I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 6.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 6/23/2017

“Help.” Food banks feeding hungry Americans

To this day, 1 in 8 Americans are having trouble getting enough to eat. That’s 42 million people. While the number of hungry people declines, the food and donations have been declining as well. There is also a struggle to find fresh items to feed the hungry, like produce and milk. Want to help?

You can help provide fresh milk to those in need here.

You can donate money to food banks here. You can also use this site to find your local food bank and deliver food and/or volunteer your time.

“Let’s make some milk.” Mr. Roboto

The dairy industry is constantly evolving and innovating. One technology that is becoming more common are robots, also known as “automation.” Automation and robotic technology can be used in different areas on the farm, from feeding the animals to milking them. While C-3PO and R2-D2 aren’t in the milking parlor, it’s advanced technology, and studies show that cows are cool with it. Stensland Family Farms in northwest Iowa opened their doors to show people what it’s like and how it works. Read their story, and why they’re using this technology here.

“Show me that you love me.” Cheese to Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of the top dairy states in the US, and has taken it’s relationship with cheese to the next level.. they made cheese their state product. Surprise? Not at all. Is this enough of a reason to plan a vacation to Wisconsin? Probably.

Picture of the week.

Remember the cows from last week? Here’s a nugget from the same farm in Iowa. Photo cred goes to Ellie Fleming, whose cow Brelynn gave her the cutest birthday present!

ellie ayrshire

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 5.

Stuff that I read about this week that you should care about 6/15/2017

“I’m an environmentalist, too.” Farmers everywhere

The National Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) is helping dairy farmers across the U.S. develop ways to improve their business. The FARM Program has created Environmental Stewardship Continuous Improvement Reference Manual, which is geared toward helping farmers improve their environmental footprint in ways that also benefit their farm’s profitability. Some partners who helped create this manual include The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Add ‘Environmentalist’ to the long list of professional hats a dairy farmer wears.

“Not all heroes wear capes.” Million Dollar Wildlife Relief Challenge

Wild fires in March damaged 1.6 million acres of farmland throughout the states of  Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Drovers/Farm Journal Foundation Million Dollar Wildlife Relief Challenge has raised more than $500,000 for men and women affected by the tragedy. Their goal is to reach $1 million, which is the amount that The Buffet Foundation has agreed to match. You can learn more about those affected, what they lost, and donate to the cause here.

“If brown cows make chocolate milk, do the red ones make strawberry?” 16.4 million American adults that aren’t joking

7% of American adults think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That comes out to about 16.4 million people. While they’re not totally wrong, they’re not really right. There are 7 different breeds of dairy cows (some are brown), that all essentially produce the same product (milk that is naturally white and composed of the same nutrients). Milk is flavored once it reaches a processor (think Land O’Lakes, Fairlife, Lactaid, Gallikers and other brands of dairy products you buy) and then sent to stores. Wondering how many times Karen from Mean Girls took this survey…

Picture of the week 

Dinner time for the girls at Hankeseen Holsteins in Luana, IA. Photo cred to Matt Hankes.

matt hankes

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 4.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 6/9/2017

“It takes a team.” National FARM Program

It takes more than a farmer to run a successful business. That’s why the National FARM Program (a team of people dedicated to helping dairy farmers continuously improve how they’re caring for their animals) has created the Dairy Dream Team. This campaign features a video and ‘baseball cards’ of other professionals who help make a dairy farm successful, including people like the nutritionist, vet and hoof trimmers. You can learn more about who is on the dream team and how they contribute to keeping cows happy and healthy here.

“Uhm – you can’t say that.” Elanco to Arla Foods Inc. USA
Arla Foods Inc. USA and Arla Foods Production LLC recently launched a $30 million marketing campaign called ‘Live Unprocessed‘  in the attempt to make viewers believe that all milk is not created equal. This included a video of a child describing what they thought about the “weird stuff in cheese,” aka rBST, a supplement given to dairy cows to help them produce milk more efficiently. Arla also states on their website that “of course they [the kids] had no idea [what rBST is]. But we took their answers and brought them to life.” AKA, a child described a 3-eyed alien with hooks on the end of their tentacles.
 Eli Lilly and Co. and its subsidiary Elanco  (who sells rBST under the brand name Posilac) are suing Arla, claiming that the company has ignored that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared rBST to be a safe product and that “there is no discernable difference between milk from cows supplemented with rBST and milk from unsupplemented cows.” Which means tricking kids into telling you that it’s bad for you is probably a big ‘meeehhh’ on the right or wrong scale.
“A dairy farmer and a sculptor/TV ad director walk into a bar…” Those guys
…And they decided that milk in their tea wasn’t cutting it. Black Cow, founded by Sculptor and TV-advertising Director Paul Archard and Dairy Farmer Jason Barber in England, is a spirit distilled from cows milk. And it costs $50. But, they’ve got the support of high end shops like Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges, prestigious clubs, restaurants I can’t afford and actresses  Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth Hurley. Food and drink critic for The Mail on Sunday (London newspaper) Tom Parker Bowles reviewed it as “one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever tasted.”

Right now, the only ‘foreign’ markets selling it are Ontario and California. One ticket to the west coast, please.

“You’re killin me, smalls.” Taller kids on the playground

A recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is showing that kids who drink non-cow milk aren’t as tall as those who do. The study – which included 5,034 Canadian children between ages 2 to 6 years old – shows that each  cup of non-cow’s milk consumed per day was correlated with 0.4 centimeters (0.15 inches) lower height than average for a child’s age. Some professor’s question the depth of the study, however, note that the nutritional values of alternate beverages don’t stack up to those of dairy milk.

Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician and researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, made the comment, “As a consumer and as a parent, you have to be pretty savvy when going to the grocery store to choose a non-cow’s milk beverage that has similar nutritional value as cow’s milk. Many of those beverages are marketed as being equivalent to cow’s milk when they’re not.”
Fairlife chocolate milk after soccer practice – check.
Picture of the week
ERMAGAWD LOOK AT THIS NUGGET! Photo cred goes to Erin Smith, daughter of the King of Milkshakes (PA Dairymans).
erin smith calf

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 3.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 6/2/2017

“Cheers!” People everywhere celebrating June Dairy Month

You know how there’s a ‘National Day’ for everything? Well there’s also a month for them, too. June is dedicated to celebrating the dairy industry – dairy cows, farmers and delicious dairy foods are among some of the hot topics this month.  The month kicked off with #WorldMilkDay – you can check out some of the events AROUND THE WORLD (the whole thing) that celebrated the day here. Interested in joining the celebration? Many dairy farmers and organizations are hosting events throughout the month. Want to learn more about the dairy industry and where your food comes from? Check out this website and reach out to the dairy organization nearest to you to discover what may be happening by you. You never know… you could meet a cow this month.

“Raise a glass!” Dairy Farmers of America raising money for the less fortunate

In celebration of World Milk Day yesterday, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) donated $1 to the Great American Milk Drive for every time someone used the hashtags #RaiseAGlass and #WorldMilkDay on a social media post (up to $10,000). You can still participate in the good will throughout the whole month of June. Here’s how: Donate to the DFA Cares Foundation, also benefiting the Great American Milk Drive, at www.dfamilk.com/dfacaresdonation. All donations made will be matched throughout the month of June. Your money will help deliver fresh milk to families in need across the country. Good deed of the day, check.

“I’m getting my steps in.” That person shaking their arm around, sitting in their office cube. 

Uhm, that’s not how it works. That’s not how it works for cows, either. That’s right – there is such a thing as ‘Fitbits’ for cows. It seems odd at first, a cow needing a fitness device. But it’s just one of the many pieces of technology that allows dairy farmers to make sure their animals are healthy, happy and comfortable. These devices use accelerometers (same thing that’s in a Fitbit) to track a cow’s activity. What’s the big deal? It has the potential to help farmers detect a lot of things faster, one (but not the only) being illness. The faster a farmer figures out that one of the girls is under the weather, the faster they can help her recover, while preventing her from getting her friends sick in the process. At this point, cows may be so high-tech they could teach Gram to use Facebook.

“I scream for bourbon in my ice cream.” NYC residents treating themselves.

No more choosing between an adult beverage or a big bowl of ice cream after a long day. You can have both in NYC. Tipsy Scoop is serving up boozy frozen treats. Not in NYC? Not a problem, because they’ll ship it right to you. FoodNetwork did a video feature on it. Check it out.

Picture of the week.

Dori giving the calves some love during June Dairy Month. Photo cred goes to mwah.


Making milk cool again.

Milk has had some positive rep in the news this week.. and a half.. (ish).

In the effort to make all things great again, Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue has reintroduced 1% flavored milks in public school lunches. This is a big change after the Obama Administration banned low-fat flavored milks from schools, which had caused a drop of 1.1 million students not drinking milk with their lunch. This change is intended to increase milk consumption, which will help students meet basic nutritional needs. (Full article here: Milk Business).

This is awesome. It also follows suit with the latest (mostly) pro-dairy story posted by USA Today. It’s titled, “That full-fat dairy stuff — cheese, yogurt, milk — isn’t bad for you, study finds.” It mentions in this article that while people were shunning dairy to avoid the ‘bad fat’ in it, they were depriving their bones of the nutrients they needed – which they would have received from dairy products. Thus, putting them at a risk for osteoporosis (uh, no bueno). With nine essential nutrients that our bodies need (read about them here and here and here), milk was, is and always will be a no brainer. I believe in the research, science and farmers behind the products… do you?

And ladies, this guy agrees with me… we should be drinking milk. Not only are we the ultimate bosses and kick ass’ers of life, but our body needs what dairy has.

“Simply put, women benefit from the major nutrients and vitamins packed within dairy products. Women considering a dairy-free diet must understand the risks to their health, especially deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D.” (Dr. Manny Alvarez)

All in all, it’s been a week in the news of #MakingMilkCoolAgain. Future #CowChronicler2020 slogan? Maybe I’ll base my campaign around requiring ice cream and cheese fondue to have their own food groups, and gyms having chocolate milk in their vending machines.

Rachael Ray, you’re almost there.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Rachael Ray’s latest segment with Keri Glassman, where they talk about all the choices we have in a grocery store. She starts with milk. First, I’d like to thank Rachael Ray show for recognizing that whole cow’s milk has the most amount of protein when compared with non-dairy beverages. Overall, her message is a strong promotion of dairy milk. But, let me tell you a little a bit about why other cow’s milk choices are just as good.

She claims that organic is “the purest,” has “the most protein,” and “you need to buy hormone free, organic milk.”

Now, that’s just not true. But let me start with this… I’m not here to say non-organic is better than organic or vice versa. We are so privileged in this country to have the freedom of choice in our food system (which they talk about), let alone the freedom to claim one is “better than the other.” Nutritionally, they stand side by side. Both produced by dairy farmers who value their cattle, land and feeding the world.

However, to be “hormone free,” or “pure and highest in protein” the answer is not buying organic. Milk will naturally have hormones in it, non-organic or organic, and both types are jacked up in protein along with 8 other essential nutrients. Below are infographics and article links that cover information on:

-Hormones in milk
-All milk is antibiotic free
-Nutritional values in ALL dairy milks

Please feel free to share these items and/or this status on Rachael Ray’s page, or send her an email. If you’re a farmer, come from a farm one or just want to support all types of dairy farmers, share a story and pictures of your farm. Make it personal. Show Rachael Ray what’s really in your non-organic milk, and why it’s incredible for your body and health. Bust the myths. Promote what’s right, true and fair. Get out there, but don’t bring down another farming practice to better your own. It’s not about us proving that organic is bad, it’s just about showcasing why all milk is delicious and nature’s most perfect food.

One person can only do so much. But if we all reach out, we can make a statement. Are you with me?









Together, we’ll conquer cancer.

Meet Katie Sowers. She is a junior at Greenwood High School in Millerstown, Pennsylvania. Or should I say, she is a very busy junior in high school. She’s involved with many activities, including FFA, serving as historian in her local 4-H Club, showing Ayrshires and Holsteins, and participating in Pennsylvania Junior Holstein activities.

This past year, Katie created a scientific display showcasing methane production, earning second place at the state convention’s intermediate division and first place at the national convention. This is a repeat winning appearance for Katie, after she won third place both at the Pennsylvania contest and nationals with her display on embryo transfer in 2015.

She also enjoys participating in baking competitions at the Perry County Fair (I’m still waiting on that peanut butter cookie recipe, Katie!), attending St. John’s Barner’s Lutheran Church and crocheting (I’m also still waiting on cow-themed hot pads for pulling my peanut butter cookies out of the oven).

So far, Katie sounds like another young woman rocking and rolling in the dairy industry. However, she is so much more than that. Katie is a survivor of cancer. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October 2010‎, and she has battled her way to recovery. Katie’s last surgery was in September 2014, and she has been in remission ever since. She finished her last chemotherapy treatment on Feb. 1, 2016. Though these dates are milestones in Katie’s life, it was her journey with her family, her love for the dairy industry and her experience with THON that motivated her along the way.

Click here to read the rest of my Progressive Dairyman article!

katie sowers at thon

Beth Sowers, Katie Sowers and friends at THON

Meet Steve, the #DairyDad

Steve the #DairyDad. When it comes to being kickass, this guy has it down to a science… and I’m not saying that just because he’s going to read this and I want him to buy us Chinese takeout for dinner tonight. *angel halo emoji* Seriously though, this guy is the best. I already wrote sappy things about him and my brother is hunting prairie dogs in Montana with him (like a real life version of that computer game we used to play as kids… anyone else? No? Cool.). SO we’ll let his other two daughters take it from here.

And who may you gals be?

Erin Shaw, registered nurse, mother of a hyperactive and hyper curious one-year old Alexander, and wife to hard working and man child Nicholas.

Heeello, I’m Emily! I’m a 21 year old about to be senior at Penn State University (CRAZY). This summer, my weekdays are filled up with an internship at AgChoice Farm Credit. Outside of being a wild college student and intern, I enjoy spending time with dairy cows through shows and judging, traveling as much as my bank account allows, and being with family and friends.

Who is your #DairyDad?

Erin. Steve Shaw; My father works on the U.S. dairy sales team for Cargill Animal Nutition.

Emmy. Pops name is Steven Patrick Shaw, the same middle name as his dad and my little brother Tyler. He works for Cargill as the National Dairy Sales Leader of the US. This guy is always traveling and meeting with people, and sometimes it’s even hard for me to keep track of him. Becca told me to include some interesting about Pops, like his favorite pizza topping, so here we go: I think my dad enjoys almost anything on pizza, considering it’s a bad slice of pizza is rare like a unicorn, but I do know that he really wants to try the new cheeseburger pizza from Papa Johns! Other than pizza, it’s a fact that he will scope out the best steak in whatever area he is in, along with finding a peachy drink to join it.

How is your dad involved in the dairy industry? How has he supported you in the dairy industry?

Erin. My father introduced me to the dairy life after purchasing my first Holstein, Hillmont Thor Satin when I was eight years old. She was super tall, super fat, and super white but she earned me lots of ribbons and recognition and instilled in me a love for the breed and the industry. The yearly show circuit was where my Dad and I bonded (and fought plenty too) but it was our time together to grow as a family and as a farm. I cannot wait for him to introduce my son and his first grandchild, to the joy that is “show week” and the pride that can be earned from working hard and having beautiful cows!

Emmy. Other than working in the dairy industry through his position in Cargill, my dad has had a passion for the dairy industry his whole life. He grew up on a dairy farm, and then went to Penn State for Dairy Science. Throughout his life, he has been involved with showing and judging. His passion for the industry is contagious and he instilled it in us early on. Dad has always encouraged us to show and judge, and to be involved with taking care of our animals. When there was an opportunity for us, my dad was sure to get us involved.

One word to describe your dad and why you chose that word – go!

Erin. Hardcore. Enough said.

Emmy. Supportive. No matter what I have done throughout my life, my dad was always there to keep things in perspective and push me through tough times with encouragement.

If you had the chance to say once last thing to your dad, what would it be?

Erin. Thank you for stepping up when the other guy didn’t. Thank you for this life that wouldn’t be possible without you. Through the good times and the bad, you taught me how to be self-sufficient and that working hard does pay off.

Emmy. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I know kids can be frustrating at times, especially when I went through phases of being a teenager full of attitude. *PAUSE – The Cow Chronicler would like to know when this phase ended? Whatever. Carry on* But there has never been a time that you weren’t there for me. From my traveling softball tournaments every weekend in the summer, to waiting for me at our pack after I come back from the show ring to see how I did, you were there to keep me going and enjoy the fun times. I am truly blessed to have you as a dad, and I will always be grateful.

Meet Frank, the #DairyDad

Parker is known for a lot of things, most notably calling me “Becky with the ok hair” (since I’m not Beyonce not matter how hard I try), killing it on the dance floor and dropping bomb one liners. My favorite one liner is something he shared in his #DairyDad interview, “Currently at that stage in life where I’m learning everything my parents’ tried teaching me was right,” because well… same here, man. Don’t tell our parents we admitted it, but they are usually right… 🙂

Who may you be?

The name’s Parker, I’m 26 years old and graduated from Virginia Tech a whopping 5 years ago. Currently at that stage in life where I’m learning everything my parent’s tried teaching me was right. (Listen to your parent’s, kids! They do know best.)

Who is your #DairyDad?

Frank Welch, landscaping extraordinaire, prides himself on his lawn – it’s the second best thing he’s raised (My twin brother, Patrick and I are tied at #1). He works more hours than anyone I know but still found time to coach my brother and I throughout our baseball, basketball, and soccer careers. He’s currently addicted to the “good stuff” as he calls it – Fairlife Chocolate Milk.

How is your dad involved in the dairy industry? How has he supported you in the dairy industry?

My dad didn’t grow up in the dairy industry; he married into it. Although he did spend some time milking cows growing up as one of his many childhood jobs. The ways he’s supported (and still supports) me in the dairy industry are endless. Growing up showing, my dad “hauled ‘em and strawed ‘em,” in his words (he really cracked himself up with this one). When our grandparents sold their herd in 2004, our dad made it possible to keep show heifers at our house and ON HIS LAWN – that’s love folks. He did everything and anything for my brother and I growing up when it came to the cows.

One word to describe your dad and why you chose that word – go!

Selfless – He puts everyone before himself. EVERYONE. If there is someone who needs help with something, he’ll lend a hand – even to a complete stranger. There are numerous occasions where most people would have turned a blind eye, kept driving by, etc. but not my dad. I wish I were half as selfless as he is.

If you had the chance to say once last thing to your dad, what would it be?

Since I probably didn’t say it enough growing up – thank you for all that you did and continue to do. You are appreciated.

Dairy Dad Picture (Parker Welch)

Meet Rusty, the #DairyDad

If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Rusty Yeiser, I kinda sorta totally feel bad for you. Not only is he quite possibly the happiest man alive, he also makes a mean bloody mary (I mean come on… #priorities). Cheers to you, Rusty!

And who may you gals be?

The Yeiser Sisters, Emily Yeiser Stepp and Amy Yeiser Leslie, grew up just outside of Annapolis, MD leasing and showing dairy animals through the 4-H leasing program. They both attended Penn State University. Today, Emily (30) works with the national dairy animal care program and lives in Sterling, VA with her husband, Cody, and dog, Nittany. Amy (25) works in dairy promotion and lives with her husband, Joe, and dog, Sydney, in Butler, PA.

Who is your #DairyDad?

Rusty Yeiser grew up in Syracuse, NY making fun of the kids at the New York State Fair that laid down and cuddled with their dairy show heifers. What’s that saying about karma, dad….? Rusty attended the United States Naval Academy and retired from the Navy as Captain in 1998. Currently, he is a development officer for the Naval Academy Foundation and lives with his wife, Gail, in Arnold, MD. They have been married for 41 years. He loves to golf, cheer for Navy, Syracuse, Maryland, and Penn State college sports, and play with his grand-dogs.

How is your dad involved in the dairy industry? How has he supported you in the dairy industry?

Rusty had little involvement in the dairy industry growing up and until he met his wife, Gail. Shortly after they got married, he helped deliver his first dairy calf at a friend’s dairy farm. When Emily was 8, Gail learned of a new 4-H dairy leasing program that was only 20 minutes away from home, Rusty knew it was inevitable that his two girls would be involved. From watching The Masters golf tournament in the barn as the girls clipped for Spring Show, to being the best bucket holder, as he says,  ‘at the south end of a north facing cow,’ Dad has been there for us through every step of our journey in the dairy industry.

One word to describe your dad and why you chose that word – go!

Fun-loving Dadzabub aka best Dad ever!

If you had the chance to say one last thing to your dad, what would it be?

Words can barely begin to describe our love and appreciation for you, Daddyo. You have stood by us, entertaining our crazy ideas, asking the right questions, and always supporting our dreams with guidance and most importantly, unwavering love. We would not be where we are today, personally, professionally or as human beings without your constant presence in our lives. We both love you to the moon and back!

Christmas Card 2