Archive for the ‘animal care’ Category

Did you know we’re halfway through June? How did that happen?

Either way, it’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up!

  • Are you a wine drinker? You are? Then you need to check out this article on NPR’s The Salt. It’s all about the terroir that makes magic in your wine. See, you don’t know what terroir is (at least I didn’t) and that makes you want to read the article. I know it does.
  • This because, obviously. 13419180_885696671559964_5855288553894939206_n
  • This story, from an NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, which is the best case of irony. EVER. Lunch, anyone?
  • This article, from AnimalAntibiotics.org, which breaks down some of the misconceptions around antibiotic use in food animals and how antibiotic use there might affect antibiotic use in human health. It’s an issue that receives a lot of press these days, and this piece has great information.
  • And finally, this, because it’s Father’s Day and my husband is a great dad. And this picture is just too great not to share. Happy Father’s Day to all of the great dads out there! Hannah 14.jpg






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Who doesn’t love it?

H just got the opportunity to try chocolate milk the other day and was immediately hooked. In fact, I’m a little concerned I’ve created a monster.

For me, it combines two of my favorite things: chocolate and dairy cows.

Which is why, when I found this story, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen! Plus, it will add a kick to an industry that could use some rejuvenation right now.


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It’s time for another edition of the Weekly Round Up. We have a lot of ground to cover, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  • Check out this awesome video about Concrete Cowboys, kids in Philadelphia who ride horses in the heart of the city.
  • If you’ve visited Standing Out in the Field before, you might remember me telling you about my own farm background, and the hard-working farm womenmost importantly my mom — I’m privileged to know. Well, direct from Illinois Farmer Today, here are some more pretty extraordinary farm women who are blazing the agricultural trail. Check it out.  All-States-Womeninag%20(1)
  • This, because cheese is awesome. Cheese
  • This blog post, from Illinois Farm Families, which talks about steps farm families take to ensure they’re raising animals responsibly. It’s a great read if you have questions about how food animals are raised and cared for.
  • This, because it’s almost Easter and I can’t think of anything more Easter-y than this cute picture of a calf and a chick. Bonus points because it’s a Jersey calf.calf
  • Last week, I mentioned the proposed cuts to the ag education line item. This time, the Chicago Tribune is taking on the Governor’s proposed cuts. It’s a great story, but I’m really sharing it because it features a school I really love – Chicago High School for Ag Sciences. If nothing else, read it to learn more about CHSAS.

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So, you know how I love dairy cows? Wait, sorry, that was a stupid question. If you’ve spent more than three seconds here, you probably know that.

Anyway, it’s my love for all things dairy that drew my attention to this article in Forbes Magazine.

Okay, it was actually the article’s headline, Big Agriculture Gets Its Sh*t Together, which really sparked my interest. Then I saw cows and, well, I was a goner.

Despite the snarky title, which, let’s be honest, I love, the article is a treasure trove of information about how today’s dairy farmers are working to make their farms more sustainable with fewer resources.

If you’re curious at all about how big — and I mean BIG — farms operate, this article is for you.

The focus of the article is Fair Oaks Dairy, located in northwest Indiana. Fair Oaks is one of the largest dairy farms in the country, housing around 36,000 cows.

With that many animals in one spot — not to mention their hog operation — there’s bound to be some poop. And the way that Fair Oaks deals with manure is on the cutting edge of farm technology.

They’re turning their manure into an energy source for the farm, reducing their environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

To top it off, the dairy itself is open to the public for viewing, tours and questions.

How cool is that? Looks like they really did get their sh–well, stuff, together.



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If you’ve been here once, you’re probably well aware that I have a fondness for dairy cattle — Jerseys, in particular.

And because I love those milkers, I also love The Adventures of Dairy Carrie.

Carrie is a dairy farmer in southern Wisconsin, who milks 100 cows with her husband and his parents.

And she knows how to get down to business when it comes to having meaningful and honest conversations with consumers about the dairy industry. In fact, Dairy Carrie is downright blunt sometimes, and that’s what makes her blog a breath of fresh air.

In addition to her blog, Carrie also does some public speaking and manages a pretty interesting Facebook page.

Carrie tackles everything from how and why farmers vaccinate cows to animal abuse videos, and she does it in her own special way — with humor, insight and a love for agriculture.

Be sure to check out her blog and Facebook page for lots of funny stuff and lots of good information!

To see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

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Are you seeing the trend here? There have been a whole lot of food safety, food processing, consumer question answering websites over the last 22 days.

Today is no different.

Today, we’re headed over to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) Food Dialogues page.

A little bit of background about USFRA:

USFRA is made up of more than 80 farmer – and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised. USFRA is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers efforts to increase confidence and trust in today’s agriculture.

Essentially, USFRA is a national version of Illinois Farm Families (www.WatchUsGrow.org) and Common Ground (www.FindOurCommonGround.com). Same concept of transparency and answering consumer questions, but on a bigger scale. Plus, there are events!

In addition Food Dialogues being an internet presence where farmers can answer questions and talk about why they do what they do, USFRA hosts Food Dialogues events across the country where panels of farmers and industry professionals are on hand to answer consumer questions in a live setting.

On their website, you can find information about animal welfare, antibiotics, GMOs, farm size and ownership, food choices and price, food safety, hormones and growth tools, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer, water quality and a section on how farmers do what they do.

As with all of the other websites I’ve featured, lots of good stuff if you take the time to read it. So make sure you take the time.

To see the rest  of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

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I’m a firm believer in embracing differences and looking for similarities. Some of my best friends came from very different backgrounds than I, but have some kind of common thread, too.

4-H House 2

These gals were kind enough to ‘shower me’ when I got engaged many, many moons (and pants sizes) ago.


Take, for example, these girls. These are my 4-H House girls — at least, most of them.

All of us come from different backgrounds. Some of us grew up on farms; some of us didn’t. But the one thing we all had in common was 4-H and living in 4-H House at the U of I.

That one common thread has led to lots of friendships. And those friendships have morphed from Lord knows how many late night dance parties to a whole bunch of wedding invitations and a bunch of really cute kids — and regular email updates and get-togethers to keep everyone updated.

You can find the commonality in anything. It’s like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon — there’s a connection in everything.

And that’s what FindOurCommonGround.com was founded on; finding the common ground between consumers and farmers.

Similar to WatchUsGrow.org, FindOurCommonGround.com is a collection of farmers, mostly women, who openly talk about farm practices and topics, including antibiotics in meat, animal welfareorganic and local foods, GMOs, food safetyhormones, food prices, sustainability, farm ownership, and more. The only difference is these farmers don’t only farm in Illinois — they farm in states across the country.

You can even select your home state to find a list of farmers who can answer your questions about any topic under the sun. How cool is that?

Funded from checkoff dollars from the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association, FindOurCommonGround.com is an excellent source of information for all of your farming questions.

The see the rest of the 30-day series, check out the links below:

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