Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The County Fair – Generations of Showing Cattle

This week is The Great Geauga County Fair. My sons will be exhibiting some dairy heifers at the fair. They look forward to the fair every year, just like I did when I was younger. It takes hard work to get the animals ready, but it’s all worth it to show them off and spend the week at the fair!

Our families have been showing dairy cattle at the county fair for generations. . . .

Me showing at the Tulare County Fair in 1982
My husband, Lad, at the Wayne County Fair
My mom, Carolyn, with Judy who was Jr Champion Guernsey at the Sacramento Co. Fair
My dad, Tony, (3rd from right) showing with Riverdale FFA
Lad's mom, Pat, won 1st in Showmanship with Peppy in August 1962
Lad's dad, Duane, with Comet who was Jr Champion at Wayne County Fair in 1954
My sons are carrying on the family tradition. Check back a week or two to see pictures and results from the fair.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summertime on the Farm

My family is having an active summer. It's been cooler than normal, which the cows like. My sons have been busy working with the animals they'll show at the County Fair at the end of August. We've had lots of cows calving this summer, so the boys like to check the maternity pen to see if any cows are getting ready to calve.

Here are some images of from our farm over the last few weeks. . . .
Garrett, Jack and Lad have a chat
A favorite cow, Chumey, with Jack
Curious cows take a drink after being milked
Lad spraying flies in the barn
A great grandma cow, she's 12 years-old and doing well in the herd!
There have been lots of births at the farm over the last few months.
Jack with his calf, Daisy
Jack shows Daisy to Grandma Pat
Garrett working with Lucy, one of the heifers he will show at the Fair in a few weeks
My parents, Tony and Carolyn, with Jack, Garrett and Lilly
Jack with farm kitty Sophie
The boys help me measure our growing corn

Garrett in our Sudan grass crop
My family enjoys showing visitors around the farm

The boys found a turtle, frogs, and tadpoles in the pond on our farm
We had some fun off the farm too. . . .
The boys on the Chagrin River
Fun at the water park
We love going to Lake Erie!
It's hard to believe school will be starting soon and fall is around the corner. We're savoring every moment of summer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Butter is the Best!

Butter is the real deal. You can't beat the taste of real butter for cooking and baking. It's a very simple food, the ingredient in butter is cream (and sometimes salt). It's real food. Maybe that's why butter consumption has increased across the country.

Butter has received lots of attention lately, check out these articles featuring the delicious golden gem:
Ending the War on Fat, Time Magazine
This article substantiates the fact that whole milk and butter is good for you.

“Changing views of nutrition are turning butter into one of the great comeback stories in U.S. food history. Humans have been eating butter for millennia, valuing its ability to store longer than most meat and its utility as a flavoring.” 

7 Reasons Why Butter is Good For You, Authority Nutrition  
This article lists the attributes of butter including some of its health benefits.

Speaking of butter, tomorrow is the first day of the Ohio State Fair where the famous butter cow display will be revealed. The American Dairy Association Mideast, an organization supported by Ohio dairy farmers, has done a butter cow display since 1903. For many, a highlight of the fair is seeing what unique display will be carved out of butter each year. 
The Butter Cow display at the 2014 Ohio State Fair

This year there was a contest to name the butter cow and calf. Submissions were made via Twitter using the hashtag #ButterCowNameGame. The winning names are Scarlet for the cow, and Grayce for the calf. For those not from Ohio, scarlet and gray are The Ohio State University colors.

The 2014 display features symbols of Ohio

The cow and calf watch over the display

The stars of the display Grayce and Scarlet
If you are going the Ohio State Fair, be sure to visit the butter cow display, take a selfie and tweet it with the hashtag #ButterCowSelfieContest. This year’s display features 15 symbols representing the history, character and spirit of Ohio, including a carnation, cardinal, whitetail deer, and tomato among others. This display was created using 2,033 pounds of butter.

In addition to this wonderful butter display, the American Dairy Association Mideast building offers ice cream, streams dairy farmer videos, has an Ag Is Cool Station for kids and more. It’s worth your time to stop in.

Click here to see a video featuring the butter cow display.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coming Soon. . . Rowdy Cow Creamery

Rowdy Cow Creamery, our new on-farm milk processing facility, is progressing. The equipment installation is almost complete and we’re excited to start bottling milk soon! We have a few more steps before we’re ready to go, but I wanted to give you a progress report.

Here’s a look at the recent happenings. . .
The bottle filler equipment was delivered and unloaded
Lad moves the bottle filler onto the porch
The bottle filler arrives in the Creamery
This equipment will fill bottles with our fresh milk
The pipeline transports fresh milk from our cows to the vat pasteurizer
The Creamery is almost ready to bottle milk!
The Rowdy Cow Creamery crates are ready to be filled with bottles of milk
Soon, I hope to be sharing photos of us bottling milk! Stay tuned. . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June at the Dairy – Crops, Tours, Parties, 4-H & Kittens

The last few weeks have been full of action at our farm. These images share the activity we’ve enjoyed during the last few weeks.  

Garrett and the other Geauga Dairymen 4-H club members started working with their animals. This involves petting and brushing them. Then getting a halter on to lead them around when they are ready.

Garrett with Lucy (the black & white heifer) and Vanessa (red & white heifer)
Garrett and Jack brush the heifers
Jack connects with Lucy, the heifer Garrett showed at the Fair in 2013
Jack and Garrett hold two of the new kittens at the farm
Jack loves the kittens!
Farm cat, Peaches, with her babies
The 4-H boys play with the kittens while the cows watch
The planting of our corn and Sudan grass crops is complete for 2014! These crops are emerging from the soil. It's a great feeling to see the crops growing. The weather is cooperating this year!

Corn emerging from the soil
The corn crop
We've been busy with tours. In the last few weeks, we've hosted nine groups on our farm.

Students watch cows in the milking parlor, the cows are curious about the students too!
Jack shows the students a milking machine while they observe the milking process
Students watching the cows milking
A Day Camp group having lunch in the Parlor Room
Visitors interacting with the calves
My Dad gives visitors a ride around the farm
College Dietetic Interns say hello to the heifers
Young visitors enjoy the tractor on the playground
Fun on the tire snake
My sons are out of school for the summer. They invited some of their friends to the farm to celebrate the last day of school.

My Dad gives another wagon ride through the barn. Thanks Dad!
Jack and his buddies in the corn box
Rowdy boys on the parlor balcony
This calf really likes Ben!
Jack's buddies are ready for a ride on the train
The celebration of June Dairy Month continues!

The boys climbing on the hay bales
The center of our farm . . . the cows. We love our cows!

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