Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 8/25/2017
“Mooooove over!” Trying to find a seat at an eclipse viewing party
Unless you live under a rock, you heard something about the solar eclipse that went down on Monday (8/21). While some people were scrambling around last minute for proper glasses (and some saying IDGAF and going blind), others were gathering at dairy farms for a party. Shatto Milk Company, right outside of Kansas City, had upwards of 2,500 people at their dairy farm. Shatto processes and sells their own milk in glass bottles, and is notorious for creating limited edition versions for special events. The eclipse was honored with a bottle filled with black milk (double cookies and cream flavor). Other farms hosting events included Chaney’s Dairy Barn near Hopkinsville, Kentucky and Sweetwater Valley Farm north of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“Your poop smells like roses, but mine creates electricity.” Cows doing a mic drop
There is more to poop than meets the eye. 20,000 cows at Stotz Dairy in Buckeye, Arizona are turning poop in power – literally. They use a methane digester on the farm. The waste water from the dairy is collected, and run through the digester. Solids are used as fertilizer, and the remaining liquid is ‘milked’ for its methane gas, which is put through a generator. How powerful is there poop? There’s enough energy produced to fuel 487 homes. How many times can we say poop? So far, 5 times.
“I take nap right here.” 4-H kids snuggling with their cows
Showing dairy cows is a real thing, which is similar to people who show dogs or horses. There is an “ideal” cow for each breed (there are 7 different breeds of dairy cows) and cows are judged by how closely they compare to the ideal cow of their breed. It can get pretty serious from local, to national to WORLDWIDE competitions, however it can also be fun. This picture shows the bond that can be developed between a cow and it’s human – who is most likely showing through 4-H or FFA, student and youth organizations.
Picture of the week.
Joel Smith of Pennsylvania likes to make sure all of his cats get some milk too – doesn’t seem like the calf in the back appreciates his kindness.
Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 8/18/2017
“From a cold brew to feeding your moos.” Recycling beer into cow feed.
About 10 years ago, a light bulb went off. Dirk Rohne raises cows in Oregon. One day he wondered what he could do with the byproduct left over from making beer at Fort George, a nearby brewery. That’s when he found a way to use it at his 170 cow dairy farm, Brownsmead Island Farm near Astoria, Oregon. This is one of many farms to take the leftover grain (brewers grain) from a brewery, and feed it to dairy cows. This is happening all over the country, one of many ways farmers how found ways to be more sustainable. Everybody wins!
“Milk with a splash of coffee, please.” Me.
Raise your hand if your coffee is more milk, and less coffee. La Colombe Draft Latte is just that. Founder and creator Todd Carmichael sold out 10,000 cans of this product in just 60 minutes. Served in an RTD (ready to drink) can, Carmichael’s drink is 80% fresh milk – therefore, he needs to have a lot of cows nearby. That explains why he bought a production location last August in Norton Shore, Michigan. This sounds like the perfect drink if you love milk in your coffee and drinking it on the go.
“I’ll take extra protein, please.” Anyone and everyone.
Protein is important, we get that. But really what is protein and why do we need it? This article breaks it all down. A few quick facts:
- Organs, muscles, bones, nails and hair are all made up of (mostly) protein.
- Protein helps rebuild types of body tissues like muscle and nervous.
- Protein aids in creating hemoglobin which is the guys that helps carry oxygen to your body.
Learn more facts like this and others (like what proteins are actually made of) by clicking here.
Picture of the week.
Shout out to my gram, one of the people who really started my love for cows. Yee-haw!
Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 8/11/2017
“Do you, uh, recycle here?” Me, nervous about where I should throw my water bottle away in a new place.
Farmers wear a lot of different hats, one of them being an environmentalist, and they’re getting a little extra help with the gig. Revolution Plastics (RP) is helping farmers recycle materials from their farms. RP, based out of Arkansas, started 3 years ago picking up plastic from farms. Now, they’re reaching over 4,000 farms in the Midwest – there are still 3,000 more farms between Wisconsin and Minnesota that have signed up and are waiting to join in on the fun. The plastic collected is turned into materials such as trash can liners. From protecting cows feed to collecting trash after your weekend party with friends, farmers are helping save the planet one piece of plastic at a time.
“If it’s called milk… then why can’t you milk it?” Everyone confused over what should be allowed to call itself ‘milk’.
Milk is a word that has been thrown on products that aren’t technically milk – like soy, coconut and almond ‘milk’ products for example. These non-dairy beverages are coming under some serious heat to stop calling themselves “something they’re not.” Kind of how Becky always said she’s a natural blonde, even though you could see how dark her roots were in between hair appointments. TBD on how this shakes out, and what type of labeling standards and regulations are set up on who can sit with ‘milk’ and who needs to find a new crowd.
“Sharp right!” Farmers navigating their drones around silos and barns.
Farming is always evolving and adapting new technologies. Over the last few years, drones have been tested out to determine the benefits they could have to precision agriculture. (Precision agriculture refers to the way farmers manage crops to ensure efficiency of inputs such as water and fertilizer, and to maximize productivity, quality, and yield. The term also involves minimizing pests, unwanted flooding, and disease.)
There are drones being developed specifically for farming and agriculture. Some drones have been proven as an efficient way to spray fields while others have helped farmers survey/view their land from higher up. You can learn more about what specific drones have been made for agriculture in this article.
Picture of the week.
Featuring a cat who has taken “hiding from responsibilities” to a whole new level. Photo from Yvonne Longenecker of Penn England Farms, Pennsylvania.
Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 8/4/2017.
“One size does not fit all.” United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Most farms (99%) are family owned and operated. However, not all of them are the same size. Farms are categorized by size and other characteristics, such as ownership and annual revenue. Below is a picture that breaks it all down for you. If you’re interested in learning more about U.S. farms and how they’re categorized, check out this document from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS): America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2016 Edition.
“Came for the politics, stayed for the cheese curds.” Agriculture Secretary Perdue
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, recently made a visit to Wisconsin. This was the first state on a tour that he’ll be taking (via RV) through Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. There are a lot of hot topics he’ll cover like NAFTA, prices farmers are being paid for their products, immigration, and other casual things like that. Why the camping trip? Right now, Secretary Perdue is working with Congress on shaping our farm bill. He states, “My principle for the farm bill is it should follow the market, not guide the market. I don’t want people farming for the farm bill.” Wonder if he’ll host any campfires at his RV?
“Let’s do this.” GEA
GEA, a process technology provider, is making moves in Asia. The company is planning to build a skim milk powder plant in Gandhinagar, India. When production begins, this plant will be the largest of its kind in Asia. This is all still a work in progress, but the dairy plant is projected to produce 150 tons of skim milk powder and 120 tons of dairy whitener/baby food per day, with a milk processing capacity of 90,000 liters per hour. Milk is still cool, all over the world.
Picture of the week.
Just a man and his cow. Tyler snuggles up with his (almost) 2 year old cow, Patron.