Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

A veterinarian is an important part of a dairy farm.

Originally posted on Raising a Farmer Facebook Page  on 10/26/2017  

A veterinarian is an important part of a dairy farm.

There are times when one of our cows just isn’t feeling very good. Just like when you would go to the doctor when you yourself just don’t feel right, we call our vet to come to the farm to treat one of our cows. Just like we care for our families we try things at home first. You have tried different things at home but it is time to go to the doctor. Our cows can’t tell us when they just don’t feel right. We look for signs for our cows to tell us they just aren’t feeling right. Most times we can problem solve and get her feeling better with out calling the vet but there are times when it is time to call the vet.

Some of the signs we look at is their poop. Has it changed? Is it runny? Is she constipated? Is she digesting her feed? Yes, we look at her poop very carefully.

Has she gone off feed? This means, is she eating the same amount as she has the day before? Is she picking through her feed? Is this different for her? Some cows pick through their feed. Is she drinking enough water? Cows drink a lot of water. Going off feed is a sign of a big problem. Cows are hearty eaters. As soon as they hear the mixer wagon or skid loader they are waiting for lunch by the feed lane.

Each cow has her own personality. When we see them up close twice a day. Nathan and I can tell when one of our cows just “doesn’t look right.” It could be the way she holds her head. The way she walks. Just like when one of your kids isn’t feeling very good how many times have you said, “He just doesn’t look right.”

We had to call the vet and Dr. Neil came to the farm. Vivian had a front row seat. Watching carefully Dr. Neil’s every move. dr.neil&Viv

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On a Dairy Farm Life is Constant

On a dairy farm the circle of life is constant.

Calves are born year round.

Someone is always growing. 
It is always changing.

At one time Vivian was a baby and 434 was a baby.

Yesterday 434 became a momma for the first time.

Seeing momma cows with their new bundles never gets old.


Vivian helping feed calves and 434 was her best friend.

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A quick stop at a Family Dairy Farm in Wisconsin.

One of the best parts of dairy farming is the people. The people who come into your lives. The people who enrich your life. The people who make you see why you love farming. The people. The families. The love. It was a quick visit but it was just what this dairymom needed to recharge.

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

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Celebrating 4H Week with Highlights from the Morrison County Fair

4H is a wonderful program for kids to be a part of. As a 4H volunteer my favorite part is to see kids thrive and gain confidence in themselves each passing year. To see them take the 4H motto to heart in their action and their words. “Making the best better.”  To hear them say the 4H pledge at every meeting centers me.

 I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

In honor of National 4H Week here are some of the high lights of the Morrison County Fair.  4H’ers work hard getting their projects ready from livestock to non-livestock. There is room for everyone in 4H. If you are looking for a program for your entire family to enjoy together, 4H is for you.

Everett took 3 non-livestock projects to the fair this year. Blonde Brownies, a bouquet of flowers and a monarch caterpillar with a habitat.  During conference judging kids are asked about their projects one on one.  The skills they learn and confidence they gain will last a lifetime.

Working as a team and cheering each other on is a big  part of 4H.  Snappy Elmdalers finishing up their Community Pride board and presenting as a team at the fair.

The day of the dairy show is a busy day.  There is always time to pause, refocus and one last pep talk-“You can do this. Take your time.”

IMG_6798This year there were 10 Cloverbuds with Dairy projects.  This is huge!  To watch the dairy program grow before our eyes is an amazing thing to be a part of.

This year marked Jordan’s last year as a 4H’er.  You can read more about Jordan here and how he has been an example for younger 4H’ers.

IMG_6934This year was extra special for Everett. He was able to show 304 and her daughter, Lady Wilt in the Dam and Daughter Open class. You can read more about Everett and 304 here.   




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Stuffed Green Peppers & Black Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Green Peppers are delicious!  They are quick simple and easy.  Stuffed Green Peppers are great to have in the freezer because they freeze great for a quick meal.

Ingredients you will need: 

6-8 Green Peppers (How ever many will fit in a 9×13 pan)

1lb of Hamburger

1 onion

1 can of Spaghetti sauce (I prefer Hunts because it is cheap) (and I get excited when it is 10 for $10)

1 cup of uncooked rice

about 1 cup of water

Parmesan Cheese

First  Step

Start browning your hamburger.  I like to add some peppers sliced and diced with a diced onion. Salt and Pepper

Stuffed Green Peppers

While your hamburger is browning start your Rice.  Cook to in instructions.  You can use minute rice, Brown Rice or plain ol white Rice.  Rice is my menace, Sometimes it is beautiful and fluffy and the next I burn the bottom. I’ve even screwed up minute rice.  Nate’s words ” How can you screw up minute rice?”  One day I’ll be able to make rice in my sleep.


Get your peppers ready by washing them and cutting off the tops.  Clean out and push step through the “hat”.  If you want to be fancy you can cut them length wise and call them “Pepper Boats”

Once hamburger and rice are cooked add Spagetti sauce to hamburger mix in rice and 1 cup of water.  Simmer about 10 min

Stuffing for Green Peppers Add a thin layer of mixture to bottom of 9×13 pan


Nestle peppers into pan fill peppers with hamburger mixture.  Ad remainder mixture to sides or in between peppers.  Top with tops of peppers.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-60min till peppers are tender

Green Peppers BakingWhile they are baking the dishes. Ugh!

Dishes to Wash

Delicious!! To Freeze them you can freeze them before you put them in the oven or after you bake them.  I usually freeze them and then bake them once I take them out of the freezer.  Now for the reheat we are hunger.  I’m not sure what happened all I know is that I forgot they were in the oven and I said, “Well that is interesting!”

No they are not supposed to look like this!

Black Stuffed Green Peppers~Opps

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First Day of School~2017~A little sister missing her Big Brother

We made the bus on time the first day.  I had nightmares for about three days leading up to the first day. Missing the bus the first day of school. I’d wake up in a panic. Yesterday was easy peasy getting ready. So I am going to put that in the win column with a big star because there will be times when the win column is behind and needs a reset.

Everett brought a monarch caterpillar to share with his class.

Everett was excited for 3rd grade and Vivian was sad once Everett left. Vivian was lost and needed some extra hugs today. That’s ok, because I was a little lost too and needed the extra hugs too.


Showmanship Just isn’t in the Show Ring

There is a part of every dairy show I look forward to watching and that is showmanship. As soon as the kids enter the ring for the first time in the morning they are beginning to be judge on their showmanship throughout the dairy show. The judge watches as they walk in the ring with each and every animal. The judge watches and takes all into account for the final showmanship class.

When Jordan finished his 4-H experience with Grand Champion Showmanship at the Morrison County Fair,  I could not be more proud of him.


Jordan is the role model every mom wants for her young 4-Her. Where the dairy judge watches in the ring, I watch outside the ring. I watch Jordan work alongside his mom throughout the four days of the fair, taking great care and pride of his animals. With Jordan there is no showboating. He stays focused and on task when he is in the ring. He walks as one with his animals at a slow, steady pace. It is a wonderful thing to watch. Jordan helps with a smile when something is asked of him. During the state fair lineup, as we waited for the judge to place all the animals, a little girl was standing by the fence looking at Jordan’s cow, without missing a beat Jordan asked her, “Do you want to pet her?” A big smile came across her face and Jordan’s.

As I congratulated Jordan telling him how happy I was for him and how sad I was he was graduating out of 4-H, he reminded me he would still be around. There is no other way to describe Jordan but, he is a good kid and he isn’t a kid anymore – he is a strong young man. He is kind and generous.

As a dairy mom and 4-H mom, I stress to my tribe – it is outside of the ring that matters. The life lessons learned isn’t where you place in the ring, it is the hard work leading up to the fair that has value. The hard work at the fair taking care of your animal, engaging with fairgoers, always helping with a smile has strong merit.

Kids fun with Dairy Night

Jordan helping Raising a Farmer with “Kids Fun with Dairy Night” at the Morrison County Fair 2017

Enjoying your time at the fair is important. Disappointments will happen, “But did you have fun?” I always stress with the kids, it isn’t how you place but were you able to handle your animal? Were you able to stay calm when she decided to do something else and get her refocused? Jordan has been this role model, outside of the ring. So when Jordan left the show ring with three purple ribbons in total, it was just the icing on the cake!

Jordan with his Purple Ribbons

Jordan with his Purple Ribbons from the Morrison County Fair 2017


Joke of the Day #2

Because we always need a laugh.  Even if the jokes are so bad they are good.  Those are my jokes. Those are my favorite jokes.

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A Determined Fair Goer

Everett has big plans for his little sister. His heart is made of gold. His nerves are made of steal. His determination is made of a power with in. His heart was broken losing 400, a sister to 304. He always sees the good. Determined both of 304’s girls will go to the fair.


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Learning to make Home Made Ice Cream at a Bed & Breakfast

The kids and I were on location at one of our local bed & breakfast, the Waller House Inn in Little Falls, MN.
Raquel was so welcoming and patient with my tribe. As soon as you walk into the Waller House there is calmness that takes over. The Waller House is an old house which wraps you in warmth and tranquility. It is the perfect place to rest your feet after exploring Central Minnesota.

Inn keeper Raquel welcomes you with a big smile and a warm heart. We could have stayed for days!

We celebrated dairy by making home made ice cream and a fritatta. I had no idea what it was but it sure was GOOD!

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