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

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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

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 17.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 9/8/2017

“Welp.. here we go.” Florida dairy farmers preparing for IRMA

We’ve had an interesting few weeks of weather, and it’s not getting boring any time soon. Hurricane IRMA is making it’s way to the U.S. and Florida is expected to get hit… hard. Many people are evacuating the state, but dairy farmers (and other types of farmers) can’t buy their cows a plane ticket. So, they’re preparing the best they can. You can read about it more in this article. Let’s keep Florida in our thoughts and prayers and hope that we don’t have to help them recover. But if we do – be prepared to help. Why? Because we’re Americans.

“My friends call me Whole Paycheck.” Whole Foods

Whole Foods has a reputation of being really expensive. Now that they’ve been purchased by Amazon, that might change. Amazon said “let’s relax” and is planning on cutting prices back on select items (what people are calling “the staples“). Some are saying that this is so it can take on more lower-priced competitor stores, others are saying they’re not that significant and are only doing it for attention. Time will tell if this helps Whole Foods gain some business back by not taking your whole paycheck, or if the price cuts aren’t enough.

“I’m all natural.” When you wear mascara, foundation and bronzer in a #nomakeup selfie

“Natural” is a word that really, no one is quite sure what it means. It’s caused enough confusion that it’s spurred legal action. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has promised consumers that they’d provide an answer of what it means and who’s allowed to put it on their packaging – but that still hasn’t happened. Companies like Sargento (the fancy cheese in a dark red package) and Walmart have been sued over what some think are “false claims.” But technically, they haven’t said anything that they’re not allowed to, because there isn’t a legal definition of what a “natural” food product is. Confused yet?

Picture of the week. 

Another shot of Dori and one of her cow friends, taken by Emily Shaw. The world is a really crazy place, and recently I’ve felt extra thankful for everything I have. My cows and pup are safe, and I hope that our friends facing crazy weather are able to protect their loved ones and animals as well!

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 16.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 9/1/2017

“Harvey has nothing on the spirit of Americans.” Our country supporting Texas

Areas of Texas have been hit by Hurricane Harvey and the flooding has been something that Noah would have built an ark for. While there weren’t any sharks swimming up the Houston freeway (despite some of Twitter’s users best efforts to fool us) there were over 18,600 people rescued, along with animals. Unfortunately, 24 people have died (this is a count that was last seen on MSNBC’s morning report on 8/31). This week’s picture of the week is a photo and video of cattle being moved to dry land. It’s almost impossible to believe the pictures and footage on the news, but it’s a very proud time to be an American as we all come together to help each other out. If you’re interested in donating, check out this NY Times article that provides different ways to help and organizations to donate money towards.

“WE ARE…. REALLY EXCITED!” PSU fans who love ice cream

The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is famous for their milkshakes. People will stand in line for (literally) hours to get one of these bad boys. Now, they’re selling them at Penn State football games. They’ll even be blue and white to get spectators in the spirit. You pay $6 and they give $1 from every sale to Fill a Glass with Hope, a fundraiser providing milk to those who can’t afford it. Boom.

Picture of the week.

Capture

Americans are awesome. Watch the footage of these cattle being moved to dry ground in Texas here.

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 15.

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 partyShatto 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.

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 14.

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!

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 13.

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.

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I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 12.

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.

 

usda family farms

“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.

tyler shaw

I’ve Got Moos For You. Vol 11.

Stuff I read about this week that you should care about 7/28/2017

“Who ya gunna call? Myth-busters!” The Washington Post

There are so many fads and “freak-outs” over food, it’s hard to keep up with what’s legit and what’s not. The Washington Post recently wrote an article where they tackle “10 mega myths” about farming and food.  Below are the 10 myths they broke down and why why they think we should “chill, homie” while grocery shopping. You can read the full article here.

  1. Most farms are corporate-owned. 99% are family owned.
  2. Food is expensive. This isn’t the 1920s.
  3. Farming is traditional and low tech. Tractors are already driving themselves. Where you at, Tesla?
  4. A pesticide is a pesticide is a pesticide. Not quite. There’s a lot more to it.
  5. Organic farmers and conventional farmers don’t get along. They even get drinks together.
  6. A GMO is a GMO is a GMO. These aren’t aliens.
  7. Only meat with a “hormone-free” label is hormone free. Hormone free meat doesn’t exist.
  8. Only meat with an “antibiotic-free” label is antibiotic free. All meat is antibiotic free… it’s the law.
  9. Foods labeled “natural” are produced differently. What does natural even mean?
  10. Chemicals are the biggest threat to food safety. More like E. coli – right, Chipotle?

 

“I’m going for a natural, windswept look.” Dan Miller (probably in his head)

Dairy farmer Dan Miller, the owner of Corfu – New York-based Miller Sonshine Acres Farm, is utilizing what ruins a good hair day – wind. Miller installed two Northern Power 100 kW turbines on his farm (one in 2014, the second in 2016). Northern Power Systems Corp has been creating these turbines for over 40 years. These have generated a lot of power for Miller (over 180,000 kilowatt-hours of energy the first half of  2017). Northern Power, along with Buffalo Renewables, Inc., recently hosted an “Open Turbine Day” on the farm, allowing others to see the turbines up close, how they operate and the energy benefits they’ve given. Miller reflects on his decision to purchase and install these, saying “I’m concerned about climate change and see the value in renewable energy… But the bottom line is, I thought I could save some money — and this has proven to be a great way to do that.”

 

“I’m never leaving my bed.” Portland residents

Ice cream just got even sweeter in Portland, ME. Salli Wason runs Rosanna’s Ice Cream, named after her favorite band Toto, which is an ice cream delivery service. Wason says she’ll have the ice cream to you within an hour of you ordering it. She even has a few competitors. Now that’s the type of business battle I want in my back yard.

 

Opinion Piece.

What The Health is a new film that wants you to go vegan. However, some are coming out against the movie saying “Uhm, this isn’t accurate,” and “Not so fast guys.” This article calls out faults in the movie. Read it here.