I had the pleasure of watching this beautiful little heifer being born on Monday, March 19th right before my husband and I left for the DFA Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO. As I was packing for our trip that day, my husband called and asked me to check on our Holstein Chickadee who was in the process of calving. I have watched a few births in the past almost 2 years that we have been at the farm full-time, but this one was a little bit different. The mama seemed quite unaffected by the whole ordeal. She STOOD and munched on clover all but the last 5 seconds of pushing that baby out. Must have been some GOOD clover! It was a little bit concerning to watch because I wasn’t too anxious to watch a tiny newborn hit the ground! I was relieved to see the mama go down right before Cinderella slid the rest of the way out. ha ha!
My husband says I saved the baby’s life by taking time to watch the birth for him. I kept in communication with him and was able to get him there as soon as she was born to remove the birth sac that happened to be covering her nose and mouth. (In all reality HE saved her life, because I certainly would not have known what to do! ha ha) He had to work with her a minute to get her breathing which was so terrifying to watch. She was just a little lifeless, completely still little body until I heard her take her first breath. That was absolutely the most beautiful, joyful moment you can imagine!!!
We decided to name her Cinderella sticking with the “C” theme of her mama’s name. She is now 9 days old, eating good and playing hard!
Late late summer, we received a HUGE surprise! We were informed that we were selected as our dairy co-op’s (Dairy Farmers of America) Mideast Area Member of Distinction! We were thrilled of course, but honestly had no idea what that meant! Ha! It truly has been a great honor and a fun experience starting with a photo shoot they came to our farm and did last October.
This past Monday – Wednesday DFA flew us to Kansas City, MO where we attended their 2012 Annual Meeting. Tuesday night my husband and I were honored to be able to accept the Member of Distinction award on behalf of Alpine Hills Dairy Farm and the Colson family. After waiting 5 months since the farm photo shoot they did for us, Tuesday night we were finally able to see some photos and a wonderful video they put together about the farm! It was very special. I so enjoyed listening to the 6 other Member of Distinction stories as well and learning about the outstanding things that they are doing on their farms.
Click here to view more photos of our farm and family from the DFA Member of Distinction photo shoot! I should have access to the video DFA put together about our farm in the next couple weeks.
We were so thankful to be able to attend the DFA Annual Meeting for the first time……for me the people were really the best part. We had a number of wonderful people come introduce themselves to us and share their knowledge. We are truly thankful.
Our family photo as part of a display at the DFA Meeting.
Our reserved table at the banquet.
With our field rep, Dave Moore.
We drank a ridiculous amount of chocolate milk while at the meeting!
Just a portion of the products that milk from our DFa co-op goes into!
Dean (my father-in-law’s) photo in one of the programs at the DFA meeting.
In just four days my husband and I head to Kansas City, MO for the Dairy Farmers of America Annual Meeting! We are excited to experience this event for the first time – and all expenses paid makes it even better! Last fall, we found out that our dairy farm, Alpine Hills Dairy Farm, was selected as a DFA Member of Distinction. It was hilarious at the time because we all had no clue what that meant or how we even won the award! We were and still are very honored to be chosen for this.
As part of the experience, DFA flew out a writer, and a photographer and his assistant to our farm last October. The writer, a sweet lady named Kara, interviewed each one of us to gather material for the article that will be published in the DFA Leader magazine sometime this spring. The photographer, Shaun Cloud, and his assistant Johanna, spent the entire day (at least 8 hours) filming and taking photos of the farm. They did anything for a great shot: climbed fences, laid in the mud, and even got licked but a few of our friendly Brown Swiss cows! They even came back a second day and shot photos and videos of one of our Country Pumpkins Dairy Tours in action! We have not seen any of these photos or videos yet (5 months is a LONG wait!) but I hear they want to surprise us with them at the convention next week. On Tuesday night there will be a banquet where they will play each of the Member of Distinctions’ videos and display some photos.
I plan on documenting this upcoming Annual Meeting experience from my trusty iPhone to our Alpine Hills Dairy Farm Facebook page. To get in on the updates, visit www.fb.com/alpinedairy and “like” our page. 🙂
Here are some “behind the scenes” photos of our Member of Distinction experience so far……
I had the pleasure of making cookies for my future sister-in-law’s wedding shower last Saturday. When I make cookies like this I tend to get VERY detailed. Ha ha! I had always wanted to make some cutesy cookies like this. The cookie cutters were just too adorable!
I have used the same cut-out cookie recipe my whole life! When you find a great recipe, no point in changing! The sour cream and nutmeg just add a very special element to the cookies.
Sour Cream Cookies 1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
Heat oven to 425F. Mix shortening, margarine, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each part 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until no imprint remains when touched lightly, 4 – 8 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
We have begun work on a new addition at our farm! We are expanding our current picnic shelter to add more eating space, PLUS room for a corn box and straw maze play area on the back. If you remember my previous post about Sawing Logs, this is the special project that the lumber will be used for. I think it is so fun that we will be building this addition using lumber off of our own land!
Beef calving season is upon us here at Alpine Hills Dairy Farm. While our main focus is dairy cattle, we also have a number of beef cattle too. About a week ago one of our mama beef cows had a set of twins. As is common in situations like that, she decided to only take one of them. Too sad, I know! That left us with the delightful job (no sarcasm here) of raising her teeny tiny, super adorable other twin!
My heart melted the instant I saw her. How can you not instantly fall in love with something so tiny and helpless…..we estimate she weighed around 30 lbs at birth…..super tiny compared to our 100 lb dairy calves. As I approached her cage for the first time I expected her to stay curled up in a ball, but NO! The moment I got close, she jumped up and ran into the side of her pen trying to get away from me – all this at just a couple of hours old!!! Ha! It was truly amazing to witness the survival instinct that God has built into these little animals. As the days went on and we began bottle feeding her twice a day, she has calmed down and now runs to me instead of away from me. She guzzles down her bottles with no problem at all. At this rate, she won’t stay tiny for long!