I’ve Got Moos For You. 1 Year Anniversary.

Happy 1 year anniversary to I’ve Got Moos For You! Thank you everyone who reads and to all of the family, friends and peers who send me stories and pictures to share. 

I began this journey for a few reasons. First and foremost, I saw a need. A need for a fun, quick, easy and informative read about things relating to the dairy industry. I knew this had to happen when a daily e-newsletter, The Skimm, joked about 7% of Americans thinking that chocolate milk came from brown cows. Funny, but also fair – how would people know the difference if they’ve never been given the chance? The Skimm never further explained how chocolate milk is made, and I immediately called BS. Note that this is coming from a #1 fan (still true, and will continue to be – it’s an incredible newsletter!). But, this isn’t a joke anymore – this is the food we eat. It’s a big deal. I sent several emails to them, and I even gave them examples of how they could write ag news stories to fit their tone and style. After no response, I decided to make a move. 

Shortly after, I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 1. was born. However, this was all happening at the same time I was completing a leadership program called YDLI (Young Dairy Leaders Institute). To ‘graduate’ from this program, each participant needed to execute an advocacy project. AKA a new way of telling consumers like you how awesome cows, dairy products, farmers and agriculture as a whole, are. The perfect storm was created for me to create a weekly blog post that followed a similar style of The Skimm. Why? Because that’s a strength I could play off of – fun and conversational writing.

So here we are. Each week (with a few exceptions lacking any good excuses) I’ll post a blog with 3-5 short summaries of stories I found in my news and industry sources. My goal is that consumers enjoy reading about agricultural news, feel more confident and informed about where their food comes from and laugh a few times through it. I also strive to keep it fair, balanced, and  mostly unbiased, a challenge for me, because most of my writing has been emotional and opinionated. I like that this blog post gives me an opportunity to challenge myself in that regard.

But, I really just needed a place to share epic pro innovation and science tweets from Betty Crocker. Like this one:

betty crocker tweet

As I head into year 2, you may see me try new things, or maybe I’ll keep it the same. I haven’t decided yet. I’m still learning what’s best for my readers and what they want. Got a preference? Let me know – I write this for you, consumers of food, and your feedback is critical!

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 39.

Feel good stories that I read this week and want to share with you 5/13/2018.

“Know of any good party planners?”

#WorldMilkDay is happening on June 1, 2018. Dairy farmers across the world will be raising a glass and toasting to milk, a beverage produced by dairy cows. Why? Because they, and many others, think milk is awesome. They have a solid case. Read more about dairy health benefits here, here and here. Make sure you follow along on June 1 and post your own dairy positive pictures using the hashtag #WorldMilkDay.

“Good vibes only!”

This article posted by Progressive Dairyman has Walt Coleman of Little Rock, Arkansas, a dairy farmer and retired NFL official teaching the rest of us how we can turn “boos into cheers.” Sounds like useful advice when you’re feeling down. You can read more details in the article, but it boils down to three key things:

  1. Remember your importance.
  2. Learn to laugh it off.
  3. Do what’s right.

“I couldn’t stay away.” 

Farming is an emotional business, and animals become like family. Many dairy farmers described farming as a “livelihood” rather than a job. I read a story this week about Christine Bender, who left her job with benefits to come back to more labor and longer hours on her family dairy farm. I don’t like stealing anyone’s thunder, but to me, it sounds like she made the right choice. Check it out here.

Picture of the week. 

Uncle Joel brought his niece Evie out to meet the cows… looks like we might have a future dairy farmHER on our hands!

joel and evie

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 38.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 5/7/2018.

“I’m down for this.” Me, about eliminating food waste

Food waste is no bueno, and the agricultural industry is constantly seeking ways to elimate it. Cue precision agriculture. Forbes covered a study by McKinsey and Company that states “Food loss and wastes cost about $940 Billion and have a carbon footprint of 4.4 Gt CO2-equivalent which is more than eight percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions.” Guess what though… 795 million people still go hungry every year. Precision agriculture can help cut back on both. Think cool technology and innovation like drones, automation, GMOs, increasing sustainability and yields of crops… the list goes on. Nice.

“Maybe next weekend…” When you can’t afford the gas to get there

Gas prices are higher, and experts are saying the only way is up. This article says that it’ll be the highest prices we’ve seen since summer 2014. Womp. Who else is staying home?

“A bagel would never do this.” Everyone suffering the wrath of lettuce

E.coli is no joke. Especially when it attacks you via foods like spinach (no one liked you to begin with). Now, scientists are looking at new ways to catch foodborne bacteria in real time, like E.coli and salmonella. This video dives into the story more.

Picture of the week. 

This little Maryland dairy babe loves her cow. We are on the saaaame page, sister!

aubrey s

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 37.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 4/15/2018

“This is how we’ll feed the world.” Supporters of gene editing

Bill Gates and his foundation have been supporting a concept called gene editing. This article talks a lot about how science is trying a recent approach to gene editing called CRISPR, or “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.” Basically, “CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops.” Read more long winded, science-y details here.

Though not a new concept, it’s another investment with a goal to help feed the world – in particular, third world countries. Numbers show that though we’ve been cutting back on world hunger, it’s still out there. 

“Old school trends are new again.” Not just the fashion industry

A lot of local creameries and dairy processing facilities are making a milk-in-glass-bottles come back. Whether it’s practical reasons or just because they look cool, consumers seem to be digging the trend. Even businesses in the UK have made the switch in the last few years, resulting in higher sales. Wonder if we’ll bring the milk man back, too?

“Help a homie out.” Argentina to the U.S.

Argentina is a huge producer of soybean – 3rd largest in the world, actually. However after a recent drought they needed some help. Help was making their largest purchase from the U.S. in 20 years. Why? Because mother nature. They struggled through a drought which cut back their normal harvest. Merp.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 36.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 4/8/2018

“Run Elinor run!” 

Dairy farmers wear a lot of hats… for Elinor Purrier, track super star is one of them. Elinor and her family have been dairy farmers for a long, long time. She took her dairy roots with her to college at the University of New Hampshire and drank chocolate milk after every workout. Might have been a good idea, as she went on to win the mile in the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships. Boom.

“I don’t even see the fence…” A cow wearing a smart collar

The concept is like ‘find my iPhone’ and an invisible fence that many people use for dogs. Farmers in countries like New Zealand are putting in boundaries on their farms that are linked to collars that animals are wearing (like cows, sheep, etc). You can see an animal’s location, and the collars will give off a minimal shock if animals go outside the boundaries set by the ‘invisible fence.’ Plan is that this allows better record keeping and an easier way to keep track of your herd.

“Matt Damon, do you copy?” The Skimm reporting on growing food in space

Scientists in Antarctica are making serious moves. They’ve been growing vegetables in a greenhouse without any earth, daylight or pesticides. Why? To see if we can grow food in space for astronauts. How cool are scientists? Pretty cool. Read the full story here.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 35.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 3/23/2018

“Prove it.” Officials to soy’s heart health claims.

NMPF (National Milk Producers Federation) is saying “You go Glenn Coco!” to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). NMPF is down with the FDA’s proposal to say “uhh, not really” to a heath claim that links soy protein with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. NMPF commented on the situation “It is imperative that consumers have accurate label information in addition to health claims – specifically the name of the food, which also conveys nutrition information.”

Apparently, there isn’t a lot of positive correlation between the two in more recent studies and research. The FDA started questioning this health link 10 years ago, and are now making more serious moves on it… better late than never?

“More cheese, please!” China

China’s demand for protein has been on the rise. Now, they’re looking for that protein in dairy products. Think yogurt and cheese and forms of added protein. Trends in China show that a majority of consumers prefer imported dairy products, especially from New Zealand and Australia. But, no matter where they’re getting it, they’re really loving it, and it doesn’t look like they’ll slow down any time soon.

“Sorry about your luck.” Amazon to grocery stores filing for bankruptcy

Amazon bought Whole Foods to play in the grocery story place. Some competition hasn’t been able to handle Amazon in this space… like Tops Markets and Southeastern Grocers. Tops has filed for bankruptcy, and Southeastern said it’s going to do the same. Merp.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 34.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 3/11/2018.

“More than just a farmer.” Farmers that also happen to be environmentalists

While it’s not always written down on a resume, all farmers have another hat they wear – environmentalist. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it… farmers have a partnership with our planet. It helps them grow food for you and I, and farmers help replenish what they utilize while constantly searching for more sustainable practices. This article dives into an example happening right now in California. The farm is putting in a digester, which takes manure and turns the methane gas into electricity that fuels the farm. Sometimes they have enough to give back to the local community as well. The leftover dried manure is often used as bedding for the cows. Dive into more of the story here. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Boom.

“Sorry I’m late… I couldn’t decide what yogurt I wanted.” Me spending 30 minutes in the dairy aisle

You often hear how yogurt compliments a healthy lifestyle, among dairy products in general. Recently a study was published by the American Journal of Hypertension that shows even more good news. Adults with high blood pressure can lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, aka CVD. Here are the results and conclusion of the study (pulled directly from this summary online):

RESULTS

Yogurt intake was inversely associated with CVD risk (myocardial infarction and stroke) among hypertensive participants (P <0.01 in both cohorts). Among participants consuming ≥2 servings/week of yogurt, NHS women had a 17% (95% CI: 0.74–0.92) lower risk while HPFS men experienced a 21% (95% CI: 0.66–0.96) lower CVD risk compared to those who consumed <1 serving/month. Regular yogurt consumers with higher DASH diet scores had 16% (95% CI: 0.73–0.96) and 30% (95% CI: 0.57–0.85) CVD risk reductions in the 2 cohorts, respectively.

CONCLUSION

Hypertensive men and women who consumed ≥2 servings/week of yogurt, especially in the context of a healthy diet, were at lower risk for developing CVD.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Wendy’s on Twitter.” 

*McDonald’s raises their hand*

Wendy’s ‘thing’ has always been fresh beef, while making general jabs at ‘the other guys.’ However, they’ve recently moved into a more direct and targeted marketing approach… at McDonald’s. Seems like McDonald’s has finally had enough of getting picked on, and they’re going to make fresh beef their thing, too. 3,500 of their U.S. restaurants are going to make the initial switch, with many others following their lead. Grab some popcorn and plan to follow their journey and Wendy’s most likely hilarious reactions and digs on Twitter.

wendys tweet

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 33.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 2/18/2018

“Maybe we’ll get it next year.” Dairy farmers out shopping

Dairy farmers depend on the price of milk to make a living. However, the price of milke has been dropping over the last year, and might continue doing so. This has put a lot of farmers in a tough spot, and budgets are getting tighter and stricter. It’s even caused some farmers to go out of business. I make a motion that we all buy an extra gallon of milk and buy double what the yogurt special is in store.

“I just wanna lose 3 pounds.” Me

Regina George would love all of the low calorie ice cream options that are out there today. Right now, Halo Top rules the market with their low calorie/low sugar/high protein options. However, Ben and Jerry are developing a rival product. Moo-phoria is going to be about 100 calories less than the average Halo Top product… perfect for anyone who is looking to lose 3 pounds. Apparently, it’s coming to stores near you, soon.

“Kids are the future. Our future.” Adventure Capital and Land O’Lakes

Adventure Capital (AdCap) and Land O’Lakes put on the 2018 Fuel Up! Innovation Challenge. This challenge brought out 68 Wisconsin and Minnesota students. They learned about entrepreneurship and careers in agriculture, and how they could have a future in the industry. The students presented ideas on how they can better promote agriculture to their classmates and peers, and the best ideas were named winner. Winners were given money so that they could bring their ideas to life… pretty sweet. After all was said and done, about $110,000 was given to these students and the program.

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 32.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 2/11/2018

“Hey hey hey… goooooodbye!” HSUS to officials accused of baaaad stuff

You may have seen some HSUS (aka the Humane Society) under some pretty serious heat these last few weeks. Sexual harrassment, misconduct and assault has been (unfortunately) a common theme in the news, and HSUS has taken the spotlight. The now former VP of HSUS Paul Shapiro is gone-zo because of several allegations brought against him. Next up? CEO Wayne Pacelle is under investigation. Cherry on top? This isn’t new to HSUS – Arthur Benjamin, former HSUS-National Council member, has already faced four separate accusations. The proper reaction to all of this is “Ew” and #TimesUpHSUS.

“If you care about the poor, you should care about agriculture.” Bill Gates preachin’

“If you care about the poor, you should care about agriculture. And if you care about agriculture, you care about livestock.” Bill Gates told this to an audience at the University of Edinburgh. Gates is investing a casual $40 million that will go towards “projects to develop livestock vaccines and make them accessible to the poorest small-scale farmers across Africa and South Asia through the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines, a public-private partnership based in Edinburgh.” More deets are shared in this article. We have to figure out how to feed 9 billion people in 2050, and that’s a big deal – Bill Gates seems to get it.

“I know it’s you, Betty.” Farmers using a new face recognition technology on cows 

Facial recognition is making it’s big debut in dairy world. Cargill recently publicized their partnership with a company based in Dublin, Ireland called Cainthus. Like you and I, each cow has unique features which this technology can distinguish and then use to track each animal. David Hunt, president and co-founder of Cainthus said “When you install our technology, you go from cows reacting to what you’re doing, to you reacting to the needs of your animals.” Sounds like it has the potential to be a game changer for dairy farmers. Time will tell.

Picture of the week. 

This is Matt Henkes teaching Leigh to milk at Henkeseen Holsteins in Luana, IA. How. Friggin. Awesome?!

matt teaching kid how to milk

 

 

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 31.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 1/28/2018.

“Thanks for the help!” Wisconsin dairy farming family

Earlier this month, the Dettmann family in Wisconsin had to deal with something not so fun. Their parlor (where the cows get milked) caught on fire. Attached to the parlor was the freestall barn, which is where their 500 cows ‘lived’ most of the time. So they could focus on rebuilding their new parlor post fire, two neighbor farms are working together to lend a hand and tare taking care of the Dettmann’s animals until they’re able to milk them at their own farm. Good deed of their year – check.

“Ready for your close up?” The director of Holstein America 

RFD-TV has a brand new show starting February 8, 2018 called Holstein America. This show will be put on on by Holstein Association USA and is showcasing dairy farmers from across the country and the work they do. Holstein Association USA CEO John Meyer was quoted in this article saying “The Holstein breed’s story is among the most successful in U.S. agriculture — and it’s written by generations of passionate dairy producers. We’re honored to introduce these individuals and families in the Holstein America series.” Start planning your viewing party today.

**Holsteins are the black and white dairy cows. AKA the best ones (or my personal favorite, at least). 

“Only if it tastes good.” People buying yogurt.

Personally, I buy whatever yogurt has the coolest packaging. Apparently, everyone else is buying whatever they believe tastes the best… weird. According to this report, flavor was ranked as ‘most important’ by grocery shoppers. Berry and vanilla came out on top as consumer favorites, while spicy yogurts didn’t get quite as much love. I guess not everyone is a fan of the mexican chocolate flavor noosa makes…