The past week has been a HOT one. Temps up to the low 90’s and enough humidity to melt you. It’s been a real blast. A blast that felt like it came straight from the oven…
To beat the heat, my mom and I headed out with the kids to a local splash park. Best news, it’s free!
The first and most important stop of the trip was Walmart for swim diapers (for Henry) and some spiffy shades for all of us. Who knew $4 sunglasses would look so good?
Water to run thru anyone?
If that didn’t suit your fancy, this alligator sure hit it off with all 3 kids!
It’s easier to do push ups when you have a nice spray cooling you off!
Some may have gotten in a water fight with themselves…
They decided I was to dry so we had to stand under one of these randomly pouring buckets. Yes it was as cold as you think it was.
They were still hot so it was time to relax with a snow cone.
All in all it was a fun and tiring day. We were cooled off, we all survived and the kids made some new friends.
Photo creds for some of these great shots to my mom! We had to tag team photos so we didn’t ruin any phones 😂
If you live in the area and want to partake in the fun, here is the splash park and info!
Dairy cows are big animals. It takes a lot of feed so they can make milk and stay nourished. A mature cow can eat upwards of 100 pounds of feed a day!
Our girls have their own personal nutritionist who balances their ration (food). Just like a skilled athlete, our cows have a balanced bite to give them exactly what they need.
“Cow food” is technically called a TMR, or Total Mixed Ration. It’s mixed in a large mix wagon and fed twice a day.
This is our mixer where all the action happens.
The first thing we put in to our mix wagon is hay. Cows love hay. It keeps their bellies happy and full. Hay also helps cows make more butterfat in their milk.
All of our hay is made in to large square bales. These bales weigh over 800 pounds!
Next comes the corn silage. Our silage is mainly stored in silos. We also use the large plastic ag bags. It takes a LOT of corn silage to keep every one fed thru the year. We harvest the corn in the early fall before with stalks dry down. The chopper chops the stalk in to tiny pieces. It’s then stored in an air tight container (either the silo or bag) to ferment.
After the corn silage comes haylage. This is a fermented feed made much the same way as corn silage.
Lastly comes the grain mix. The grain mix contains corn, soy beans, vitamins and minerals. It’s all ground very fine so it mixes easily in to the ration.
Once all the ingredients are put in a very large and very sharp auger combines all the ingredients.
The tractor drives thru the barn dispensing the TMR in to the feed bunk.
The cows have feed free choice all day every day. It takes a lot to keep those big, beautiful girls happy and full!
I think one thing we as farmers don’t do enough is simply say thank you to you. The consumer who chooses to spend their money on our product. You could walk by the dairy section and not think twice. But you don’t.
We rely on you to maintain our lifestyle. Simply put, with out you my family’s dairy farm would not exist. If we didn’t have you trusting the integrity of our product enough to buy it, we would be milking cows with no market to sell it to. Thanks to you and your choice to purchase dairy products my kids are able to enjoy growing up on a multi generational dairy just like I did.
You have opened niche markets that were very limited just a few years ago. Artisanal products, organic and on farm processing plants exist because you made a demand for it. This has allowed more farmers to enter or stay in the market.
More and more consumers want to “know their farmer.” By meeting you it helps us answer questions you have, while building a trusting and more understanding relationship on both sides. This isn’t always something that has existed. Thank you for helping us to open that door so we may better interact with you.
Thank you for letting me do something I’m passionate about. While you think you may simply be buying a gallon of milk, a pound of cheese or a container of yogurt, you are enabling farmers like myself to continue our businesses. With each delicious and nutritious purchase you are helping an industry continue on.
Dear consumer, thank you.