Friday, March 17, 2023

United Dairy Industry of Michigan

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan put on their annual meeting. There were many things to love about it. The top ones for me were:

- Our CEO Dwyer Williams invited her family to see her at work. They were also going to visit a dairy farm for the first time!

- A class from WMU won a contest against other schools on coming up with the best campaign for milk. They spoke and were so great. Made me proud of my undergrad alma mater.

- A dance troupe finished out the meeting. They promised it would end with a bang, and it did.

- Dairy farmer Tim Hood retired after 17 years on the board. He very briefly said, we make the best product in the world. It shouldn't be hard to sell! : )

Enjoy your dairy...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Meeting season and 4-H calves

It's meeting season!

Kris is on our co-op board, and he's been to the other district meetings across Michigan and Indiana. He couldn't make them all, since some are scheduled on the same day. Our own district is the last today.

It's hard for Kris to be away from the farm for days on end, but it's also really important to meet with farmers from other places. Everyone has different ideas, news, and information to share. He loves going to see everyone. 


We sold so many 4-H calves this year! Our boys are taking them also. We haven't done 4-H in years, and Max hasn't done it at all, so we're looking forward to it.

Sasha and Cayden came to choose and meet their 4-H bulls yesterday. I had not met Cayden, and he was polite and shook my hand which I immediately loved, and Sasha is my cousin so I already loved her. She is actually my dad's cousin's daughter's daughter, but isn't cousins what we all feel? 

It'll be time for fair before we know it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Home sweet farm home

Progressive Dairy asked me to write an article. Here it is:


There are a lot of memories and nostalgia surrounding a farmhouse, since for generations your family gathered there. Our house is 145 years old, and my kids are the seventh generation in our family to live in it. My great-grandma was born in it, my great-aunt got married in it, my parents improved it, and now it houses three teenage boys who jump to hit every door frame each time they go through a door.

What people often don’t talk about is that, along with the happiness, there are also issues.

Read the rest: Home sweet farm home

Monday, December 26, 2022

12 days of Christmas

On social media I did a 12 Days of Christmas of past farm pictures. Enjoy, and merry Christmas!

This is my favorite view from our backyard. The sunset in the summer is right in the middle of our view. Every night I'm home I go outside to watch the sunset, and if someone is home, I pull him out with me.

I've seen a lot of beautiful sights, I've been to national parks and all 50 states and many countries, and I love traveling. But this view is the reason I won't ever really leave.

In 2017, we decided to space out our calving, so our summer help went back to college, and my mom Cherie Anderson volunteered to do calf chores for months. She made a binder complete with pictures outlining exactly how to do it.
This is just one of the millions of ways she worked with my dad on the farm in the past, feeding, watching cattle on a camera to see who was in heat, drawing them for records, as well as working on off the farm. And then today as she mows at the houses (including mine!) and barns every week, landscapes them, plants flowers, and makes everything look nice, as well as supporting us in every way possible.
When I told her in 2006 that Kris and I were contemplating moving back and buying the farm, she said, "Oh, we'll have so much fun!" She was right!

I love this picture from when we brought Kris lunch in the field yesterday. Wait, 11 years ago. : )

We're going way back in the vault to a picture I remember my mom taking when I was 6 years old, going out to feed our 4-H calves in our backyard. This swingset, the bin, the wagons, the Guernsey calves, the bare feet on gravel...such a farmy shot.

Here are little Cole and Ty being funny with giant pieces of grass in their mouths. I love the looks on their faces. Look! Someone is wearing shoes!

Here's my dad Jack Anderson talking to Max in the barn. My dad stayed on a year after we moved back to Michigan from Connecticut to work with Kris on the farm, and then he went off to get his pilot's license and fly around. But...he never stopped helping, giving advice, fixing things, and supporting us, and now our kids! That's an every day job.

These could be any little farm kids in any year on any farm. But these are mine, and I loved these little boys who liked climbing things then and now!

Babies and cows, am I right?! I love seeing the cows on pasture, and they always welcome us when we join them.

Here's when my twins sort of looked like twins.

It's two cuties in a corn field...there are so many things I love about this picture. The way Kris is looking at Max, and the way Max is looking at the camera. The difference in skin between people who work outdoors and babies. Kris' Caterpillar hat and how tall the corn is. The fact that this picture is over a decade old, but it seems like yesterday!

When Kris and I decided to farm, one of the reasons we thought it would be fun is because our kids would grow up like we did. And they have! I feel it's captured in this picture with the swimsuit, the boots, and the calves in the barn.

.A few years ago we were having a party, we all went out to the pasture, and my friend took this picture. It's got the land we first bought when we moved here, the cows, the pasture across from our house, and the guy I've been married to for almost 21 years!


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

What a year!

What a year! Let's look back...


We started the year visiting my Uncle Al, Aunt Delia, cousin Cass, wife Dorie, and daughters in New Mexico on their dairy farm! Dairy farmers love to visit other dairy farms, especially when they are owned by much-loved family members. We got up to do chores with them, and it was so fun seeing how other people do things.


Kris' grandma turned 90 and attributes her long and healthy life to raw milk. Since it's not always legal to drink raw milk, just go for pasteurized, I say.


Cole milked for the first time. The next in a long line of milkers!


Kris and the boys repaired the landscaping around our centennial farm sign. We're now up to 144 years in 2023, which means in 2029 we'll have a big 150th birthday party - a sesquicentennial, so I can practice spelling it now.


Eighteen friends (plus my dad!) volunteered to help us cover the pile of alfalfa on Memorial Day weekend. We felt so lucky! Look, they come in all sizes.


We did tours with college students, elementary students, news reporters, and playgroups. The kids asked adorable questions, and one kindergartner told me it was the best day of her life. I don't care if she says that every day. I'll take it. 


Our families visited, and I love being on the farm with all our little nieces and nephews!


Rock picking is one of my favorite chores on the farm, since I feel like it's also a great workout. Don't say we don't have fun family activities. Harvest continued.


We chopped the corn! It stopped raining for quite some time this summer, (insert stress and worry here), so the corn was shorter than usual, but still not a bad harvest overall!


We hauled manure again, which totals about four times a year, and Kris and I attended the National Milk Producers meeting in Colorado. You could spot a dairy farmer from 100 yards in the hotel, and if there's one characteristic dairy farmers have in common, it's friendliness. Everyone just talked. We talked farming, of course. 


We started a construction project, making a management rail, a trimming area, an office, and some storage.


We like to reflect on the year. It was a really good one for us, and we're fortunate to have a great team with us, including my parents, our employees, and all the companies and individuals who support us. We're talking manure haulers, builders, dairy supply, nutritionist, vets, suppliers, equipment dealers, milk haulers, our co-op...the list goes on an on, and I don't want to miss anyone. We appreciate you this year and every year!

Here's to a great 2022, and cheers to the upcoming new year. As always, thanks for reading!


I saw a news story about a video made by Pepsi about mixing Pepsi and milk. The hashtag was #pilkandcookies. I posted about it on Facebook, and a lot of people told me that they drank it in Laverne and Shirley, and this was an old idea resurfacing. However! We hadn't heard of it before, so we started some experiments.

First - Pepsi and milk! 

Positive reviews all around.

Cole - Tastes like carbonized milk with a little Pepsi taste. I like it. The consistency is weird. Sure, I'd drink it again.

Max - It tastes like Pepsi with the texture of milk.

Ty - Pretty good! Blends the taste. Pepsi tastes like metal and this doesn't.

For me, if I closed my eyes, I would just think I was drinking Pepsi. So it's like a ... nutritional glass of Pepsi! 

Next up - Diet Mountain Dew and whipped cream.

All of us looked askance at this combo, can't deny the results!

Cole, Max l, and I liked it better than Pepsi and milk, while Ty stayed in the Pilk camp. 

Mostly this made mornings before school more fun!


Next a suggestion - orange pop and milk

TrueMoo sells an orange-flavored milk at Halloween called Orange Scream, and we've gotten it and liked it. 

Max - It tastes exactly like that TrueMoo orange milk. I think they're just putting pop in it.

Kris - It's pretty good. It tastes like an orange pushup.

Me - Delicious.

Cole and Ty practically in unison - Orange popsicle. 

Several friends suggested a Boston Cooler - Vernors and vanilla ice cream mixed in a blender. This is actually a Michigan drink. 

Although we had all had a Vernors float, none of us had tried it in a blender.

Kris & Ty said the exact same thing at different times - "Best one yet."

Cole - "Good to me."

Me - "Better than a float."

Max - "Weird, good ice cream."


What have we learned? It's all fine. No one has asked for a repeat. We drink milk every day without pop in it, and that's probably good enough for us. But I love trying them, and I love the marketing. What should we try next?!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Eat butter - WLNS news story

Nate Salazar from WLNS, organized by Jon Adamy at Michigan Farm Bureau, came out to talk about inflation and the effects on farms. Thanks to them for a good story!

The video is here.