Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teach Me Tuesday: Dairy Farms


William checking cows
Many times people are confused when I talk about our dairy farm.  They want to know what type of farm are we? Where do we sell our milk?  How are our cows treated?  Well over the next couple of weeks I am going to take the time to answer those questions. 


Early mornings in the milking parlor...it's a family affair

 Our farm is a family owned operation.  Meaning that our family does the work.  We do have a couple of high school and college students that help out on nights and weekends however the majority of the work is done by family members.   To give we an idea we milk roughly 100 cows.   We have Holsteins (Black & White Cows),  Jersey (Smaller brown cows) , Brown Swiss (larger brown cows everything from gray to chocolate colored), Ayrshire (smaller sized red and white cows)  and Guernsey (larger sized Red & White cows) all represented but we mainly have Holsteins and Holstein/Jersey crosses.  

Feeding heifers after church
The cows are milked twice a day.  We milk in a double 8 which means we milk 8 cows on each side at one time, so if both lines are full we are milking 16 cows.  I will explain more about the milking process at another time.  Today we are focusing on what we produce...that is the product that you purchase...MILK!
The milk from our cows is shipped to a local processing plant and pasteurized to be used in all types of dairy products (mainly fluid milk products).  You can check out where your milk came from here: Where is My Milk From?
An udder view
You can go to the grocery store and purchase our milk usually found under the Pet or Dean's food brand.  My son loves to go to McDonald's and get milk with his Happy Meals because our McD's uses Dean food milk (at least in our area).  

Now to say we drink a lot of milk is probably the understatement of the year!  We go through a ton of milk a week.  Below is an info-graphic on milk that does a great job of sharing how milk is cared for, nutrition facts and more!  


So there you have it...a little about our farm and about Milk.  Next week we will talk more about the cows and how they are cared for!  

Until then...

Caci