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Breakfast Benefits

Breakfast IdeasChildren are heading back to school and parents are getting ready with carts full of books, paper, pens, and backpacks. These supplies are important for you child’s success is school, but just as important is breakfast. Breakfast, like these supplies aids in academic success.

Research has shown that consuming a nutrient rich breakfast is associated with higher nutrient intake, improved cognition, and academic performance. Studies have found that breakfast eaters consume more vitamins A and C, riboflavin, calcium, zinc, and iron. While it is possible to get all the nutrition you need without breakfast it is less likely.

According to expert Ronald E. Kleinman M.D.

“If you compare children who eat breakfast in school to those who don’t, they are better behaved, do better in some subjects like math, and are absent and tardy less often”

Components of a Nutritious Breakfast

Nutritious breakfasts have 3 main components:

  1. Protein
  2. Fiber
  3. Vitamins/minerals

Protein – foods such as dairy products and eggs and fiber – containing foods, like whole grains, fruits and veggies are important for keeping bellys full until lunch. It can be difficult to focus with a grumbling stomach. Protein also helps with building strong bodies and keeps them running smoothly. Fiber not only keeps us full, it also aids in digestion and disease prevention. Vitamins and minerals are essential for many body processes and help with overall nutrition.

How to Do it

We have established that breakfast is important, but that doesn’t make it easy to accomplish in the morning rush. Below are ideas of how to work breakfast into your schedule.

1. Prep Before: Many breakfast can be prepped the night before.

2. On the Go: Try breakfasts that can be eaten in the go such as:Breakfast Smoothies

3. Eating out

  • You could also grab breakfast on the way. Look for the same components as mentioned above such as yogurt, milk, fruit, and whole grains when eating out. Many restaurants are bumping up their menu to include healthy breakfast options including McDonalds. To highlight these changes, McDonald is offering free breakfast on September 3rd from 6-9 am for kids 15 years and under. Try their new fruit and maple oatmeal, breakfast parfait, egg white delight, or another breakfast sandwich with a Gogurt and/or milk.

4. School Breakfast

  • Eating at school can be a great option. Many schools are starting to incorporate breakfast before school and in the classroom. Learn more about the benefits of breakfast at school. Encourage your child’s school to adopt healthy eating practices such as school breakfast through Fuel Up To Play 60

Start the school year off right by building better breakfast habits. This year make sure that breakfast is a morning priority. Check out our Big Bang Breakfast Pinterst page for more delicious ideas!

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End June Dairy Month with a SQUEAK!

The Secret Behind Squeaky Cheese

sharing a post from our sister site “Our Earth, Our Products, Our Passion“.

Cheese curds, often called “squeaky cheese,” are a popular snack, not only for the taste, but also for the small mouse like squeak sounds when you take a bite. So what makes squeaky cheese squeak? To find out we asked two local cheese experts, Dave Larsen with Gossner Foods in Logan, UT and Pat Ford with Beehive Cheese Co. in Ogden, UT. They gladly shared the secret.

Gossner Foods Cheese Curd

Gossner Foods Cheese Curd

The squeak in squeaky cheese is produced by it’s cheddaring process and freshness.  These tasty little curds are not a byproduct, but rather the first product of cheese making. The traditional cheddaring process starts with letting the milk ripen, which allows bacteria to convert lactose, the natural sugar found in milk, into lactic acid. This lowers the pH and causes the milk to curdle. The addition of rennet, an enzyme used in cheese making, also aids in this curdling process. As the milk curdles, it sets. After setting, the mixture is cooked and the liquid whey is drained. You are now left with curds which are cut into strips and turned over and over to remove the moisture. This process is called “cheddaring the cheese.” Lastly salt is added to keep the pH from dropping further and improve the flavor. The result: yummy cheese curds. When the curds are less than 36 hours old the protein in the cheese is not yet broken down by the bacteria in the added cultures. This gives the cheese a more rubbery texture and causes that fun squeak.

Beehive Cheese Curds

Beehive Cheese Curds

Curd can be eaten as is or pressed into a mold and allowed to age. As the curds age they loose their squeak and turn into the blocks of cheese typically purchased at the store.

Other fun facts:

  • The orange color (see photo of Gossner cheese curd above) is due to a vegetable based food dye, they would otherwise be white.
  • Cheese curds taste so yummy in part because of the extra salt on the outside.
  • Because they don’t have to age, cheese curds allow quick revenue for cheese makers to purchase new milk, while their other cheeses age.

Tips from Dave and Pat:

  • Cheese curds are great fried, melted over fries, or are great fresh for snacking, or picnics.
  • To bring some of the squeakiness back, pop a couple curds in a microwave for just a few seconds.

You can purchase Gossner cheese curds at their store in Logan, UT and find Beehive Cheese Curd at their storefront in Ogden and at grocery stores across the state.

We hope Dairy Month has been good to you. Take it out with a SQUEAK!

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A Cow Show

By Braden Anderson

This past month Utah held their annual Western Spring National Show, known as Richmond Black and White Days to most of the locals.  At this year’s show, dairy farmers came from all over the western United States. and as always, it turned out to be quite a tough competition. Not only is it the longest running show held west of the Mississippi, but next year will mark the show’s 100th Anniversary.

Our Cows at the 99th Richmond Black & White Days

Our Cows at the 99th Richmond Black & White Days

What Goes On at a Cow Show:
It takes many hours of preparation to be all ready for a cow show.  Everything from walking the cows several months before the show to washing and grooming them to giving them a special diet that fits each cow individually. Once arriving at the show we make sure all of our cows are comfortable by giving them nice bedding consisting of straw and wood shavings. In addition to getting plenty of water and exercise, these show cows get constant attention from their owners. Like a little baby, we clean their bums after they poop, and we make food (hay and grain) available at all times so they get the nutrients and energy they need.  We also wash and brush the cows everyday to make sure they stay clean and look the best that they can.  As you can tell at these shows, the cows are definitely spoiled.

Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony (I’m #131)

I had two cows at this year’s show – a calf who took 7th place in the open show, 1st place in the junior show and received honorable mention junior champion. I also had a cow place second in the open show, 1st in the junior show and take reserve grand champion. It was a good show for us!

Showing Our Calf

Showing Our Calf

I enjoy cow shows and the people that I get to work with. They are some of the most funny, hardworking people I know. Not only are cow shows a great way to socialize and meet with other dairymen, but the experience helps my dad and me buy and sell cows in the most convenient and professional way possible. I am looking forward to next year’s 100th Richmond Black & White Days.

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The Front-Seat Calf

By Lacey Papageorge 

About two weeks ago, we had a heifer on our dairy who was acting under the weather.  It is easy to tell when a cow or heifer is not feeling well because they often droop their ears and head.  To get this little one to feel better we tried feeding her more regularly to keep her hydrated and gave her a few different types of medicine, but she wasn’t responding. A couple mornings later, she had a hard time getting up, and my dad could tell she was dehydrated and needed an IV. Just a few week’s old, this young heifer’s veins would be difficult to find, so we needed a professional’s help.

Our usual vet was already out on a call that morning, so we called our cousin who has a small animal veterinary clinic not to far from where we live, and he encouraged us to bring her in. Not wanting to waste any time, we loaded our baby girl into the front seat of the truck so we could get her to the vet’s office as quickly as possible.  She was so tired that she laid on the floor of the truck the whole way there.  At the vet clinic we got lots of attention.  It is not very often that you see a calf in the small animal clinic, and everyone pulled out their phones to snap pictures.  As soon as the vet took her in, he was able to put an IV in and get her hydrated.  We left her there for a few hours, and when we came back she was standing and had improved tremendously.  The vet said that she had responded well to the IV, she drank some milk, and that we were free to take her home.

Taking our young heifer to the vet

Taking our young heifer to the vet

My dad and the vet put her back into the front seat of the truck for the ride home, but now that she had some pep, she refused to lay down on the floor of the truck. Instead she stood in the cab with her bum against the passenger door and her nose almost touching the steering wheel. Excited to be headed home, she proceeded to lick my dad and the steering wheel! I keep my arms around her to keep her from falling. While driving back to our farm through town we got a lot of strange looks. Some people pointed and others honked and waved.  It was fun to see all of the people we made smile with our silly little calf.

Our calf in the front seat!

Our calf in the front seat!

Once back at the farm, we set up a new pen full of sawdust so she would be warm and clean.  After her long day and ride around town, she was tired and crawled right into her house for a good nap.  (We did have to squirt the floor of the truck out with the hose because she had to go potty while she was on her ride, but it was an easy clean up.)   I was excited when later that day I fed her a pint of milk and she drank it all.  Still living in her own little house, she is doing well and has continued to improve each day.  It is now two weeks later and she is back to being a happy, healthy baby girl and we couldn’t be happier.

Dairy farmers would do anything to keep their cows and heifers healthy. We work consistently with vets and nutritionists who visit our farm to make sure our whole herd is doing well.  Just like with people, we do everything we can to prevent our animals from getting sick, but sometimes we still have one get sick.  When that happens, its all hands in to get her feeling better.  We love our babies, and we do everything in our power to keep them happy and healthy.

Happy and Healthy

Happy and Healthy

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A ‘Lax’ Story About Chocolate Milk

Guest Post by, Beth Coffey-Curle

If you would have told me that cartoons of chocolate milk could bond a team, create a cheer, and put a positive spin on a lost game, I would probably have smiled and moved on. It did, it does, and the energy created by the efforts on behalf of our local lacrosse high school teams by the Northern Nevada Dairymen, the Nevada Dairy Council and Model Dairy is amazing.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to see first hand how the Northern Nevada Dairymen invest in our local community, especially if the activity was centered around children. I approached them during the winter to see if there was any willingness to associate with my children’s high school lacrosse teams. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport across the country, and it is taking off in leaps and bounds here locally in Northern NV. Still recognized as a club activity and not a varsity sport, the parents raise finances to fund all of the high school club’s expenses including field rental, uniforms, game referees, and game balls. The Northern Nevada Dairymen responded to our request with an offer to provide post-game chocolate milk for the athletes. My initial reaction was “what a nice treat,” but a bit of education later, I learned that chocolate milk is the new “recovery” drink. Put down the sugary energy drinks, welcome back milk!

Chocolate Milk Recovery

Recovering with Chocolate Milk post Lacrosse

If picking up 350 cartoons of milk to cover the first four home games – all played over three days time – was comical, finding refrigeration space for it all was down right hilarious. Some went into coolers with ice, others shared space in my husband’s beer frige and still more was stacked on top of kegs in the beer cooler. (My husband is a zymologist!) I headed to the first game with 150 cartoons of TruMoo split between two rolling ice chests. The head boys’ coach knew what was stashed in the coolers but nothing was said to the boys. When I was asked if I had enough milk to cover both teams, I replied “I have milk for Africa. Model Dairy has me covered!”

In a very physical game, the Galena Boys team beat the North Tahoe Boys team 12-2. At the end of the game, I opened each cooler that was positioned behind the team’s bench and offered the boys a drink. Their faces lit up, and I got out of the way. The boys were grabbing and tossing cartoons to each other like baseballs. The smiles on their faces were perfect. One older boy, who I recognized as the goalie from last season walked up to me. He had graduated and was home from college on spring break. He asked very politely, almost shyly, if there was milk available for a team alumni. I smiled and said I was pretty sure there was milk for returning players.

I walked over the North Tahoe bench and all the boys all came over to thank me. Before they left the field, I offered one of the straggling players another cartoon. He said he’d already had had 5 them. I said “Well, it’s a long drive home, let’s make it six,” his smile would have lit a room. On their way off the field, one young Truckee player walked over to me and said “We lost today and that was bad but the chocolate milk made it all right again.”  These kids are  teenagers – each one feels the pressure to have the coolest clothes, listen to the hottest music, and have seen the latest instagram post but push all of that aside, they’re still just our kids and a simple gesture like chocolate milk can turn their day around fast.

By the third game, the boys’ head coach said, “You know Beth, there’s something to this post-game chocolate milk. They’re too young to have a beer together after the game but to watch them post-game bond over cartoons of milk is something to see.” I knew the Northern Nevada Dairymen and Model Dairy had hit one out of the park when in a post game team huddle, the team chant was led off with “TruMoo! TruMoo! TruMoo!”

Blog post author Beth Coffey-Curle is a mom in Northern Nevada, she says, “there is a new success story for every game!”

For the past 3 years, The Northern Nevada Dairymen have partnered with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association to name chocolate milk the official beverage of high school sports.

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Home (Farm) Improvements

Our New Commodity Shed

by Guest Blogger – Jennifer Olsen

New Commodity Shed

The New Commodity Shed at Sage Hill Dairy

Our family purchased Sage Hill Dairy in the Fall of 2006. This dairy and its cows are our life, our livelihood and our future, so despite a tough economy over the past 8 years, making improvements has been an integral part of our operation.

So…over the past several years we have been busy! Here are a few things we have been working on:

We have updated how our cows eat. When we bought the dairy, the cows ate their feed off the ground and now they eat off concrete, a clean and consistent way for them to munch away.  We added canopies to the corrals so that now all of the cows have shade to help keep them cooler during the hot summer months and dry when it is raining or snowing. We have made some improvements to the milk barn, and our latest improvement has been the construction of a new commodity shed. Our old one was working great but we were running out of space and a giant wind storm had blown off the roof, so instead of rebuilding, we decided to construct a new one.

A commodity shed is basically a storage area for our feed sources, such as rolled corn, cottonseed, almond hulls etc. It is important to properly store the feed sources to ensure the best nutritional quality, which is essential to each cow’s health and her milk production. We work with a cow nutritionist to mix these various feeds into a balanced ration and mix feed from each portion of the shed in a large feed wagon. We then distribute to the cows.

Commodity Shed

Loading the Feed Wagon

My husband and brother-in-law continue to make great decisions by simply investing in their COWS – our livelihood and our future.

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What is a Factory Farm?

A Farmer’s perspective by Katharine Nye: Utah State University Dairy Science & Agricultural Leadership Student. 

Factory farms.  Just those two little words elicit such strong emotions in us, and depending on your perspective, those emotions might be a little bit different.  For some, it might evoke images of confined animals or automated milking machines being attached to cows.  For me, those words are a call to action – a call to share knowledge, perspective, and experience, to talk with people about what life is really like in large-production agriculture.  You see, I am a 5th generation dairy farmer, and I grew up on a 3,000 cow dairy farm.  I’ve been told that my family runs a factory farm, that with such large numbers of cows, it’s impossible to be a family farm.  Did I mention, I’m the 5th generation? Yes, we’ve grown quite a bit since my great-great grandfather started out in a small barn in New England with 4 Guernsey cows.  Growing our herd has meant that more of my family can stay on the farm – often larger operations can support the livelihood of more family members. It has also allowed us to take advantage of advancements in farm technology, monitoring devices, milking equipment, and barn design to improved cow health and longevity as well as our farm’s sustainability.

Katharine Nye

Katharine Nye

According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, more than 98% of United States farms are family owned. Corporation-owned farms make up less than two percent of the farming landscape in our country.  Just because a farm is big, doesn’t mean that the people who run it don’t care.  In fact, it’s in our very best interest to make sure that the animals in our charge are treated like kings, because unhappy animals don’t produce well.  A cow who is sick can’t make milk.  If my cows were cramped and not fed very well, they wouldn’t make milk, and my family’s livelihood would go down the drain.

But it’s not just about the money.  We genuinely care for our cows.  We like the lifestyle of dairy farming, and we find joy from having happy, healthy cows.  Cows are fun, and we enjoy being around them.  My cows have more people taking care of them than I do.  They have a nutritionist, a hoof care specialist (yes, our cows get pedicures!) two veterinarians, and a team of 6 people to make sure their corrals are clean, dry and fluffy every single day.  Then there’s my family and our employees.  We ensure that the cows are fed a balanced ration twice per day, that they are milked with care, and that they are monitored daily to make sure that no one is sick. In our pregnancy pen, the cows are checked on every half hour to ensure that no new mamas are having problems.  If our cows do get sick, they go to our hospital barn, where they can rest and recover before rejoining the main herd.

Mountain View Dairy

Mountain View Dairy

It takes a lot of people and a lot of coordination to care for 3,000 cows. Each and every single person on my dairy wants to be there.  You have to want to, because the patience and time isn’t always easy to give.  But we do, because we care, it is what my family has wanted for 5 generations. Dairy farming is about caring for the cows and building their trust in me.  It is about creating a sustainable livelihood that is good for our cows, our family, and our community.  Most especially, it’s about making sure that you, my customer, has the safest and tastiest milk that we can possibly provide.

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