Sunday, April 5, 2020

What's going on now...

A few people have asked about milk …

Despite the panic buying of milk, the closing of restaurants and schools, plus the disruption of exports, means that we have lost a huge percentage of our market. (Approximately 45% of cheese sold in the U.S. goes through restaurants, and approximately 7% of fluid milk goes through schools.)

Fluid milk is perishable, so it can’t be stored. Milk powder can be stored, but warehouses are full. Milk processing plants are running at the highest level, but it’s impossible for them to keep up with the excess.

The price farmers get for milk is predicted to fall over 30% this spring. This isn’t going to change until restaurants reopen, schools resume, and our export markets stabilize.

All businesses are suffering. April can’t go fast enough. I want things back to normal as soon as possible.

If you would like to donate fresh milk to people in need in your community, you can go here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

WILX News 10 visited the farm today

WILX News 10 came out to the farm today to talk about essential businesses during shelter in place!

Thanks to reporter Christiana Ford and everyone hitting up the dairy aisle.

We are just one of many.  Thanks to all of you!

Video here.

Article here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Essential business

As Michigan prepares to shelter in place, our essential business will continue filling the shelves with milk, cheese, and all the ice cream you can eat.

Thank you for your support, thank you for eating and drinking dairy, and let's hope this gets over with soon!

(Did you know our cattle (and most) have been vaccinated against coronavirus for years? It's not the same strain or anything, but interesting!)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

And just like that ...

Just this morning!

In one week, the whole world has turned upside down.  No Big Ten Tournament, then no NCAA Tournament, then no school, no play, no musical and art performances, no restaurants ... the stock market crashed, people are scared and hoarding, and everyone is pretty upset in general.
I'm also worried about everyone's extreme reactions.  It was like there was a competition to see who could cancel the farthest out.  Tonight California's governor told all 40 million residents to stay home ... except those who are doing essential business, like producing food.

I am so sorry for the people (10,048 worldwide, 160 in U.S.) who have died. 

Since I have no control over anything, I'm trying to think of the things I'm thankful for:

- Our team is wonderful.  If we didn't have food, can you imagine the panic then?!

- Our milk truck drivers come.  Some work just can't be done from home. 

- People are comforted by milk.  I've never seen milk fly off the shelves like I have this week.  I am glad we can provide that staple comfort!

Let's hope this all is over with soon.

Farms still open, cows still being milked!  Thanks team.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

National Dairy Quality Awards

I am so proud of Kris and our team members for winning a national milk quality award!

Our farm was named a Platinum Level winner of the National Dairy Quality Awards - one of six in the country.

Thanks to Britti Tucker of MMPA for helping with the long application process, our vets, our team, to the NMC for the competition, and congrats to all the winners!

The Hoard's Dairyman article above isn't online yet, but a link to a Michigan Farm News article is here:  Michigan Dairy Producers Dominate in National Dairy Quality Awards Recognition

This week we went to Orlando, Florida to the NMC meeting to receive the award.  They had a really nice ceremony, and it was great talking with all the other farmers, sponsors, and conference attendees.  It is really such an honor, and we feel so fortunate to have such a great team and wonderful support.

Monday, January 27, 2020

New year, old recipes

At my wedding shower in 2001, the lovely women brought favorite recipes to give to me.  Over Christmas break I was looking at them and decided that one of my New Year's resolutions would be to make all of them this year.

It has been so fun to do!  I love seeing their handwriting and their notes for helping make it turn out the best.  I also love thinking about all of them - those that I see all the time, and those that I miss.

This is also my family's favorite resolution I've ever made.  I'm a make-dinner-every-night-we're-home person anyway, but we're all just having fun with it.  First time I've stuffed manicotti (boys did it too), and purchased Worcestershire sauce. My kids eat a lot, so this works well for all of us!

Enjoy!  Here's January - 

Chocolate Crunch Bars, Mary Ellen Pung

Big hit.  I mean, if you put peanut butter and chocolate on anything, how can you go wrong?


Applesauce pancakes, Tracy Anderson

I have a griddle as of Christmas (thanks, mom!) and I love it.  I've made pancakes more in the last month than I have my entire life.  (If you're wondering, that is four times.)

Easy Taco Casserole, Mary Kingsbury

I miss Mary.  She also had three sons, and she always talked about how they took good care of her.  She knows what they like to eat!  This was gone in minutes.

Buttermilk Pancakes, Holly Phinney

Everyone loved these.  The boys said they were "like a restaurant."

Frank Oz's Glop, Moriah Newman

Great name, great taste!

Yoda Soda, Moriah Newman

The boys made these for days afterward, and then we bought more limes to make more!

 Mexican Chicken Manicotti, Bev Davis

Why haven't I been making this all my life?

Peanut Butter Cookies, Louise Ferguson

We had a couple extra boys over, and everyone ate them in about two seconds.

Meatballs, Lisa Warnke

I had to ask on Facebook whose handwriting this was, and Lisa's niece quickly identified her!

I'm already looking forward to February!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The 12 (Years) of Christmas

I was looking back at our Christmas cards for the last 12 years we've lived on the farm - which is also the same amount of time we've had children.  So for the 12 days of Christmas ... here we are!  

In 2007 we quit our jobs, moved from Connecticut to Michigan, bought the farm, and had twins!  Kind of a big year.

Then came 2008! I said in our Christmas letter that we put in an irrigation system, knocked down a silo, and had a great year for crops, which is what's showing in the picture - a towering cliff of corn!
Kris is very critical of this past-pile because we do it all differently now.  : )

Those santas got bigger! They were two. The fact that they were both looking even near the camera was a win.
This was our second full year on the farm. We gave a lot of tours to our friends, because we all had kids this age!

And then we were five. Max was born in 2010. This is also when I started Truth or Dairy!

On the fifth day of Christmas...
In 2011 we built our new calf barn. Not that raising calves in a 100-year-old barn wasn't fun, but it wasn't as convenient as you might think. : )
I also wrote my first book, Every Other Twin Book is Wrong, because I was afraid I would forget all the things about babies as my kids got older. I totally did.

This picture was not taken in December!

Kris spent a lot of 2012 planning for our herd expansion, which included building a free stall barn and manure lagoon.  I still love the word lagoon - so exotic!

On the seventh day of Christmas...we added 200 cows to our herd, built a barn and modified another 
one, and went to milk meetings around the country.

Our friend Andrew Jenkins (Canfield Jenkins House of Photography) took this picture in our yard. I was the only person in this picture who wanted this taken. The other four had questions like 'Why are we doing this when we have a million pictures?' Because I just want a nice one. 'Why can't I wear this sweater that looks just like yours?' Because you would hate me for it later.

In 2014, I won the Anderson Olympics. A lot of other seemingly important things went on, like installing a manure pump and becoming a Face of Farming & Ranching, but that was the first and probably last time!

Obviously I just picked a picture from the a spot where we spend a lot of time, and where everyone was wearing exactly what they wanted.

We all tried to represent what we liked doing best - farming, climbing trees, Legos, games, and running.

I love that we were able to feature the classic glove in our Christmas celebration.

I listed all of our likes and dislikes. Max's dislikes were: "Wearing clothes, going to bed."

Three years later - Max is still never cold.

We indoctrinated our children, and it even shows in our 2017 Christmas card. They were all super excited for this one.

We went back to Andrew Jenkins, and this time it was wonderful.  Everyone was game.  We actually have real smiles too, because my brother Gage was standing behind Andrew making us laugh!

And ta da ... 2019! 

This year, we had the weirdest, wettest year ever on the farm. Not only was it the worst weather for crop farming in 12 years, it was the wettest ever.  We all knew it, and the National Climate Report confirmed it.   (We're standing in one of our corn fields.)

Luckily, it all turned out okay, and it's been lovely and warm this week. You can never depend on the weather on the farm, but I can depend on our wonderful team members, family, and Kris.

Merry Christmas from Truth or Dairy, and thanks for following along. Santa will love his milk and cookies tonight...and here's to a drier 2020!

Thank you, as always, for reading.  I so appreciate you coming along in our farm journey.  Next year my resolution is to do more videos.  To subscribe to our YouTube channel, go to: