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.

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Dairy Cows, Baby Calves and Ice Cream…See you at the Indiana State Fair!

By Kimmi Devaney

It’s State Fair time! For many, this brings to mind images of greasy food and ferris wheels. But for me, I can’t wait to visit the dairy barn! I grew up showing dairy cows and still do on occasion, so the fair was always vacation for us. Take a stroll through the dairy barn and you will see cows of all colors and sizes. All six breeds—Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns—will be represented.

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Knollbrook Farm: A Day with the “Girls”

By Lindsay Martin, Ball State Dietetic Intern

Prior to this week, I had never been to a dairy farm.  I am 25 years old and it was finally time to make my first visit!  My wonderful colleague and I took a road trip to visit “the girls”, also known as dairy cows, in Goshen, Indiana.  Knollbrook Farm, owned by the hard-working Adam family, kindly welcomed and showed us all the effort and care going into producing milk.

As I made my way to the cow’s parlor to visit some of the cows, I noticed other cows were enjoying grazing on grass in the pasture.  I went to the farm at the perfect time; the local veterinarian was performing health check-ups  that same morning.  The veterinarian comes every 6 weeks to ensure the health of every cow and calf.  I must say, the cows are extremely friendly and cute—they loved to “kiss” our salty hands.  I now understand why people have antique cow collectibles as home décor; the girls have a way stealing your heart.  Continue reading

Things Dad and Grandpa Taught Me

By DeDe Hausmann

If you know any farmers, then you know how hard-working they are.  Since I am blessed to work for Indiana dairy farmers (and I can tell you in 16 years of working for them I haven’t met one I didn’t like and admire), I had the privilege of contacting some of them to get input for this blog.

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Have You Read Any Good Farm Books to Your Kids or Grandkids Recently?

By DeDe Hausmann

April 2nd was National Children’s Book Day. Don’t get stressed if you missed that day!!!  Kids always need to read or have good books read to them and that special day was just meant to recognize the important relationship that books should play in children’s lives.   Studies have shown that reading to a small child and then fostering that child to read on her/his own later will help them be better students.  And who doesn’t want our young people to be the best that they can be in school?

Do you remember your favorite “farm” books from childhood?  Little ones LOVE books about animals and I bet we all remember OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM.  (And everyone remembers the accompanying song that can go on forever and ever, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm, E –I- E- I –O.  And on his farm he had a …………..” ).  I didn’t realize that there are loads of versions of OLD MACDONALD books and all are different.  Get your kids (especially ages 4-8) to compare the stories, pics, etc.  I’ve got to check out OLD MACDONALD HAD AN APARTMENT HOUSE, by Judi Barrett, with illustrations by her husband, Ron Barrett.  As tenants move out, the super, Old MacDonald, moved in veggie gardens and farm animals and they thrived; that is, until the owner came by to pick up the rent.  This has got to be a HOOT.

Remember the book, THE LITTLE RED HEN? Her grandson, in THE LITTLE RED CHICKEN, by Joy Cowley, wants to have a party but his buddies won’t help him plan and  set it up.  They just want to eat his food so he asks his grandma for advice and she tells him to “not let them in”.  But he’s a caring guy and invites his friends.  They realize how much work he did for them and they regret not assisting him and tell him so.

Another neat sounding ag book is MRS WISHY WASHY’S FARM, by Joy Cowley, with graphics by Elizabeth Fuller.  Pre-K thru 1st graders will love when they hear how Mrs. Wishy Washy loves to bathe the farm animals in a tin tub.  The animals revolt and run away to the city.  You’ll read about their urban “dirty” misadventures before they hurry back home to the farm.

ANIMALS SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT WEAR CLOTHING, by Judi and Ron Barrett, shows that animal “clothing” is perfect, as is.  It’s so funny to see animals in “human” clothing.  Kids of all ages will LOVE this book.

GOOGLE for more farm animal book titles and then head off to your nearest library or bookstore and check out these books for a great read for all (especially for the little ones).  You enjoyed reading about farm animals when you were young.  Bring that joy to the little people in your life!


March is Women’s History Month- Let’s SHOUT OUT to the Ladies

By DeDe Hausman

The 2011 theme for WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH is: OUR HISTORY IS OUR STRENGTH.   Women unite families, communities, and nations and have for centuries.  That’s why this celebration was designated in 1980 by joint resolutions of the House and Senate and by proclamations by FIVE American Presidents.  It’s an opportunity to celebrate women’s unique historical achievements.

Usually honorees are recognized for national achievements but this year local organizations and institutions have been asked to recognize and honor women within their own communities who have shown courage, strength and creativity during challenging times.  And considering the economic climate of our country we should recognize women who are making a difference.

In the past, women’s achievements weren’t recognized.  Many female endeavors were undervalued or even dismissed entirely.  Thank heavens many people now place men and women’s successes on equal footing.  It doesn’t make a difference what gender a person is; what makes a difference is what a person has accomplished especially during challenging times.

In my 16 years working for the dairy industry I can think of many female dairy farmers who have made or are making a difference in their communities and in our state.  One in particular that comes to mind is LuAnn Troxel, of Hanna, Indiana.  She became a dairy farmer 27 years ago when she married her husband, Tom, who had been a dairyman for 13 prior years.  For years she has been an advocate for our industry.  Many a time she has welcomed “city folk” to their farm and makes sure they leave knowing all about the dairy industry.  She loves dairy farmers and feels they are practical, hard-working people who care about their animals while protecting the environment.  And she’s always touting the healthful benefits of dairy products.  On top of that she is currently the president of Indiana Professional Dairy Producers (IPDP), which is an organization that promotes a profitable, positive and professional image of Indiana Dairy Producers.  In years to come LuAnn’s achievements in and for our industry will be well-documented.

I’m sure you can think of many women in your communities who have made or are making a difference.  Go to nwhp.org (National Women’s History Project) for more info and let’s recognize what women have done or are doing to benefit our communities, our country and possibly our world.


Links We Hope You’ll Love

By DeDe Hausman

We want you to know what dairy farmers do and there’s no easier way than via many website links (including Dairy Farming Today, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and many of these you can get to via our website, WINNERSDRINKMILK.COM.   Check out the following links and you’ll be surprised about all the interesting info that you can learn about the dairy industry.

On the header towards the top of our home page, click on DAIRY FARMING.  Here you can view and listen to videos produced on 5 Indiana dairy farms.  These are meant to give you a “birds’ eye view” of dairy farming.  You can listen to radio spots, too.  This link can also take you to DAIRY FARMING TODAY.ORG, a website produced by American’s dairy farmers.  You can see up close and personal what dairy farmers from Maine to California are doing to provide all of us with wholesome, delicious and nutritious dairy products. Continue reading