Thursday, November 29, 2012

For Family

Did you know that 99% of dairy farms in the U.S. are family owned? That is certainly a tradition that rings true on our farm as we are 100% family owned and operated. So that means our work force consists of the 4 of us and a very driving micro manager who calls most of the shots on our daily deeds. Some times it is a hard balancing act, there are definitely days when I wish my boss/partner wasn't family. And wishing that the work could just stay at the barn and not follow me home. But I wouldn't have it any other way, they say the family that works together stays together and I truly believe that. It's a much deeper respect and understanding I have for my parents and husband as I work by them everyday. It is a togetherness that strengthens us all through the good times and even more through the hard times.
And I consider myself lucky and blessed to be a part of the tradition of family farms. It's a very special breed of people who choose to live this life. The more I look at others lives in this industry the more I am affirmed that it all comes back to the same roots of family.
So today and everyday I am Thankful for Family!

{Wordless Wednesday}

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all the Happiest Thanksgiving!
From Suey and all of us here on the farm I hope this day finds you surrounded by those you love, with great food (and maybe even great drinks!) and too many things to be thankful for!

I am certainly thankful for our farm; our lifestyle that allows us to live the way we want and help provide for this world. Our family; near and far and all around, these are the people who make us who we are. And although times are tough sometimes I am very thankful for all those little things that make my everyday possible. I hope you can take a minute to be thankful for all you have as well!

Enjoy and be safe this Holiday weekend!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

For all the Helping Hands

Dairy farming is a 24/7, 365 days a year job! Our family works hard around the clock to provide the best possible product we can. But we don't go it alone, here are just a few of the many people involved and I am Thankful for all of them!

Our Veterinary: Doc is pretty much a part of the family, as we have had the same vet for my entire lifetime. He still laughs and remembers his first call to our farm when he was fresh out of school and Grandpa was here. He's here once a month for a herd check-up and always on call for emergencies. A vital lifeline in any dairy operation is a good vet, just like your family doctor we take our Ladies health very seriously!

Our Hay Grower: We have an amazing family that we work with in Eastern Oregon that grows all our alfalfa hay. We don't do any actual farming ourselves, except for grass hay for our heifers and calves we bale ourselves, all other feed is bought and brought onto our farm. We have such a great partnership and are so blessed to have a direct source for the best food for our Ladies!

Our Nutritionist: Helping make those decisions about the best food is our Nutritionist. There are so many choices in the world of dairy food, and so many prices and other obstacles to running a successful feeding program. We'd be lost navigating all of that without our nutritionist.

Our Milk Haulers and Plant Workers: We work 365 days a year because the cows are always making milk. So the other end of that is having someplace for that milk to go. The milk truck is here every other day and it doesn't get here on it's own, that requires a truck driver. So even Christmas and Thanksgiving those guys are working hard to make sure the freshest product gets to the plant to be processed. And at the plant there are lots of hard workers making delicious products with our milk!

Our Farm Community: Last but definitely not least the farming community. This is a hard one to put into words, but we all look out for each other in the farm community. In times of trouble or trial there is always someone willing to lend a helping hand. It's a spirit of togetherness that comes with no expectations, simply the knowledge that you will also be there when they need your help. And in times of triumph we are all celebrating together, there is a shared success in each others accomplishments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Welcome Little Ones!

Two new heifer calves for Mistery and Admire. Mistery is the cow on the left and her calf is the top left baby. Admire is on the right and her baby is the bottom left.
Birth is an almost daily event here on the farm. Last week we welcomed two new baby girls. A 1G434 Golden J Les George heifer calf from Abiqua Acres Alstar Mistery. And a 7G405 Golden J Ronald Grumpy heifer calf from Abiqua Acres Mints Admire. These are the second calves and first daughters for both mama's and happy to report that everyone is doing great!

Even though it is a daily event, we still celebrate every birth. I especially look forward to what traits are obvious in the new little ones from their Mom's. Like the picture above shows, Admire's baby (bottom left) has the same markings on her face, just the opposite side. Funny how genetics picks certain things to carry on! 

{Wordless Wednessday}

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mid-Week Meal

I struggle on a daily basis to get a decent meal on the dinner table! One of my organizational downfalls, and seems like I am just out of energy and ideas by the time I get in from the barn. The cows come first and all their needs are met before anyone else's! On those days I have a few fall back recipes that are easy to fix and delicious. And when I actually do remember to fix something before leaving for the barn, I utilize my crock pot to the fullest! One of my favorite appliances, nothing like having dinner ready and waiting when you get in from milking, or whatever your mid-week craziness might hold for you. So here's my crock pot adaptation of this recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chillies
1 can chicken broth
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 onion diced
Cooked Shredded Chicken (I love to make extra meat when I am doing a main entree. This is a great recipe for using those leftovers. Use as much chicken as you want)
Spices: Mexican oregano, cumin, paprika, chilli pepper (I used a pinch of each of these, I like spices!)

Just make sure your chicken is cooked before and add everything to your crock pot. Mix well, the refried beans take a little mixing together. I usually do it on low heat, but I am sure high would work as well. The longer you let it cook, the more the flavors will soak in!  I've also done this in a soup pan on the stove top in a pinch, really is a quick fix.

Oh and it's great served with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Makes sure to thank a dairy farmer for those products! And also tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla chips, great use for the crumbs at the bottom of the bag!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

For Dairy Farming

Thoughtful Thursday, Thankful Thursday, Farm edition!

I love the month of November! The world lights up in one last spectacular show from nature, as the leaves fall from the trees. The temperatures begin to dip, making your crave a toasty warm fire, soup and comfort. And we celebrate Thanksgiving! I love taking a few moments to really appreciate all that we have, helps put things into perspective. Especially in an industry with so many ups and downs, the downs can be an overwhelming burden. I know I won't be able to get them all down here, there is so much to be Thankful for on the Farm, but here are a few of my favorites!

Growing up and now raising my son on the Farm: What an amazing blessing! I loved being a farm kid (for the most part!) and I can see already how much my son enjoys it. He is such an animal lover, his excitement over the simplest things, like feeding bottles, makes every day a new adventure. And the skills, work ethic and everything other little thing he'll pick up from the Farm are things that couldn't be taught in the same manner anywhere else!

The animals on the Farm: I am an animal lover, always have been, always will be. From our lovely Ladies, to the chickens, dogs and cats the animals are truly what makes the farm.  Somewhat obvious, because a dairy requires dairy cows, so equally Thankful for the amazing breed we work with, the Guernsey!

The milking machines on the Farm: Maybe a silly one, but boy am I glad we don't milk by hand anymore!

And lastly.....

Just being on the Farm: This is a big one for me as this wasn't where I always thought I wanted to end up. I spent quite a few years dreaming of a different life, different job. But I can't imagine any other lifestyle now! Sure I still have my days where I am wondering why I did make this choice, but when I really think about it, the pros usually out weigh the cons: Working side by side with my family, being my own boss, being able to work from home and raise my son at the same time, doing something I enjoy, not having to be presentable for work-the ladies don't care that my hair is less then perfect and there's never any makeup involved, being a country girl, working with an awesome herd of cows and taking pride in what I am doing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

{Wordless Wednesday}

 Yet again I find my time at the keyboard idle and it's a week into November. So here is a Summer Montage of photos for life here on the farm!