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Why I love the Jersey Cow

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If you ever need a reason (I don’t think you do) to love the jersey breed the picture says it all!!

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Farm Tours – I love showing off our farm!!

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I love when people come to visit our farm!!  It is so easy to get focused on all the day to day things it takes to run a successful organic dairy.  Healthy calves, clean barns, accurate and up to date paperwork, and on……  It is very easy to lose sight of the fact that so many people are 2-3 generations removed from agriculture.  Many people have never seen a “live” cow.  For me, I can not imagine that.  But I must remember that it is not necessary to be acquainted with your local farmer in order to eat.  Everything you need to provide good nutritious food for your family is in the grocery store, farmer’s market, or big box store.

I love to show people what we do everyday.  If they get a 1st hand experience of where their organic milk comes from, chances are they will make the decision to buy milk, cheese, or butter on their next trip to the grocery store.  As the dairy industry struggles to find ways to increase dairy consumption, I believe opening our farms to the public can be part of the solution.  It is scary because you always worry you may end up on YouTube or whatever website is featuring the negative aspects of dairy farming.  We have a great story to tell!!  Do not be afraid!!  Open your farm to the public and help get people connected to agriculture again.  Let me know if you ever are interested in a tour!!

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Talking about the Flood of 2007 in our parlor.

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My son with his show cow.

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YoYo the Jersey.

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Calves are always the cutest part of the tour!!

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Explaining commodities.

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Looking at our 300 cow Free Stall Barn.

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Why I Love Dairy Cows

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“Let’s go cow tipping” or “Chocolate Milk comes from Brown Cows” or “Strawberry Milk comes from Red Cows”.  We have all heard these funny ideas people have about dairy cows.  I am sure you have seen a t-shirt highlighting one of these “myths” or “urban legends” about cows.  As of today, I have been married to my dairy farmer husband for over 16 years.  In all of those years, I have never witnessed a “cow tipping” event.  What I have seen is the love and dedication dairy farmers have for their animals.  From the newborn calf struggling to take its first breath, an older cow having a tough time getting up from her stall, or a new cow in the milking parlor that refuses to go in and get milked for the first time (FYI – the first time is always the toughest) most dairy farmers have a level of compassion that is unbelievable.  I wish more people could see this and understand this is the norm and not the exception.  With that said, my children’s 4-H animals are like members of our family.  We are lucky that we can keep them in a barn where we can interact, play, pet, and talk with them every day.  If you ever have a chance to watch a 4-H dairy show at your local fair, please take the time to watch.  You will be amazed at the amount of love and dedication these kids have for their animals.  Remember, you may not ever be able to “tip” a cow, but you never know when you could ride one like a horse 🙂

2014-07-02 09.31.18Brownie – My daughter’s show heifer who was quietly enjoying a day in the sun.

Washington Dairy Wife – Mom carries on; remains-farm-leader

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Washington Dairy Wife – Mom carries on; remains-farm-leader

This is an article about our farm and my role as a dairy farmer’s wife.

NMPF and What it means to Dairy Farmers

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The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), established in 1916 and based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.

NMPF provides a forum through which dairy farmers and their cooperatives formulate policy on national issues that affect milk production and marketing. NMPF’s contribution to this policy is aimed at improving the economic interests of dairy farmers, thus assuring the nation’s consumers an adequate supply of pure, wholesome, and nutritious milk and dairy products.

The policies of NMPF are determined by its members from across the nation. Therefore, the policy positions expressed by NMPF are the only nationwide expression of dairy farmers and their cooperatives on national public policy.

2012 YC Council in Orlando

National Milk Producers Federation members and staff organized the National Young Cooperator (YC) Program in 1950. The purpose of the YC program was, and still is, to educate and build leadership ability in young dairy farmers. In order to develop this leadership, YCs must first gain a better understanding of the needs and problems facing milk marketing cooperatives. The result is educated, articulate young people who will provide the future direction for the dairy industry.

NMPF member cooperatives are responsible for selecting the YCs who will serve as their representatives on the YC Advisory Council. Each cooperative has its own way of choosing YCs for the council, just like they do for YCs who participate in the national YC program. Members of the council provide the leadership behind NMPF’s YC program. At the national level, they have three principle duties:

  1. Attend a planning meeting the summer after the council’s election to provide views on YC programming material for the upcoming NMPF Annual Meeting.
  2. Develop and oversee the YC program at the next NMPF Annual Meeting. This includes conducting registration, chairing sessions, introducing speakers, and other duties as required.
  3. Execute assignments as requested by the NMPF YC program coordinator

    Our conclusion as the 2012 YC Chaircouple

    We enjoyed all the opportunities that were offered to us as National YC Chaircouple. We have met some incredible people who work on behalf of dairy farmers every day.  From the Farm Bill, USFRA, or drought relief, there is someone at NMPF who is working very hard to find the best resolution for the dairy farmer.  Thank you NMPF for this amazing opportunity, we enjoyed every moment!!

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