With Plant 13 finish, the farm crew moved onto the first cutting of grass hay
With Plant 13 finish, the farm crew moved onto the first cutting of grass hay
Today (March 19) is National Ag Day, a day to celebrate the wonderful world of Agriculture. As a farmer, I cannot imagine a day when I do not get my hands dirty or welcome a brand new calf into the world or discuss agriculture.
No one on this planet could go a day without Agriculture. You are part of Agriculture from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. Agriculture is everywhere. Beyond the plate, farmers and ranchers produce items you use every day.
On National Ag Day, we need to celebrate AGRICULTURE and the abundance, variety food choices that U.S. Farmers and Ranchers provide for the World. Whether your food choice is conventional, organic, all natural, local, gluten-free, vegetarian, or all animal protein; we need to be thankful for the affordable choices available to us as consumers in this nation. Despite the rising food costs in the grocery store, the U.S. still has the cheapest and more food choices for its citizens. Read More
The winter months are Calving Season for Day Cattle Farm. Despite the cold temperatures and unpredictable Illinois weather, I personally enjoy calving season. The miracle of birth can provide a whole new perspective to your life. However, I will not lie monitoring the labor process of an animal is quite stressful. Knowing when to step in assist or just wait it out is difficult when the mom can only communicate with you through nonverbal cues.
This year we added new technology to our maternity ward – a barn cam. The camera has allowed us to watch the first part of labor without making the mom nervous.
During the calving season, we place females in the maternity ward pens if they are in close to their birthing date. Although newborns can come anytime during the day, the night seems to be a very popular time and sport the most extreme temperatures. In the morning we let the cows out to exercise and fill up on nutritional items unless they show signs of calving. The cows still have access to warm barn.
On a rare day during lunchtime, my husband noticed that my daughter’s heifer, Champion, was embarking on her first calving. Fortunate for us, she chosen to come into the barn and was in full view of the barn cam. Since this calf actually came without intervention and during the day , it was a wonder opportunity for me to share the first hour of calf’s life with the world.
Each mother cow have different personality. It is natural for them to be extremely protective of the newborn calf. After all designed by nature the cow will protect its calf from any dangers. So unless you are trained in handling cattle, it is highly advised not to approach any cow with a calf.
Now, I will admit I have all degree of protective moms in my herd. In fact, I have cows that break the norm for allowing my family including my children to be in the pen during the birthing process and the first hours of life. Since my herd is small, it is easier for my family to build trust with each cow.
As soon as calf is born, a cow will begin cleaning and removing the birthing sack. Since the majority of our calves are born during cold months, I will assist in cleaning process in order to avoid frostbite to set in.
After we are certain the bond between mom and baby have been formed, we will perform several tasks to keep the newborn calf healthy. Depending on the mom’s degree of protectiveness, we will either administrate newborn vaccination in the pen with the mom present or move her to a separate pen. In this particular case, Champion allowed us to coat the umbilical cord with iodine, measure for birth weight, and administrate newborn vaccination (just vitamins) while she licked her calf and us.
So in grand fashion let me introduce you to Champion’s first heifer calf, Daiquiri. She weighed 74lbs. The next step in this healthy calf’s live is to take her first steps. For me this is the most rewarding part of the birthing process. It always takes my breath away while I watch the first steps and wait to for the calf to take its first drink of milk.
More Facts about Pork
Agriculture products are often grouped into Food, Fiber and Fuel. However, every day you utilize items made from raw materials produced on farm or ranch. Test your knowledge. I have gather graphics and list of non-food products from livestock and crops. This just some of the items.
It takes all U.S. Farmers and Ranchers to produce the items you use every day. The important thing to remember is YOU are part of agriculture from the food you eat to insulation in your house to biofuel in your car. Agriculture is important part of your life and important part of U.S. Economy.
Adhesives, Anti-corrosive agents, Anti-static agents, Asphalt emulsions, Caulking compounds, Core oils, Cleansing Materials, Cosmetics, Diesel fuel, Disinfectants, Dust control agent, Electrical insulation, Epoxies, Films for Packaging, Fungicides, Herbicides, Inks-printing, Insecticides, Leather substitutes, Linoleum backing, Metal-casting/working, Medicine, Oiled fabrics, Paints, Particle Board, Pesticides, Pigments, Plastics, Plywood, Polyesters, Protective coatings, Putty, Rubber Manufacture, Soaps/shampoo/detergents, Textiles, Texture Paints, Vinyl plastics, Waterproof cement, Wallboard, Wetting Agent.
249 Bed Sheets
409 Men’s Sport Shirts
690 Terry Bath Towels
765 Men’s Dress Shirts
1,217 Men’s T-Shirts
2,104 Boxer Shorts
2,419 Men’s Briefs
4,321 Mid-Calf Socks
6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs
21,960 Women’s Handkerchiefs
313,600 $100 Bills*
Many people who visit our beef farm are surprised to learn that the color of the tongue of our purebred Angus Cattle are grey. The tongue surface is also very rough.
I do not recommend that you get as close as my daughter to examine a cow’s tongue. Remember this is a cow she owns and works with every day. They have earned each other’s trust.
Immigrants brought Dairy cows by ship from Europe to provided milk and meat for their families. Realizing the first Thanksgiving probably did not include goodness from the dairy animals but as settlers came to America so did dairy cows.
At the turn of the century, cities grew and the demand for mass production of milk and other dairy products sparked innovation. Significant inventions such as commercial milk bottles, milking machines, tuberculin tests for cattle, pasteurization equipment, refrigerated milk tank cars, and automatic bottling machines contributed towards making milk a healthful and commercially viable product.
It is important to remember that whole milk from dairy cows, sheep, or goats is the raw product to produce all other dairy products: cheese, whipping cream, butter, and ice cream. It is no secret that dairy products especially milk are vital to the development of strong bones and reduce the risk for developing rickets and osteoporosis. Rule of thumb: It takes 3 cups of cooked broccoli to equal the calcium in 1 cup of milk, 1 oz of cheese contains 8 grams of protein, and 8 oz serving of low fat yogurt contains the same potassium as banana.
Presently, Thanksgiving menus will include some type of dairy product from milk in the glass to whipping cream on desserts. In 2010, U.S. Dairy farms produced 192.8 billion pounds of milk valuing at $31.4 billion. Wisconsin and California have always battled for bragging rights as top producing state. California “Happy Cows” moved ahead in 1993 in total fluid milk, butter, ice cream, and nonfat dairy production. However, Wisconsin remains number one producer of cheese.
The collection of milk would not be possible without hardworking farmers-Thank You- who enter a new level of commitment by milking two to three times a day. While the total dollars brought into our nation’s economy seems like a large sum, it is must be noted that the price the farmer receives for milk in recent years have been so low that some have said they are paying for milk to be hauled off the farm for processing instead of being paid for the raw product. Did you know that when you purchase 1 gallon of Milk at $4.39 the Farmer’s Share is $1.71?
Visit Midwest Dairy Farmers for great videos
Midwest Dairy Association (photos, videos, and other great info)
The British Toy Retailer Association has already named a toy dog that poops, Doggie Doo, the “Must Have” Toy for the Christmas Season. For $24.99 your child can feed the dog a play-doh feed and squeeze its tail to “make” it poop. Manure Engineers in training?
The Doggie Doo is one toy this Farm Mom will not be purchasing. My farm kids have the real version- dog and cattle. There is not a day they do not feed their animals and clean up after them.
So it begs the question, did the U.S Department of Labor approves this?
Seriously, the proposed changes to Child Labor law prohibits anyone under 16 “to suffer or permit to work” with livestock including removing “poop” from the stalls or pens. The experience of caretaking livestock-owned or supervised work experience- teaches children great responsibility. Not to mention the extra bonus of getting the kids off the couch.