Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

In October we hosted a virtual farm tour for school age
children. During the tour,  we were asked if this new baby calf had
a name. Since we were using the Zoom platform for the tour,
one of the students stated that we should call the calf, Zoom.
We thought that was a perfect name and that is what we
call her. She also has her number name 3381 attached 
to her ear.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to share how Zoom is 
growing and changing and for the new ways
we have learned to use technology to provide
learning opportunities  for all of us.

I'm pretty sure Zoom knows she is a movie star!

                                  Zoom and I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday


                            It's been a week of wild weather changes from balmy

                          70 degrees  down to the  low thirties .   To go with 

                           the changes,  we have welcomed five new calves

                            this week.  I don't know   if it is scientific or just 

                            coincidence,   but full moons and   barometer

                           changes  often bring   calving action in the pasture!

One of my favorite jobs is to be the Uber driver for
picking up calves and delivering them to their calf hutch.
I am a good driver going forward but watch out for those 
trailer back up skills!

Our calves will  spend the first three months in
an individual calf hutch where they are closely monitored
and fed milk and grain twice daily.
A healthy calf is the beginning for high-quality milk.

                                       I'm so thankful to live and work down on the dairy

                               farm with my family and for the opportunity to    share 

                                         with my friend just where milk comes from. 


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Thanks from Down on the Dairy Farm

                                                Before November slips into December,

                                      I wanted to share a little bit of  thankfulness

                                                     from down on the dairy farm.  

                          I'm thankful for the new calves that we welcomed to the farm

                                              during this season of Thanksgiving,

for celebrating 37 years of marriage to an 
Arkansas dairy farmer,

for the opportunity to take my Mother to visit
her 93 year old Uncle Max in Alabama,

to watch my grandchildren lick their ice cream bowls clean,

to celebrate the beginning of Advent with my family,

to share with you  about life
down on the dairy farm.



Thursday, November 11, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

We salute our Veterans.
Where would we be without their service to our country?

As we go about our daily work down on the dairy farm,
we celebrate our freedom to farm and live a most blessed
life in the United Sates of America.

Ryan's dad, Bill, served during World War II.
He was a medic stationed in Japan and returned
home to farm. The horrors of war were
too painful to talk about but you never questioned 
his love of country.

My Dad, Harral, served in the Navy
just as the war was coming to an end.
He was a man of few words but his devotion to
 our nation was unwavering.

                                             I'm thankful for the service of these two fathers who 

                         helped instill the love of country into their children and grandchildren 

                              and all Veterans across our nation that served to protect our freedom.

                                                     May God continue to bless our nation!



Sunday, November 7, 2021

Weather and Farmers


                     If you have ever been involved in farming, related to a farmer

                    or know a farmer, you know that weather is a big topic of 

                     discussion especially  when planning how to harvest a crop.

                 We listen to the weather reports morning, noon and night

                        and I  have learned (the hard way) that you do not talk to

                                      the farmer during the weather report.


                           We've been waiting  for "the just right weather" to begin 

                                               these last days of fall harvest.  

                                After the three inch rain last week, the ground has

                       finally dried enough to begin  the last cutting of the hay crop.

This part of the acreage is being dry baled so an extra
day was required to allow it to dry before being baled.

The other part of this fall hay  harvest was baled and wrapped.
These bales will ferment and be used as silage in the 
feed ration for the dairy cows. 

Wrapping hay is often a great way to save a hay crop
from unpredictable weather. You might say it's one of the 
tools in the farmer's weather tool box!

It's time now to catch the next weather forecast!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Zoom goes Virtual

Have you ever been on a virtual dairy  farm tour?
I have watched a few and now I can tell you that
we have hosted one  with the technical help from Midwest Dairy
  to highlight dairy and  celebrate  the Arkansas  Farm to School 
program  during October.

As stated on the Arkansas Grown  website:
" Arkansas Farm to School activities improve public health, 
strengthen the local economy and communities, improve food access
 and food abundance for all, and protect the environment."

As Arkansas dairy farmers we were honored to share  from down on the
 dairy farm where nutritious milk and dairy products
are produced for our Arkansas students and their families.

Here's the link for the virtual tour:

It's been my experience through the years, the favorite 
part of the dairy farm tour is visiting the baby calves in the hutches.
It was also true for the virtual tour!
On the day of the tour, this baby was two days old and drinking milk
twice a day from a bottle. The students actually named her
What a perfect name!  We thought it would be fun to 
share how she will grow and change over the next two months.

Just like all of our baby calves, Zoom received her mother's milk in
a bottle for the first three days. That first milk is so important because it
contains colostrum that provides antibodies to aid her immune system in
fighting illness. After those three days, we taught her to 
drink milk from a bucket.  She was a fast learner!

Zoom is now  two weeks old.
She drinks milk twice a day followed with a small
handful of sweet grain. 
If you look close, I think she's smiling at you!


                                               The highlight of my virtual farm experience was 

                                                the gift of thank-you letters from Sheridan,AR 

                                                    written by Ms. Caldwell's 1st grade  class.

                                                       I'm so happy that Zoom went virtual!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

You know the farmers are still making hay while the sun
shines during these beautiful fall days.
No doubt this will be the last cutting of hay for this field
for the season but these last cuttings  are
 still good quality hay  that can be fed to the beef and
 dairy cows during the winter months.

I'm thankful for the rain we received last week that gave the 
fields the desperate drink that was needed to finish the season and
fill the ponds as we get closer to winter weather,

for the days Breck and I spent talking about how Daddy's
working on the farm and farming together  in the play room,

for the magic appearance of Casey's long lost
Dudley who just happened to show up at the Centerton
Animal Shelter after being gone for more than a year.

                                               Happy fall from down on the dairy farm!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fall Blessings

Although the farm work has not slowed down these first few 
days of fall, it has brought us that big sigh of relief  as we reached
into the closet for our long sleeve shirts  and hoodies with cooler
temperatures and less humidity.  On top of that, it rained three inches!
Talk about fall blessings!

With little rain through the summer and the stunted growth of the 
millet crop due to those nasty army worms, it was decided to harvest
 the crop when the rain was over. We were pleasantly surprised 
at the number of bales that were harvested.
These wrapped bales are actually making  fermented silage in a bag
that  will be fed to the dairy cows in their  balanced 
nutritional ration. 

Taking samples of silage and dry hay is part of 
the process to know the quality and types of nutrients 
provided for the feed ration.
My job was to patch the holes once the silage sample was
removed.  It was the easy job for sure!

We've also been welcoming new dairy  calves to the farm.

And at the end of the day,

                                             I am reminded of the simple blessings  we enjoy
                           and often take for granted during fall down  on the dairy farm.

Friday, September 17, 2021

School to Farm

We were honored to share our dairy story with University of Arkansas
students a few days ago. In past years, I have done farm tours for a variety of
groups but this was my first tour since  the CoVid pandemic  began in early 2020.
I'll admit, although I certainly was out of  touring practice, I enjoyed
every minute sharing what we do every day to bring a healthy product
to consumers by caring for our animals and the land we call home.

It was just this week that I read on social media a question that
asked what could you talk about for 10 minutes without any preparation.
I decided that the answer was easy if you have a passion for the 
subject  and having the desire to share makes it even easier.
Dairy farming would obviously be my topic!

After all, who doesn't love the story of  a third generation
Arkansas family farm that raises beautiful cows,
produces a nutritious product for families in our community,
and cares for the land !

We talk about farm to table  in the story of where our food comes from
 but this really is  the School to Farm version.
From our conversations during the tour, I hope it gave each
student a new perspective to share about where food 
production really begins.

Sharing our dairy farm is really a delight for me
and I will wear my new hat (and maybe share it with Ryan)
                             appreciate the opportunity to provide a School to Farm experience!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Labors of Love

Labor Day down on the dairy farm, like everyday,
will be full of the daily chores that include
milking the cows,

mixing and preparing feed to provide the
daily nutrition for the milking cows,

feeding the calves,

driving  tractors to complete a  a variety of  daily chores,

welcoming new members to the herd,

checking crops,

and enjoying time together as a family.

                                            Every activity down on the family dairy farm is a

                                      labor of love as we work together to care for our animals,

                                      produce nutritious milk and make Labor Day memories

                                                              for our  next generation.

                                                               Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

If you would like a job filled with variety,
dairy farming would be your perfect choice.

We have the jobs that happen everyday of the year 
like mixing the balanced feed ration for the dairy
cows and making sure the cows are fed and milked twice a day.

Then we have the jobs that are unexpected but 
necessary like spraying a field for the
disgusting armyworms that will devour a crop
in just a few days.

                                   One of our sweetest jobs is to welcome  new life to the farm.

                                                        Finding two at a time is always fun!

I'm thankful for the blessings we find in both the 
ordinary and the challenging days down on the dairy farm.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

One of my morning dairy farm  jobs is serving as the taxi driver 
to deliver the newborn calves to their private hutch in the 
calf raising area.  The calf's mother is walked to the
milk barn to join the milking herd and
I become the substitute mother making sure that 
each calf is monitored closely and fed milk and grain
twice daily. 
One of the best parts of my day is sharing this 
job with my sons. 

It's been a busy week with  one or two calves delivered 
every day and baling hay like crazy. 

I'm thankful that even in the busyness of farm life,
we always have time for celebration with our family.

We managed to celebrate a special "Going to Kindergarten"
lunch and shopping day with Hattie Claire 

 shared a picnic supper in the hay field  that 
ended with watching the  Decatur Barbecue fireworks show 
from the top of a hay bale.
We couldn't have asked for a better August picnic!


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Who would ever think   August 
temperatures  in Arkansas would be less than 90 degrees
 with little humidity! Cooler summer temperatures make 
every job on the farm a little easier.

It was perfect weather for bringing this group of
 dairy cows to the  pasture by the house so we can 
observe them closely and assist with delivery if needed.

I love to watch them graze in the late afternoon.

I'm thankful for these first days of August that 
have increased the comfort of our cows, 


and farmers.

Happy August!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday


Who would of thought we would still be working
on this wheat crop!  The boys are wrapping it up this week 
with hauling and storing  straw bales in the barn.
Making room for the straw in the barn was a great 
incentive to clean out old hay and make it handy when  
straw is needed for use on the farm or to sell.

We  also have welcomed a few new calves
in the last couple of weeks.  It's always a treat
to find a red one! 
The Ayrshire cattle in the herd belong to Cody.
His first one was purchased for his 4-H dairy project.
I love it when Hattie and Breck spot these red cows and
calves because they instantly know they belong to them!
I'm not sure their daddy has given up ownership!

                                              I'm thankful that July is winding up and

                                      we are looking to what August has in store 

                                                 for us down on the dairy farm.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dairy Farmer's Thankful Thursday

Teamwork is part of life down on the family  dairy farm.
While Ryan and Casey moved straw bales off the fields,
Cody was preparing to spray the fields before planting 
hay grazer and millet seed.  

Once the fields were sprayed, it was another  picture of teamwork
as Cody and Ryan added seed to the planter.

With the spring rains delaying our wheat harvest  and crop planting,
the race is on to get the crops planted while we can still
hope for a few rain showers and moderate growing temperatures.

The donkeys even seemed to be working as 
a team as they strategically moved 
close enough  to make sure we didn't have 
any feed with us!

I'm thankful for the teamwork we  experience
down on the dairy farm and for the cutest surprises  
when we least expect them!