Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Early this year I became aware that Benton County was seeking
 to develop a Benton County Quilt Trail that would become a part
 of the Arkansas Quilt Trail. Benton County will be the 24th county
 in the state to join the state trail.

Quilt trails have become a sightseeing and destination movement
 across the U.S. inspired by quilt making, storytelling and local history.
With the disappearance of so many farms in our county,
I couldn't think of a better way to share our rich local 
farming history while also celebrating my 65th birthday!

Since I'm not a quilter or an artist, 
I am thankful  I was introduced to a maker
of barn quilts through a mutual friend.
My  Rising Star Barn Quilt was painted by
Holly Duck of  Duck Hollow Barn Quilts.

We had the hanging of the Barn Quilt this week!
It was so much fun to watch the long awaited 
completion of the project.

It was obvious from the beginning that 
a tall ladder just wouldn't work.
Milford Crane Service made the job look easy
and a whole lot safer than my vision of
family members on a ladder!

In preparation to be accepted to be a part of the quilt trail, 
 the application asks the participant to write a little bit about the history of the barn.
This is what I submitted:
The Rising Star barn quilt block brightens up the hip roof style barn built with
 oak lumber  handpicked by owner Bill Anglin in 1957. If barns could talk,
 it would tell you that it has been a place for milking cows, 
storing machinery, providing housing for calves and hay storage. 

Before the introduction of big round hay bales, 
the barn stored over 8000 square bales during summer harvest. Even on those
 hot August harvest days, stacking hay in the Anglin Barn was not all bad 
when you were treated to a late night supper and homemade ice cream 
prepared by Bonnah Lyn Anglin.

 The barn continues to be used by the fourth generation of the Anglin family
 as part of their Triple A Farms dairy and beef operation.

I'm thankful for this gift from my family that 
celebrates our rich Benton County agricultural history
and the legacy of our farming family.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

When we have visitors to the farm we often get the
question about how many times do we milk everyday.
Our cows are milked twice a day beginning at seven in the 
morning and seven at night. Between milking times, 
the cows are eating their balanced feed ration that is made available 
in the barn and pasture , drinking water and resting in the pasture.

All the procedures for both milking times are the same but
the evening milking does have a more calm atmosphere with
less people working outside,the setting of the sun and the cool of the
evening bringing a refreshment from the heat of the day.

I'm thankful for these dairy barn night lights
 that are a sign that the milking of cows 
continues  on our family farm 

                                              that even in the year of a health pandemic in
                                                   our communities and across our nation,
                                        dairy farm families like us are working day and night
                                                to provide nutritious, high-quality milk.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Resting in the shade  on a hot July afternoon is the routine for 
these  cows that  will be calving within the next two weeks.
It's hard to find a cool spot in the month of July,
 but  if you follow the cows during the day, you will find yourself 
moving to where ever the shade is found in the pasture.

It's our job to make sure they have access to  fresh water
and shade and monitor them closely for signs of calving.
We also provide a special formulated feed that meets their
nutritional needs while they are resting from milk
 production and  preparing  for calving.

When I watch the cows resting in the shade by the yard, 
I'm thankful for the memory of planting these pine tree 
twigs nearly thirty years ago with Cody and Casey playing
 in the yard, for the beauty of each tree and the shade
 that is so appreciated by our beautiful Holstein cows 
down on the dairy farm.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dairyfarmer's Thankful Thursday

The calves don't seem to be a bit concerned with the
prediction of a thunderstorm. Each calf eagerly drank their milk and
began eating grain as soon as we delivered it to each bucket this 
morning under a slightly threatening set of storm clouds.
We are not always good at guessing what happens with the weather but
neither is the weatherman!

Although the calves tolerate the heat well, I am watching each one carefully
for signs of dehydration or lack of appetite that can be early signs of
 heat stress or illness.
These babies will grow to become the cows that produce milk, so we are 
committed to getting them off to a healthy start with daily consistent care.

I'm thankful when the rain holds off long enough
for the calves to eat their grain,

the hay to get baled,

                                    and for the fact that we can celebrate  eating and making
                                         ice cream during the predictably hot month of July!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Blessed Americans

Regardless of living in the middle of a pandemic and
the unrest in our country at this time,
we are blessed to live in this great nation and call ourselves 

July 4th gives us the opportunity to celebrate all that 
we are as a nation and to appreciate all those that
have worked, struggled and sacrificed to bring us to this point in time. 
We are not a perfect nation because we are an imperfect people.
It is our duty to strive to be better on every level.

As we work today down on the dairy farm, 
we are celebrating the fact that we have the 

freedom to farm,
                                     freedom to work everyday to provide food for Americans,

                                              the freedom  to  celebrate what July 4th means
                                                    with the next generation of Americans.

                                                           God Bless America!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Abundant spring rains made it difficult to harvest spring crops
creating that domino effect of too much to get done within 
the specific planting time frame. June could be compared to 
a Chinese fire drill down on the dairy farm with everyone going
in multiple directions everyday. All of the crops we raise are used
throughout the year to feed our dairy cows. 
The cows are counting on us!

I found myself working as a transport person as we moved equipment 
to the fields for planting crops that will be harvested in the fall.
Equipment adjustments are normal and often take more than one
farmer's knowledge to work out the kinks or in this case the hydraulics.

I'm thankful for these moments in time when waiting on the
farmers creates opportunities in the ordinary day
to appreciate my  farm family,

to see the joy in the small but mighty grand-girl's 
face when learning and helping to feed the calves,

                                                 and the wonder of just sitting on a bench!