Update: The contest has ended and a winner has been selected! Congratulations to Carolyn who won the prize pack!
A few weeks ago I went on a little field trip with a bunch of other bloggers here in Michigan to visit a dairy farm. Now, I’m not a farm girl by any means but I’m also not totally citified either…. somewhere in the middle I suppose.
My dad & step mom both grew up on large farms, had dairy cows…. pigs… chickens…. and well all sorts of farm type stuff. Me… well the only animals that I ever grew up with were cats or dogs.
Okay… I’ll be honest with all of you… I have this fear of cows. They’re freakin’ huge! I’m sure that it wouldn’t take much for one of them to trample me in a heart beat and not to mention that the bulls tend to be mean.
One of the things that I thought was great was this sign in the picture above. See that? That sign is a million dollar sign. Go ahead… scoff… I’m serious. To be an environmentally verified there is extensive paper work, inspections and hoops that you have to go through before you can have that sign in your yard. And of course the money that is involved in being certified.
The program is innovative, proactive, and voluntary program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks and it is designed to reduce farmers’ legal and environmental risks through a three-phase process: 1) education; 2) farm-specific risk assessment; and 3) on-farm verification that ensures the farmer has implemented environmentally sound practices.
Goma Dairy farm is proud of their accomplishment and strive to keep their farm up to if not above the voluntary standards.
The farm that I visited was in Marlette, which is way over on the east side of the state in the thumb area of Michigan. That area is mostly agricultural and has tons of fields, dairy farms, and lots of open land! It’s actually pretty to drive through in the summer with all the green fields.
See that little guy up there? He was born the day before we visited the farm! I couldn’t believe it…. I mean look how big he is! Regardless, at this size they’re cute and as far as I’m concerned mostly harmless.
Like I said it’s a dairy farm… with right around 3000 cows! All milking cows too… the males are shipped off to other farms and kept separate from the the females.
Milking is an all day process with that many cows and the cows are each milked a few times a day. Once they’re milked the milk is pumped through a cooling system and then directly onto the truck. It never sits in holding tanks waiting for a truck.
The van de Goor family were great hosts for the event and were so helpful in helping us understand dairy farming, care of the cows, and how their farm is run.
Here are a few facts about dairy farms that you may not have known:
- Dairy farming is the top ranking segment of Michigan’s second-biggest industry: agriculture.
- Michigan ranks 8th in milk production in the U.S., producing 4.3 percent of the nation’s milk.
- The dairy industry in Michigan annually contributes $5.9 billion to the state’s economy.
- Michigan ranks 5th nationally for average milk production per cow per year.
- According to the USDA, 98 percent of U.S. dairy farms are family owned and operated, sometimes by multiple generations of the family
I was surprised at how much I learned while visiting the van de Goor’s dairy farm and it was a lot more than I had expected too. I didn’t get trampled either! Honestly, the cows were very gentle and very comfortable around people especially large groups of strange women taking tons of pictures of them!
Here’s a great dairy recipe to try!
Choco-Berry Swirl Smoothie
2 cups Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
3 ¼ cups Frozen whole non-sweetened strawberries
½ – ¾ cup Low-Fat or Fat-Free Chocolate Milk
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
2. Add additional milk to make the consistency desired.
3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Note: This recipe makes 4-6 servings. To make a single serving to fill one glass in the magic bullet set, quarter the recipe.
Now, you need something to make that smoothie in, right? Well I have the most perfect giveaway for you!
One lucky person will win an incredible dairy gift bag! Complete with a Magic Bullet, $50 gift card, Got Milk hat & more!
I’ll make the entry for this giveaway so easy that you will just have to enter!
Answer this question:
What is your favorite dairy based recipe?
Now for the rules.
- Open to US residents
- A winner will be selected via random.org
- The winner will have 24 hours to respond before another one is selected.
- Contest ends August 22nd at 11:59pm
Would you like an extra entry?
Share this giveaway on any social media platform and leave a direct link in a separate comment.
If you’d like more info about dairy farming or the dairy industry check out these links.
- United Dairy Industry of Michigan website
- Michigan Dairy News Twitter page
- Michigan Dairy News Bureau Facebook page