanilla ice cream!

Autumn Pumpkin Pie


2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups cooked,mashed pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 unbaked 10 inch pie shell

1/4 cup butter,melted
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine first 12 ingredients; blend well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35 minutes.

Combine butter,1/2 cup flour, and brown sugar; blend well. Stir in pecans; sprinkle mixture on pie. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Yield: One  10 inch pie

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Even though I'm a little sad to say good-bye to summer,

 I enjoy the brightness of the summer  flowers that are numbering 
their days before the first frost


the cooler mornings  that blanket the pasture with fog and seem
 to  make the dairy cattle enjoy being leisurely.

                                    I'm thankful for the transitions we experience as fall begins.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dairymom's Thankful Thursday

Last weekend was full of fun, learning and inspiration  with bloggers from Arkansas,Missouri,Oklahoma, Texas and even one from Nevada attending
 Foodie Friday and the Megaphone Conference in Fayetteville.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to meet  homemade bread  entrepreneur
 and business woman Patricia Barnes, better known as "Sister Schubert"
 and learn  the  secret of making the best bread pudding,

to receive an overwhelming amount of
 social media and blogging information


                                           to find a little milk from  down on the dairy farm.