Ask Away

Did you know that September 28th is ‘Ask a Stupid Question Day?’  Neither did I until recently!  You’re probably asking yourself how this holiday got its start!  It’s okay to ask.  According to Wikipedia, “This holiday was created by teachers in the 1980s to encourage students to ask more questions in the classroom.  Kids sometimes hold back, fearing their question is stupid, and asking it will result in ridicule.”  Probably most of us have feared that potential ridicule at some point—I know I have.

Steven Wright asked, ‘After they make Styrofoam, what do they ship it in?’  Dumb question—or   healthy curiosity?  If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about it?  This is a good question.  The song lyric is ‘Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care’.  Therefore, the singer doesn’t care, but others may.

You and I know there is no such thing as a stupid question.  Without asking questions, how are we going to learn?

As a dairy industry leader, I’ve gotten many questions over the years that I view as great opportunities to educate and share stories about farming!  Do brown cows give chocolate milk?  Do all cows give milk?  Are cows female?  How much milk can a cow give in one day?  How do I know the milk I drink is safe?

I welcome these and other questions because they indicate the asker is interested and would like to know the answer!  And in case you don’t know:  Brown cows do not give chocolate milk.  Cows must first have a calf before they give milk.  Yes.  Cows are female.  On average, a cow can give about six gallons or 96 8-ounce cups of milk per day.  Milk and dairy products are among the most highly regulated foods in this country!  Milk and dairy foods are subject to many government required or voluntary industry safety checks from farm to table.  Pasteurization is the most important food safety tool in use in the world today and further assures that the milk and dairy foods you purchase and consume are safe.

So ask away.  Remember:  there are no stupid questions.  You’re curious, you want to know—just ask!

Find out more about milk, cows and dairy farming when you visit www.dairyfarmingtoday.org!

Let’s Celebrate World School Milk Day!

In the UK, Members of Parliament served as honorary milk monitors for the day.

By Mary Nicholson

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 26.  It’s the 13th annual World School Milk Day!!  Beggining in 2000 with assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, celebrations are held in countries across the globe to help bring attention to the goodness of milk and its role in good nutrition for students.

Continue reading

September 24th – Family Day!

By Mary Nicholson

September 24, 2012 is not only my father-in-law’s 81st birthday, it’s also Family Day.  What’s that?  Family Day is a national initiative to remind parents that what your kids really want at the dinner table is YOU!  Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia™) has consistently found that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. Not only that, but another benefit is that most people eat more balanced meals and a wider variety of foods when they eat with family or friends.  Eating a wider variety of foods helps ensure a better intake of nutrients.

Continue reading

September is Self-Improvement Month

By DeDe Hausmann

September has been declared Self-Improvement Month and that can mean many things.  To me, that means Let’s Get Healthy and maybe we need a month to really look  at ourselves and ask, “Am I as healthy as I could be”?

Being healthy brings two lifestyle areas to mind, physical and mental health.  If you don’t feel good about yourself in these areas, you might need to make some changes.

Continue reading

What the Drought Means for Dairy Farms

By Kimmi Devaney

Farmers throughout Indiana have faced the worst drought in decades this year. The drought has impacted cow feed for dairies, and many dairy farmers are looking at various feed options. Dairy farmer Paul Mills of Ossian explains how the drought has affected his dairy farm and how this may impact milk production.

Continue reading

Breakfast Benefits

By Diane Ruyack

You and your children will feel full longer and may get less hungry throughout the day if your first meal has protein-rich foods, such as eggs, Greek yogurt, low-fat dairy products or lean meat, and fiber-filled fare, such whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal, fruit and vegetables. These foods appear to have more staying power than highly processed foods such as bagels, muffins, doughnuts and sugary cereals unless you add cheese, yogurt cheese spread and/or milk to them.

Continue reading

Making Portions Equal Servings

By Diane Ruyack

Today, one large obstacle is that most people are serving-size challenged, thanks to today’s large portions: mega-muffins, heaping plates of pasta, behemoth burgers and extra-large bagels. According the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a “portion” can be thought of as the amount of a specific food you choose to eat. Portions can be bigger or smaller than the recommended food servings. A “serving” is a unit of measure used to describe the amount of food recommended from each food group. For example, a recommended serving of whole grains would be one slice of bread or a half cup of rice or pasta. Current recommendations are for 6 to 11 servings of whole grains a day.

Continue reading