rambles

food

This tag is associated with 24 posts

Is my milk safe?


Cleanliness and safety is something that we think about before we even think about milking the cows. Cleanliness starts with the cow beds andalso by keeping our cows healthy . We wash our milk pipelines three times a day once between every milking shift, the milk tank is washed once a day after it has been emptied and the milk pumped out and onto the tanker truck. Food safety is something paid close attention to on a dairy farm here are few pictures showing what we do to produce healthy refreshing milk!

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This tank cools the milk and stores it at a chilly 39 degrees. This is a brand new 5000 gallon milk tank we installed a few months ago.

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Inside these stainless steel tubes the milk is filtered before ending up in the milk tank. Fresh new filters are installed before each milking shift.

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This is a plate cooler that uses water to help cool the milk by nearly 20 degrees before the milk enters the milk tank.

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This chart tracks the temperature of the milk and is changed every 48 hours. If you notice the two spikes in temperature they are when the tank is washed daily after the milk is pumped into the milk truck to be taken to the milk plant.

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This sink is where the cleaning agents are m ixed with water to wash the pipelines the milk flows through. It is like a big dishwasher for pipes and is used after each milking shift.

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the cows teats are dipped with an 1% iodine and lanolin solution to keep them soft and clean.

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Although hard to see because it is a clear gold color this is a peroxide based teat sanitizer we use before the cow is milked. It also has lanolin in it to keep the teats soft..

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The cleaning agents are automatically added to the wash sink for employee safety.

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We even take safety as far as protecting our water supply from being contaminated with cleaning agents or milk.

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The milking machines are washed in between every milking shift

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National Cheese Lover’s Day


Deutsch: Blauschimmelkäse, "Lys bleu"...

Image via Wikipedia

Hey Cheese Lover’s today is your day so vote for up to 3 of your favorite cheeses below. Feel free to add any not here.

Just a farmer… Just a person…


Today’s thought: Farmers are people too, we enjoy many of the same hobbies as other’s who walk this great earth. We farmers might be small in numbers however mighty in what we provide as nourishment to this world. Yes farmers are humans first and we are emotionally connected to being the best caretaker’s we can be for our great resources in this world.

Would Old MacDonald be a geek today?


Would Old MacDonald be a geek today?

Growing up, most of us sang the classic children’s song “Old McDonald had a farm.” Today’s average farmer is a far cry from what is portrayed by Old MacDonald in that timeless nursery rhyme. Today’s farmer still cares for the animals and soil like Old MacDonald however the way farmers go about that care has changed greatly. Today farmers are more likely to have a smartphone here and tablet there than they would have just a few years ago, a laptop in a tractor or a combine there is a reality too.

Farmers like many others can have a lot on our plates and some farmers even run 24/7 farms so we look for every advantage we can to multitask and manage our time better. At the same time, farmers, by nature, are caring people and technology has allowed us to effectively manage our operations while providing more time to spend with our families and to help our communities than before.

Farming, like many other professions, has ups and downs — weather can cause harvesting or planting issues, things break and prices go up and down. However what makes it all worth it is the time spent with our families and communities that brings us all back around. If through various technological advances we can become better fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors and friends –it truly makes us better humans.

In the end I think Old MacDonald would be just as big of a geek as Steve Jobs because it would allow him to be a better human being while taking care of the farm too.

Maybe we should consider adding a verse like this:

Old McDonald had a Droid, e-i-e-i-o

And on that Droid he had farm tools, e-i-e-i-o

cow info here, crops info there

Here a cow, here a crop, everywhere a tech tool

Old McDonald had a Droid, e-i-e-i-o

Thanks to Janice Person for the help with the lyrics
Image is from Duck Duck Moose Design and the webpage for their Old MacDonald App 

Everyday food thoughts for me…


Blog Action Day

Everyday as a farmer I think of how I can do the best job I can making food for all to enjoy in various dairy products like milk, cheese & yougurt.

Everyday I think about how I can be the most sustainable and leave the smallest environmental footprint.

Everyday I think about taking the best care of the animals on my farm as I can because they ultimatey are where some food comes from.

Everyday I think about how I can be a valuable piece of my community.

Everyday I enjoy food just like most everyone…

…so today on World Food Day & Blog Action Day ( #BAD11 ) I wonder how we can make eating an everyday joy for everyone.

Who threw sand in my food?


Lessons from the sandbox…

We don’t always get our way, or need to.

Relationships matter more than who wins.

Polite and respectful communication goes the distance.

If we each give a little we gain a lot.

As a farmer who is truly interested in the discussions going on about food I tend to run into a lot of conversations I label as “he said, she said convos”. We all know this kind of conversation where there are two distinct sides both trying to do what they can to “win” the discussion by convincing the other they are wrong and in the end the only thing accomplished is the chasm between the two sides grows into an immense canyon of finger-pointing and name calling. What I am looking for is truly a two-way open honest conversation where in the end the differences are merely an insignificant dip and both “sides” of the discussion understand the other. Personally I have had a long road to get where I am in conversational skills, I was one of those who tried the “shouting louder” theory in hopes I would drown out the opposition and all that was gained in the end was a lot of work for no reward. I firmly believe that because we have twice as many listening devices attached to our heads than speaking devices we should spend a bit more time listening than talking. Amazingly when we do listen more we can respond more effectively to the honest concerns and questions from others.

Just last week I had the pleasure of a food conversation I enjoyed. My seatmate on a flight to Chicago from San Francisco had a great discussion that lasted nearly the full length of the three and a half hour flight. The conversation started with my seatmate announcing she definitely was in tune personally with “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“. At first I had the thought “oh no here we go again” however decided lets see where it goes. We talked antibiotics, hormones, fast food, food portions and regulations, all fighting topics in many of today’s food conversations. However our conversation was different, it was heartfelt and honest, we both had similar yet different passions and in the end parted both better off having met the other.  I learned that she truly was passionate about food and how it comes to our plates however she also understands the farmers perspective of having to make a profit to survive. I understood her passion for healthy food and together we believe strongly in choice and that more often than not the healthy choices truly are not proliferate enough.

This week I have the privilege of heading to New York City for the first time in my life. My mission is to attend the NYC portion of the “Food Dialogues” being put together by the  US Farmers and Rancher’s Alliance. I am excited that there is something being done to allow for more open conversations in the discussions about food. Is it perfect? Probably not, and truly perfection is somewhat unattainable this early in the conversation. Have mistakes and miscues happened in the past? Yes however that milk was spilled a long time ago and I honestly think we really need to focus all of our energy on moving forward together and not moving backwards apart. So together let’s keep an open mind going in and have a great conversation about the food we eat and all the things that come up from fork to farm.

Disclaimer: I am attending the town hall on behalf of the Agchat Foundation in partnership with USFRA to report on the townhall live using Twitter. Follow my updates using the #FoodD hash tag.

Lazy Summer Morning


Here is a cow picture for Wordless Wednesday.

Cows chilllin

A few of our cows enjoying the cool morning before a hot summer day here in Central California.

These cows were just moved into this pasture yesterday and are relaxing in the grass. With all the late rains we had here in the Central Valley and now the heat the grass is growing very quickly in the pasture. these cows need to get up and get to work eating it down!

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1st grader stands up for Chocolate Milk and choice


The best chocolate milk, ever

Chocolate Milk image by anthimeria via Flickr

Washington D.C. first grader Aidan Kohn Murphy from Lafayette elementary does an awesome job explaining why he and other children are actually better off keeping chocolate milk in schools.

Aidan’s Testimony

This young man did hid homework and polled fellow students and a doctor. His conclusion, the nutrients available in chocolate milk are “real food” and even with a little sugar are better than a soda.

I commend this young man for standing up for choices.

Chocolate Malted Krunch needs your vote!


Ice Cream

Crunchy Malt balls, chocolate chips, all swirled into creamy Chocolate ice cream...need I say more?

I have been asked by Progressive Dairyman Magazine to take part in an Ice Cream Flavor Face-Off for their June is Dairy Month activities. The flavor I have chosen is Chocolate Malted Krunch from Thrifty Ice Cream available at select Rite Aid stores, Coscto Business Centers, Costco.com and various local ice cream shops.

Ice Cream

Order your own at Costco.com!

Here is why I have chosen Chocolate Malted Krunch:

Crunchy Malt balls, chocolate chips, all swirled into creamy Chocolate ice cream…need I say more? 
 
 
 
Who can forget going shopping at Thrifty’s with mom while out on summer break only to get ice cream? The warm California summer made thrifty ice cream a welcome treat and the cylindrical scoop added to the mystique of it all. Oh the joy when mom said yes to a scoop or three when she finished shopping. Thrifty Ice Cream is a West Coast institution started when the Borun brothers added ice cream to their Thrifty stores in the 1940’s little did they know the cult sensation that would follow the delicious treat into the next century. 
 
 
 

Making Cow Food


A few weeks ago we harvested our winter small grain crop to make it into a fermented cow food called silage. Here are a few pictures of the process.

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This is what the crop looks like before harvesting.

Making Cow Food.

This machine is a Windrower it cuts the crop and gathers it into rows to be chopped up by another machine

Making Cow Food

This machine is a Forage Chopper it picks the rows up and cuts it into approximately inch long pieces then blows it into the truck.

Making Cow Food

the trucks then back into this machine that packs the pieces of the crop into long plastic tubes.

Making Cow Food

The crop then ferments inside these airtight tubes and within a few weeks it is cow food.

For more about some of the other things we feed our cows read What Do Cows Eat?

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