Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Tour our farm ... on video!

Tour our farm!

My friend Ashley Foster put on a Cub Scout virtual day camp with a farming theme. She asked me to do a virtual tour, recorded it, edited it, and showed it to her scouts. And ... here it is now for everyone!

Check out - cute calves, a cow being milked, our feed piles, the free stall barn, and even the manure lagoon. This is essentially the same tour I give everyone who visits, and I'm so glad Ashley asked me to do it. Thanks to her, and enjoy!

See the farm tour!




Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Summer of COVID



Everything seems so normal here ...

We're milking and feeding and harvesting as always
The boys are playing baseball
I just finished teaching 91 students in swimming lessons
My brother, sister, cousins, aunt, uncle just visited from various states

However ...

There's an executive order to wear masks
There's a question about in-person school in the fall
The news is filled with horrible headlines

It all, really, just seems so far away.  Our lives, as much as we can control them, are the same.

The cows don't care - they're still getting milked.  The boys are still doing calf chores.  Our wonderful team - plus all the vets, nutritionists, hoof trimmer, custom harvest guys - are all working just like normal.  There's never been a time they didn't.

That's what we do ... not only do we do it because it's our job, we do it because we all need to eat. 

Looking around at the farm, you would never know anything was different.  Let's hope we all get back to that soon.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Sunroof?


We went to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone - a trip I've been planning for the five of us for a very long time - and we stayed with my cousin Carrie and her family, and my cousin Cindy and her family!

Carrie and Cindy are two of the nine children of my Uncle Dave (my dad's brother) and my Aunt Robin - also in the picture.  

Uncle Dave grew up on the farm just like my dad, and since he was the oldest, he started working with my grandpa at an early age.  He was in the first graduating class at the Air Force Academy, followed then by my brother, Gage!

When we took this picture of Cindy, Barney and family, Cindy said, "Is this going to show up on Truth or Dairy?" Ha!  

To offset the beauty, I included a picture of the barn roof.  There was a wind storm while we were flying, and we landed to this news - the barn roof peeled off, there were eight utility poles ripped out and lying in the road, and there wasn't any power.  It's a great way to kick off a vacation!  There were two other kind-of-emergencies while we were gone, and I don't know when I'm going to be able to shoehorn Kris away again ... but it was totally worth it to see these gorgeous places.  

Ours is pretty gorgeous too.  Between fireflies, cattle on the pasture, berries, flowers ... I love coming back home as much as I love going away.








Friday, May 29, 2020

Milk Cooler Won for Beacon of Hope Family Care Center

Director of Beacon of Hope, Karen Leif

Michigan Dairy Farmers Give Milk Cooler to Beacon of Hope Family Care Center 
United Dairy Industry of Michigan delivers refrigeration units to 18 food pantries across the state.

ST JOHNS, Mich. [May 29, 2020] – Beacon of Hope has been awarded a dairy cooler as part of a United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) pilot grant program. The program provides local food pantries with a refrigeration unit to help store milk and dairy foods at proper temperatures.

Carla and Kris Wardin nominated Beacon of Hope Family Care Center in St Johns to receive the milk cooler, along with funds for the food pantry to fill the cooler with milk at delivery. 

“The cooler and funds are a tremendous blessing,” said Karen Leif, Director of Beacon of Hope.  “Our numbers have increased greatly due to the fallout from the pandemic:  job loss, loss of work hours, and children out of school.  We are grateful to the United Dairy Industry of Michigan for helping us to provide much needed dairy supplies to those in need in our community.”

In Michigan, one in six people and one in five children are food insecure. Especially now, food pantries play an essential role in helping to bridge this hunger gap as families navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Michigan dairy farmers understand how important it is to get nutritious dairy foods into the hands of people who need them most, especially now at a time when food insecurity is high,” said Sharon Toth, CEO of UDIM. “This milk cooler pilot program ensures dairy foods maintain peak freshness while increasing dairy’s availability to families in the community.” 

To learn more about healthy dairy foods, delicious recipes, dairy nutrition and other UDIM programs, visit milkmeansmore.org. 

About the United Dairy Industry of Michigan
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is dedicated to serving Michigan’s hard-working dairy farm families and promoting Michigan’s locally produced dairy products. UDIM is the umbrella organization for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of Michigan. These non-profit organizations provide dairy product promotion and nutrition education services on behalf of their funding members.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Can you drink milk after the sell-by date? Yes, and here's a guide!





People ask me about the milk sell-by date - including my own kids. I always tell them that it's a sell-by date, not a drink-by date ... and that the only way you can really tell if milk is sour is by the smell.

Now they don't have to listen just to me, but I can point them to this lovely guide from MilkMeansMore.org.

It even has a section on how to 'use up' milk which does not happen here, but I can totally see how it would in a house that doesn't have five really hungry people. : )





Monday, May 18, 2020

May, May, May...it stop raining?

                                                

On May 7, we got our first fields of corn planted!  Now as of May 18, it rained all yesterday and rained all today.  The creek is high, the ground is saturated, and I'm hopeful the little corn kernels are tucked away, ready to poke out later this week.





One benefit of the boys being home is that they help Kris on the farm a lot.  (I'm trying to look on the bright side of the economic crisis brought on by overreaction and mass hysteria.  How am I doing?)  Really, it's great for Kris, and it's great for them, because they have real responsibilities.  My dad and Cole also got a quad (or 4-wheeler, depending on where you live) running, so they drive it around to do jobs.  Every job is better when you can drive a quad!




The quad also has no brakes, so you really have to learn quickly on how to slow down.  Safety first, boys.

We got our garden in this weekend, too.  Farming at a very small scale.


The weather is funny.  Winter coats for chores in the morning, hot during the day, and back to coats at night around the fire.


I'm so excited for life to get back to normal, especially for businesses to open back up, to see more people, and to go more places.  Until then, it's just work as usual - plus a quad.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Top Farm Blogs

Charles Sipe of Top Farming Blogs contacted me to let me know that Truth or Dairy is one of the top 25, and it's in the featured blogs this week.  If you like reading my blog, check out:

https://www.rankedblogs.com/farming#featured

to see our feature, plus more farm blogs!