I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 30.

Stuff  I read about this week that you should care about 1/15/2018. 

“We love the ‘zzzaaa.” Americans

Pizza is loved by many. Especially Americans. Like.. we really love it. National dairy publication Hoard’s Dairyman sent out a statistic that said the average family consumes about 30 pizzas a year. They did the big math for us – that means collectively, we’re eating 3 billion pizzas across the U.S. Who run the world? Pizza.

“Cheers!” Clinking glasses on #NationalMilkDay

January 11th was #NationalMilkDay and the dairy industry celebrated. If you go on social media, check out some of the great posts and blogs that dairy farmers put up. You might find a few reasons why dairy enthusiasts say you should be drinking milk, too.

“Farm strong.” Farm groups taking a stand against our opioid epidemic

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union (NFU) have joined forces and launched a new campaign, “Farm Town Strong.” The goal is to raise awareness of the opioid crisis’ impact on farming communities. Leaders from the organizations commented in a press release sent from AFBF:

“Farm country has been hit hard by the opioid crisis – even harder than rural America as a whole, or big cities. It’s going to take everyone working together to combat this crisis to make a difference. That’s why Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union are teaming up to show unity on this issue and encourage farm families to help their neighbors. If you or a family member has been affected by opioid addiction, it’s important to talk about it so that others will know they are not fighting this alone.” AFBF President Zippy Duvall

“Opioid addiction-along with all of its consequences-is a silent, but very real, crisis for our farming communities. The lack of services, treatment and support exacerbates the issue in rural areas, and the negative stigma associated with addiction makes it hard for farmers to discuss the problem. Too often, those struggling with addiction and their family members don’t seek the support they need. Through the Farm Town Strong campaign, we’re tackling this crisis head-on by encouraging more dialogue, more information sharing, and more farmer-to-farmer engagement.” NFU President Roger Johnson

Picture of the week. 

Joel Smith of Pennsylvania captured these snuggle buddies in action.

joel smit cow and cat

 

 

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 29.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 1/7/2018

Welcome to 2018, friends. I’d like to start the year off on a lighter note. Here is a video with good cow jokes, full of cheesey puns.. you never know when you might need one. Here’s a few teasers…

What did the cow say to her calf? It’s pasture bed time.

What do you call a sleeping bull? a bull-dozer.

Why did the cow cross the road? To get to the udder side!

“It’s cold. Really cold.” Everyone. 

Unless you’re one of the few lucky ones somewhere above 20 degrees, you’ll know that it’s freaking freezing outside. And, it’s not exactly the most glamorous conditions to be a dairy farmer. Sweet Farm in Vermont shared their story here. It’s a good story that shows how much time and care dairy farmers put into their jobs and taking care of their animals. And, there’s a cute picture of a calf in a blanket, which is keeping the calf warm. Dawh.

“Nomz.” Me pouring coffee over ice cream

There’s a new magazine in town. Half and Half Magazine is put on by Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a milk marketing cooperative. AKA they’re one of the people helping dairy farmers sell milk. Now, Half and Half is “a food magazine celebrating dairy and those who make it.” Check it out.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 28.

New year, new moos. 2018 resolution idea: You should care about this stuff, because you eat food. 

“New year, still eating cheese.” Me

There have been fads over the years saying that cheese ‘makes you fat.’ However, there’s some research out there that says ‘not so fast.’ You can find this 200,0000 participate study in the European Journal of Nutrition, where it’s called “Cheese consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.” Those conducting the study found  an inverse relationship between cheese consumption and the total risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, stating “We found that high, compared with low, cheese consumption was significantly associated with 10 to 14% lower risk of CVD and its subgroups.” Basically, what they’re saying is that cheese in moderation is good for you. To which I say… does that include beer cheese dip?

“I’m one in a million.” Dairy employees

The dairy industry employees 1 million people in the US… that’s 1 million people working together to produce a product that feeds the world. Former US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (now CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council) stated that the employment of those 1 million Americans has a $206 billion economic impact on the U.S. economy. Boom.

“Fake news.” Pointing fingers at HSUS

HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) is an organization built on animal well-being, but doesn’t have a track record of always being honest in their fear-based marketing. Recently, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for “orchestrating a deceptive advertising campaign.” What did they do? Apparently, HSUS said that 19% of their profits go towards advertising. CCF saw that number and presented a rebuttal,

“However, HSUS’ Form 990 tax return for 2016, its most recent filing, shows the organization spends at least 29% of its budget on fundraising,” the release said. “Factoring in joint cost expenditures that are allocated to management or program spending, the total fundraising number rises to 52%. (Charities may classify portions of fundraising appeals as “educational” expenses to seem more efficient with donations.)”

You can read the full complaint from CCF here.

Picture of the week 

Our youngest calf at our home farm is a Red and White Holstein (that’s the breed of dairy cow she is). How stinking gorgeous is she?!

red calf

 

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 27.

Stuff that I read about this week that you should care about 12/17/2017

“Cereal works for every meal.” Me, and NYC

Everyone loves a good bowl of cereal. So much so, that Kellogg is re-opening a cereal cafe. A cafe, dedicated to cereal. In NYC. They tried this once in Times Square, which shut down in August. The new location is 5,000 sq. ft., and has a fro-yo feel set up with a DIY cereal bar, including 30 toppings for your choosing. Lauren Conrad also has a few special recipes on the menu. Laguna Beach and The Hills lovers, rejoice!

“Cheese would help..” Hurricane victims

Hurricanes have hit our country hard this year. Wisconsin is lifting the spirits of those affected… with 45,000 pounds of cheese. Members of the Wisconsin dairy industry have come together to help victims in of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck Texas and Florida by donating dairy products. Check out this video to see more about the good deed.

“Move over chocolate.” Cheese

If it came down to it, our friends in the UK would choose cheese over chocolate. It’s true – research group Mintel did a deep dive into it, sharing the dirty details and stats in this article. Sounds like cheddar is a running favorite among those interviewed.

“Fist bump!” The ocean

Cavitation is when low pressure in a liquid produces a bubble that rapidly collapses, and heats up to 20,000 Kelvin — hotter than the sun’s surface. This usually releases a flash of light called sonoluminescence, which physicists still don’t understand. Some physicists even theorize that cavitation bubbles could get hot enough to power nuclear fusion.”

Sounds aggressive, right? Well it is. Aggressive enough that scientists are looking into the “ocean’s most powerful punch” and how we can utilize the energy it causes. You can read this article about how cavitation is being used in making beer, yogurt and other familiar things.

Picture of the week. 

Norman Borlaug, Minnesota native, is known as the “Father of the Green Revolution.” It’s said that his food innovations saved a looooot of people (try like.. a billion) from starvation. 47 years ago, he won the Nobel Peace Price for his research in hybridizing wheat to increase crop yields. Learn more about him here.

norman b

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 26.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 12/3/2017.

“Don’t tell mom.” Me skipping dinner for McDonalds

Apparently, even a vegan can’t resist  a good chicken nugget. A man in Australia was arrested for ‘abusing’ the workers at a McDonald’s restaurant where he attempted ordering 200 chicken nuggets, yelling “I want my f***ing nuggets,” even though he was a vegan. While that may be a crime to those who have sworn off meat, the real crime was that he was also drunk driving. This man’s BAC was 3x the legal limit. Woof.

 

“If you need help, ask.” 

Opioids have been an issue in many peoples lives, and has been dubbed a national problem. Many times, opioids are talked about in cities, but you don’t often hear about farmers in rural communities that are struggling. Farming is a stressful career – long hours, uncontrollable environmental factors, low prices for your product, often times working alone… statistics show this is affecting the men and women putting food on our tables. This Bloomberg article lays it out,

“Almost three-quarters of U.S. farmers and farm workers say they have been directly affected by opioid dependence, either from taking an illegal dose or dealing with a habit themselves, or by knowing someone who has used. That compares with about 45 percent for the rural population as a whole, according to a poll commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, the two biggest U.S. farmer groups.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and offer the care and help that our farmers need. They take care of us every day they wake up and go to work, and we need to take care of them.

Picture of the week.

opioid stats

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 25.

Thanksgiving edition 11/26/2017. 

We have a lot to be thankful for. Family, friends, freedom, plenty of food on the table… you name it. Have you ever thought about how lucky we are to have so many different dishes on the table? Not everyone has the privilege and luxury we do when it comes to food choice. You can thank farmers for that one. This week, I’m simply sharing an info-graphic with you that breaks down the most popular Thanksgiving dish ingredients by production. US Secretary of Agriculture shared this photo on his twitter page. If you check out his feed @SecretarySonny you’ll see a few pictures of his family and how they celebrate, putting a personal touch on one of our political leaders.

thanksgiving info graphic

Be thankful everyday, and don’t forget to give farmers a high five when you see them for all of the food you get to enjoy.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 24.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 11/19/2017

“Who wants whipped cream on their pumpkin pie?” Mom splurging after saving money on Thanksgiving dinner.

Looks like we’re saving money this holiday season. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has projected that the cost per person at Thanksgiving dinner will be down around 1.5% from last year. This information is pulled from a consumer survey that the AFBF has been conducting since 1986. There are a lot of factors that impact the cost of Thanksgiving, like food, travel, lodging, etc. However, the big driver in prices going down is a lower turkey cost. For the first time since 2013, the wholesale price of turkey is below $1/pound. Sounds like we’ll have some extra money that we can put towards that Christmas credit card bill…

“Wanna talk politics over a chocolate milk?” Secretary Perdue at Kings Brother Dairy

The US Secretary of Ag, Sonny Perdue, has been making his way across the country, visiting with farmers and discussing what national and local challenges these businesses are facing. He recently visited King Brothers Dairy Farm in New York. Here, Secretary Perdue (along with Congress members Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford) talked on a number of issues with farmers, including taxes, trade, minimum wage, hemp and the future of farming. Perdue has been very hands on with agricultural issues since President Trump appointed him in April, 2017.

“I guess I’ll have to leave my house now..” Homebodies realizing food is cheaper in store than online

Apparently, some products cost more online than in an actual Walmart store. This Wall Street Journal article discusses how Walmart is “quietly” raising prices of certain products online (like Kraft Mac and Cheese) in an effort to “boost profits and drive store traffic as it competes with Amazon.com Inc.” So now the question is – how much higher does the price need to go before it’s worth putting pants on to buy the mac and cheese in-store instead of online, from the comfort of my couch?

What are you thankful for? 

This week, take the time to thank everyone around you. Including farmers. Everything good circles back to agriculture – food, shelter, your favorite holiday sweater… you name it. Farmers are working 24/7, 365 days a year for the things we all take for granted. I’d say that deserves a big old shout out this week (and every other week, too!)

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 23.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 11/12/2017

I worked for like 3 hours yesterday (3 hours of watching baby goats!)” Charlene

Cows are pretty chill animals… literally. They spend a lot of time relaxing. You can see a breakdown in this graphic, where you’ll see what cows are doing besides milking for 2-3 hours and then resting for 12-13 hours. Sounds like a nice work-life balance. But when you have farmers caring for you 24/7, 365, it might be pretty easy to do.

“How bout the weather?” Puerto Rico

The weather lately has been a lot like guacamole – extra. Luckily, Chobani is here to help the victims of Puerto Rico. The company is taking 1.3 MILLION pounds of milk and converting it into powder, packaged in 5 pound bags. They’ll ship those bags of powdered milk to those in Puerto Rico suffering from Hurricane Maria. Not only does this help out those in need, it’ll help Chobani take care of it’s milk supply while a New York plant shuts down for almost 2 weeks of maintance work. Win-win.

 

“Lookin’ fresh.” Checking out the Artic Apple

Food is always evolving to meet the needs and wants of consumers. Now, the “Artic Apple,” a new “non-browning” apple is making it’s way to the market after 2 decades of research and development. That means the apple won’t turn brown when exposed to oxygen. This genetically modified apple is produced in Washington orchards, and has been proven safe for consumption by the USDA. This article explains, “Typical apples brown because a chemical reaction occurs when an enzyme in apples called polyphenol oxidase is exposed to oxygen. The Arctic apple has been genetically altered to have less polyphenol oxidase.”

It’ll be distributed throughout midwest stores, sold in 10 oz packages, pre-sliced. The goal is that the appearance of this apple will help reduce food waste. If you have questions about GMOs, check out this website that breaks down what they are and why science is saying “Yup – we can eat it!”

Picture of the week. 

Here’s a throwback of my gal pal, Cowgirl Ella. She grew up in Florida, but it didn’t take her long to fall in love with this calf.

ella and calf

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 22.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 11/5/2017

“Help!” California

Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, made an announcement that Californians were happy to hear. The USDA is working on making resources to help the people and communities affected by CA wildfires. You can learn more about the different types of help they’re providing and how you can contribute by following the links below.

“OH, she’s pretty!” NAILE Attendees

NAILE, North American International Livestock Exposition, is another place for dairy farmers and animal owners to show off their finest cows. It is taking place right now in Louisville, KY. For background, you can learn more about showing cows in depth through this PDF. Basically, it’s the same as showing dogs or horses, but without the expensive riding boots or “play dead” and “roll over” tricks. Cows are judged compared to an “ideal” cow of their breed, which is ultimately a cow with a correct body structure that will allow her to live a long, happy and healthy reproductive life while producing high quality milk.

NAILE is largely a Jersey dairy show, which is one of the seven breeds of dairy cattle. You can learn more about NAILE and how much pride farmers take in their animals here.

“Yes!” When they finally put strawberry milk back out for lunch.

The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017 was introduced by Representatives G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT). If put in place, this would allow schools participating in federal school lunch and breakfast programs to offer low-fat and fat-free milk, including flavored milk, as long as it contains 150 calories or less per 8-ounce serving. The bill also gives schools the freedom to determine what all to offer their students.

This program would be viewed as a big win for the dairy industry and the health of children by it’s supporters, like US Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue, IDFA (International Dairy Foods Association) and NMPF (National Milk Producers Federation).

Picture of the week.

My baby sister is all grown up and living in Georgia. Her honey’s family farm is beautiful. Example A below.

ruben farm heifers

World Dairy Expo: Where dreams come true … and fairy tales too

This article was written for Progressive Dairyman, published on September 15, 2017. You can view the full version here


What is it that you want to do? What’s your dream come true at World Dairy Expo (WDE)?

Become an elite judge? WDE has the world’s most challenging and (arguably) rewarding contest.

Find the best cheese curd? Don’t bother searching – it’s the garlic dill.

Meet lifelong friends? That’ll probably happen celebrating supreme champion on Saturday evening.

Or maybe, it isn’t something quite as predictable.

Fueling a passion through a career.

WDE has been something I’ve attended since I was 8 years old. It was a vacation that my siblings and I looked forward to all year. At the age of 25, I’m still attending, except it’s even cooler because I’m getting paid to be here. Perks of a great gig, right?

I never thought I’d end up at WDE chasing after a dream career. My journey started in 2012 when I was competing on the Penn State dairy judging team. My coach (shout out to Dale Olver) introduced me to Josh Hushon, whom I interviewed with for an internship at Bader Rutter, a successful and respected marketing agency. It was during that summer that I learned my passion still lied within the dairy industry, but I needed a creative outlet too.

After graduating from Penn State, I joined Cargill’s marketing team in 2014, moving specifically to a dairy marketing role in early 2015. Josh joined the dairy team not long after that (it’s a small world), and the team has added several incredible teammates over the past two years. Through this position, I’ve been able to work with our dairy sales team and customers on a variety of projects. I’ve learned valuable life lessons, made a lot of great friends and been able to hear the stories of dairy producers all over the country. Getting to work within the dairy industry and for a business that I believe in is rewarding and drives me to be the best version of myself.

Little did I know that over these past three years, I would also be a key part in leading our plans for WDE. It’s crazy how I went from spending 12 hours in a car (bonding, kind of) with family to being a part of the show professionally. Go after what fuels your passion!

meg josh bec wde 2017

Fall in love …

WDE can also be a place to fall in love … with something other than the grilled cheese. It sounds impossible, but just ask Mandy Brazil and Graisson Schmidt. Mandy, a California native, met Graisson originally in passing at a California state show where he was working as a fitter. They exchanged numbers, should they ever cross paths in Wisconsin, Graisson’s home state.

mandy and graisson

 

Read the rest of the article here and learn how the love story ends, and how WDE might just change your life!