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!
If the milk price goes south maybe I can rent them out as fog makers.
Here is a cow picture for Wordless Wednesday.
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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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.
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.
Currently there is a large movement to ban flavored milk such as chocolate or strawberry milk in schools. The evict flavored milk from school’s movement is based on the obesity epidemic we’re faced with in today’s youth. Personally as a parent and a school board member I do not agree with regulating away products and services just because good eating and exercise habits are not being taught to children at home.
First and foremost children should be taught good eating habits at home so they can use those skills later in life. Second children need to be taught good exercise habits so they know how to work with their diet choices to live a healthy life. Schools have a responsibility to augment the skills learned at home however too often I see the school replacing the home learning in the area of life skills development. What has happened to self accountability and parental responsibility? I firmly believe that if kids look to physical activity before they pick up the Nintendo DS‘s, Television Remote, or Video Game Controllers along with healthier eating habits the road to healthy children will get shorter.
As parents my wife and I watch what our children eat very closely, are we perfect, no, however we do our best to teach them good choices. We limit the soda’s they have to very few and use them as a treat just like the occasional candy or cookie. The dairy farmer in me tends to err on the side of the 9 essential nutrients the milk has , such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D, B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents), and not focus on the 1 negative, minimal added sugar in flavored milk. The most consist beverage in our children’s lunch is water, however on occasion our son and daughter like to enjoy a milk at school. They sometimes choose white milk and sometimes chocolate milk. Because of challenges keeping milk cold we prefer milk from school because it is kept refrigerated right up to consumption. There is nothing worse than having a cooling issue with milk in a lunch and ending up with sour milk. If schools remove flavored milk my right to let my children enjoy flavored milk is taken away.
As this diagram below shows very few beverages including juices contain as much nutrition as flavored milk.
I feel offended that my parental right to let my children enjoy food and have some fun while still receiving nutrients can be legislated away because of a small negative when weighed against the positives. I am a firm believer that if the good outweighs the bad then something should not be labeled as evil. Do we need to look at reducing sugar in flavored milk, yes we do, and I as a dairy farmer feel it is long overdue. There are low calorie non sugar sweeteners available that can be used such as stevia.
My mother has worked in food service at a local large school district and witnessed the tremendous increase in milk consumption at the Jr. High School level when flavored milk was introduced in the school instead of white milk as the only choice. White milk is great and nutritious but how fun is just plain white add a little color and flavor and you create a masterpiece of flavor and nutrition that is second to none!
So as parents, school leaders and society let’s advocate for a little fun and make school a more enjoyable experience for our kids to achieve the maximum learning possible!
Sometimes it is not just cows and farming we deal with on the dairy! Tonight it was a driver in a hurry that made my night interesting.
Please don’t pass trucks on the right side when they are making a turn. Our milk tanker made a wide right turn into our driveway and this potentially distracted driver (possibly on a cell phone) went to pass him on the right. As you can see the car lost and the truck won. Thankfully no one was hurt the driver had her children in the car with her.
I was at my son’s Little League game when my dad took a call from the neighbor saying that a car had tried to drive underneath the tanker. I immediately called the Trucking Company to make sure a backup truck was on the way because we had a full tank of milk and started milking again in just a short time. I then jumped in my pickup and headed to the dairy not knowing what I would find when I arrived. Luckily everyone was safe and walking around when I drove up and it was only the car that was worse for wear.
I then spent the next few hours coordinating traffic and figuring out how to get the new truck to the milk barn because the driveway was blocked. Luckily we had another driveway the truck could pull into and then drive through a barn to get to the milk barn. The replacement truck arrived in time to empty our tank so we could start milking on time.
In the end everything worked out but please remember to exercise caution around trucks and slow moving farm equipment as they are not as nimble as a car. If you do tangle with either tractors or trucks normally they will win against a car any day. Trucks can have very wide turning radius‘ and appear to be turning one way but really going the other so as to make the turn without hitting anything. Tractors and farm equipment are very slow and at times extremely wide so carefully pass only when safe.
As for my son’s game he continued his streak of getting at least one hit in a game with a double grounder right past the second baseman and then scored the tying run. The opposing team then scored one more to win the game. Bryson also had a great game at first base too making several key outs.
Dairy Cares Report
It is an indisputable fact that in the past four years, California dairy families have invested more than $150 million in landmark water quality protection efforts. And here are a few other such facts:
California dairy families deserve recognition and credit for their efforts to protect groundwater. Dairy farmers here are leading efforts in our state and across the nation to use best practices that will help ensure sustainable food production in the Central Valley for centuries to come.
Strangely, dairy families were recently rewarded for their efforts with a different variety of recognition, one that leads cynics to observe: “No good deed goes unpunished.” Food & Water Watch (FWW), a national organization whose stated goal is to “ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable,” last week published a report condemning the efforts of California water quality regulators and dairy operators. Acknowledging that “dairy waste is by no means to the sole source of groundwater contamination,” and that dairy regulation has only recently been launched, FWW nevertheless pronounced efforts to date a failure.
FWW’s central premise – that poor quality water in many Central Valley wells points to the failure of dairy regulatory efforts – is simply dead wrong. Poor groundwater quality in our valley wells is a legacy problem that has been developing in the Central Valley for many decades, indeed since irrigated agriculture and use of fertilizers began in the valley more than 150 years ago. In fact, many of the most serious contributors to poor well water quality in valley communities, such as arsenic and boron, occur naturally in the soil and are not produced by agriculture or dairies. There are also other man-made sources of water pollution, including rural septic systems, urban and industrial sources, and the list goes on.
Dairy families are doing their part. In 2007, acknowledging that all must share the effort to protect and improve our water quality, dairy families stepped forward to work with regulators toward meeting the challenge of continued, long-term sustainable farming in our valley. They have made tremendous progress in just four years, including:
But apparently, significant progress isn’t enough. FWW seems to be suggesting that only four years into implementing a complex, tough and expensive regulation, all Central Valley groundwater quality challenges should already be solved. Never mind that the current state of valley groundwater developed slowly over more than a century (in some cases, over millennia) and that we have barely allowed time for the newly implemented regulations to begin to reverse the trend. And never mind that regulating dairies alone won’t solve the problem. Like other environmental impacts, groundwater impacts come from myriad natural and man-made sources – and for many of these other causes, little has yet been attempted to address the problem.
In a final twist that is either remarkably unfair or grossly uninformed, FWW points to larger “industrialized” dairies as the source of the problem. Using the time-tested argument that “big must always be bad,” and using the pejorative term “industrialized” to equate larger farms with heartless factories, FWW suggests the government must act to make dairies smaller. Without a shred of evidence to back their claims, they suggest larger dairies have a disproportionate environmental impact. This sort of misinformation is not just wrong, but dangerously misleading. It suggests that we magically achieve environmental sustainability through size alone. In fact, best practices such as those described above – proper fertilizer application, and sound engineering and management – are the real key for sustainable dairies large or small. We should recognize, not criticize, the significant investment of many larger dairies in state-of-the-art environmental management systems, often to meet California-specific requirements.
Regardless of size, another indisputable fact is that 99 percent of California dairies are owned and cared for by families in the business for generations, families who understand and share the core values of protecting land, water and air resources, because they depend on them to survive and prosper. FWW can try to paint these people as uncaring, but that’s wrong and unfair.
FWW claims their goal is food and water that is “safe, sustainable and accessible” for all. Dairy families deserve to be judged by their actions, not FWW’s skewed, misinformed words. While FWW criticizes, California dairy families are actually doing what it takes to protect groundwater while producing a safe, sustainable, nutritious and affordable food supply for millions of Americans.
As a member on the board of directors at the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and Dairy Management Inc. I have been aware of this announcement for some time now and am excited to see it come to fruition today.
About Gen YOUth Foundation
Today, over one-third of American children are either overweight or obese. If the trend continues, today’s children may be the first generation with shorter life expectancies than their parents. In response to this epidemic, Gen YOUth Foundation was founded to inspire youth behavior change. Gen YOUth Foundation gives leaders in health, business, government and communities nationwide the opportunity to create a movement that relies on participation, collaboration and action to reverse childhood obesity rates. Gen YOUth Foundation will demonstrate that when youth are given a voice, change can happen. For more information, visit www.genyouthfoundation.org.
Do you love cheese? We have a question for you, “What is your favorite cheese, please?”
After cheese won the “What is your favorite Dairy product?” poll we have created a new poll to vote for your favorite cheese. If you do not see your favorite cheese in the poll please leave a comment and we will add it, we are only looking for styles or types of cheese not specific brands.
The cattle on our dairy farm eat diets that are made specifically for them by a ruminant nutritionist. Here on the dairy we mix together individual ingredients to make a ration that is then fed to the cattle. In addition we do have some pasture to supplement the rations.
The ingredients are:
Dried Distillers Grain – this is the grain left from brewing and distilling spirits and is a good source of fat and protein.
Almond Hulls – Outer protective skin when the Almond grows on the tree
Cotton Seed – the inner part of the cotton boll that is left after the cotton fiber is removed
Various silages – made from Corn Plants, and various small grain plants
Various minerals and vitamins
We also include steamed flaked corn, water and some concentrated energy additives to make the ration.
To learn more about technical information on cattle rations please visit the blog of my great friend Jeff Fowle he is currently doing a series of posts on cattle nutrition.