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

Advertisements

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!

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 21.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 10/21/17

“Hey, that’s pretty neat.” Visitors of World Dairy Expo

The World Dairy Expo (WDE) is an annual event that draws in a lot of people from around the world to celebrate dairy cows and the dairy industry. During this event, the well known publication Dairy Herd Management awards dairy industry companies with “Innovation Awards.” Technology is evolving in our world, especially in agriculture. You can see the top 10 winners listed out here, and learn from innovative companies like DeLaval, Cargill, McLanahan and others.

“Did you do something different with your hair?” Wisconsin

No, but the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center is getting a new name. Starting in 2018, this non-profit organization will be executing business under the fresh name and logo Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center. The end goal of this? They needed a name that was a “stronger, market-friendly brand that would be easy to say and to remember.” President of the WAEC Board of Directors and owner of Soaring Eagle Dairy Julie Maurer stated,  “We could not be more excited for the day when the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center becomes a household name like other notable Wisconsin destinations like, Lambeau Field, House on the Rock or the Harley-Davidson Museum.” If you’re interested in helping the group continue in revamping their brand, you can donate here to their “Create. Cultivate. Educate.” campaign.  Dream big, Wisconsin!

“Did you see how cute the new milkman is?!” Generation Z, probably

Rumor has it, the milkman is making a comeback. There are several farms across the country that are delivering food and beverage straight to your door, including milk in old school glass bottles. This article lays out several businesses, where they’re located, what they’re selling and where they’re delivering. Maybe there’s a cute milkman (Or woman? Milkwoman? Milkperson?) near you…

Picture of the week

Princess, super hero, cutest dairy farmer ever… this girl can do it all. Miss Raelyn Stambaugh of Maryland is here to tell you, milk is the #1 beverage!

stambaugh

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 20.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 10/13/17

“Have you heard about Tom Brady’s diet?” Me, ’cause #GoPats

The Patriots are pretty good at football, but maybe Tommy should rethink dairy in his diet (and maybe Aaron Rodgers should stop trying to be Tom and reintroduce dairy as well). These two quarterbacks avoid dairy because they believe it causes “inflimmation and slows healing and recovery.” A study done at University of Wisconsin (UW) shows that meeehhh, you boys might be wrong. Dairy foods researcher Bradley Bolling dives into the issue, stating “But dairy products, particularly fermented dairy products, have anti-inflammatory properties in humans not suffering from allergies to milk.” You hear that, boys? Grab a yogurt (just don’t call fellow QB Cam Newton for an Oikos fruity greek).

“Mmmm… bettah not.” Raw milk consumers

Milk goes through a process called pasteurization to make sure that it is safe for human consumption, and it’s not recommended by health officials to drink it raw. Despite this, there is still a niche market for it. Pride & Joy Dairy sells it in the state of Washington, but recently had to pull a batch product off shelves because it was tested positive for salmonella. No one has been reported sick, however the Washington State Department of Agriculture released a health alert after the farm refused to stop selling their product. Lesson: milk is pasteurized for a reason. Learn more about the importance of it here.

“Sorry, my budget is a little tight.” FL rebuilding after IRMA

Irma did some damage to FL agriculture – $2.5 billion in damage. This includes business ranging from dairy farms, beef ranches, citrus groves.. you name it. You can read more details in this news release, but I’ve shared a break down by industry ($ damage) below, as seen in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ preliminary report.

• Total Florida agriculture: $2,558,598,303.

• Citrus: $760,816,600

• Beef Cattle: $237,476,562

• Dairy: $11,811,695

• Aquaculture: $36,850,000

• Fruits and Vegetables (excluding citrus): $180,193,096

• Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture: $624,819,895

• Sugar: $382,603,397

• Field crops: $62,747,058

• Forestry: $261,280,000

If you can help out a friend in FL who is struggling to make a come back, do it.

Picture of the week.

Yesterday (10/12) was #NationalFarmersDay, which is a day dedicated to all of the hardworking people that make sure you have breakfast on the go, lunch with friends and dinner on your plate. If you look up the hashtag #NationalFarmersDay on social media, you’ll find pictures and posts of how people celebrated. Thank you, farmers!

bec and josh national farmers day

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 19.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 9/22/17

“Like Christmas, but better.” Me, getting ready for World Dairy Expo

Every year, dairy enthusiasts from around the world gather to celebrate at World Dairy Expo (WDE), held in Madison, WI, the first week of October. Since it started over 50 years ago, WDE has been a “a forum for dairy producers, companies, organizations and other dairy enthusiasts to come together to compete, and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology and commerce.

WDE is a week that brings in the greatest cows from across the country, a trade-show full of new technologies from dairy companies, the latest and greatest dairy foods and just a whole lot of fun. If you’re able to make it, I suggest you grab a grilled cheese first, make your way through the different trade-show areas and then do some shopping (The Purple Cow, Steel Cow and Bonnie Mohr are a must!) before grabbing a Miller Lite and watching the dairy show. I’ll be right there beside you.

Grab your tissues – it’s a brotherly love story

James Neidermire lost his life on April 24, 2012, in tractor rollover (farming) accident. James was one of 5 children at the Neiderland Dairy Farm in East Farmington, WI. Joel is his younger brother that is helping his legacy live on by helping keep their 40 cow dairy herd and 200 acre farm running. Joel is a fifth-generation dairy farmer, and remembers his brothers hard work and dedication. Its stories like this one that remind you how lucky you truly are.

“You can’t leave the table until you finish your entire plate.” Moms, everywhere

It’s easy to waste food – we can always get more. Even if something goes bad, we can throw it away and go to the store and buy another one. But that doesn’t mean we should – right now, we produce enough to feed the world, but a third of that is being thrown away. One reason is because consumers are confused by expiration dates – this causes a loss of $29 billions dollars each year between families in the U.S. Companies like Kellogg Co and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have made statements that they are committed to solving this issue for consumers. They’ll do it by simplifying all of labels on products. Under the new plan, only two labels – “Best if used by” for non-perishable items and “Use by” for perishable ones – will be used by CGF members by 2020.If this solves the issue… what would you spend that $29 billion on?

Picture of the week. 

My milkshake brings my mom to the yard. At least, it brought Maryland nugget Chandler’s mom Aubrey to the cow barn at All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. HOW FREAKING CUTE?!

chandler and aubrey

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 18.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 9/15/2017

“I’ve still got it.” 99 year old dairy farmer

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue shared a story on his twitter about Milford “Pete” Nodlinski. Pete is a 99 year old (100 in December!) who is still actively working on his dairy farm in Nebrasksa. Why? Because he wants to set a good example for his kids and grandkids. And because he’s awesome. Read his full story and all of the sweet things people have to say about him here. Grab some tissues before you get started.

“This is a dream come true!” Those who are suffering from lactose intolerance

Tony Amidor is a nutrition expert who explains how a body breaks down lactose. She focuses specifically on those who are lactose intolerant. Turns out, your body can handle different dairy products in different doses and combinations, even with the intolerance to lactose. Watch the full video of her interview here. Yeehaw!

“We can’t just quit because of a little rain!” Florida dairy farmers

Hurricane IRMA ripped through Florida last weekend. Some people could evacuate – dairy farmers couldn’t. Follow the stories of dairy farmers and how they’re recovering on the Florida Milk Facebook and Twitter pages. If you’re able to donate to help the hurricane relief efforts, you can contribute here. Let’s take care of those who feed us!

Picture of the week. 

It’s a passion from day 1. Maryland baby Amy got an early start with her love for dairy cows.

baby amy y