Saturday, January 13, 2018

2017 Top Five

2017 Top Five Most Viewed Blog Posts
My Barnyard View

Click on the blog post titles and you can read what you missed.

5. Harvest17 Is In The Books Like every job, there are good days and bad days. I love driving the combine, but some days can be a bit trying. Read about our successful harvest and the bumps along the way.


4. Flavor Of The Fair Each year you get to help decide what the new malt flavor is at the Minnesota State Fair. In this blog post, I got to be one of the first to taste and see the unveiling of the top three flavors. Dill pickles in a malt?


3. I Won! Even though my parents, all of my grandparents, and all of my aunts and uncles were dairy farmers (yes, everyone of them were farmers) we also have a commitment to being involved in our communities. Read about my latest involvement off the farm.


2. Super Bowl and Super School Breakfast Dairy farming, sharing my dairy story, and my love for football are all combined in this blog post as I had the opportunity to visit a local school. See what dairy farming and the Super Bowl have to do with each other. And yes, with the Big Game only a few weeks away, I am still praying the Minnesota Vikings will be playing that day!


1. Santa On Bremer Farms Our first attempt at a Christmas event at Bremer Farms was a huge success. This blog post recaps our first Santa on the Farm in 2016. It went well, but 2017 Santa on the Farm grew by leaps and bounds! With 2017's Santa On The Farm already in the books, we have been discussing what new things 2018's event will bring. Watching cows being milked from the warmth of your car... a new light show synced to music...


Thank you for joining my family and I as we continue our journey as proud and passionate dairy farmers. Let me know if you have questions or a topic you want to know about.
AND
Have you "liked" My Barnyard View on Facebook? I'm always sharing something, including photos from the farm, when my latest blog post is up, and even giveaways!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Happens To All That Butter?

Flashback to late August 2017 at the Minnesota State Fair. 
If you were one of the thousands of people who stopped by the Dairy Building to see the butter sculptures, you probably asked this question, "What happens to all that butter after the Fair?" 

2017 Butter Sculptures of Princess Kay and the finalists
M.A. Rosko of Fox9 Television has wanted that answer for years, so this week she met up with Princess Kay of the Milky Way finalist Margaret Socha, to get an answer to her question. 

Margaret and M.A.
Margaret began by explaining that after sharing 1 pound packages of her sculpture with supportive friends and family, much of the 90 pound butter sculpture was donated to her local FFA chapter for their annual sweet corn feed. The hardest part was making the first cut, and Margaret admits that it may be a long time before the face will be used.

Making the first cut was the hardest.
In the meantime, much of the butter is finding its way into baked items including the cookies that Margaret will be sending to her cousin in the Army, to share with his unit when deployed.

Warm cookies and cold milk. Who can resist?
You can view the "What happens to all that butter" episode at the link below. And Margaret was willing to share her cookie recipe too! So preheat the oven,  pour a  cold  glass of  milk and enjoy the show!


Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup  flour
1  tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips

Cream butter. Add  sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, pudding mix, and eggs. Mix flour and baking soda and add to above ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake on parchment paper for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

It's A Country Christmas Connection

How cute is this? 


For the fourth year, I participated in The Country Christmas Connection, a fun Christmas gift exchange among agriculture advocates who are active in social media. It's a unique way for agvocates to get to know each other and spread a bit of Christmas cheer. After signing up for this adventure, I was asked to tell a little about my hobbies and likes and dislikes to help my "Secret Santa" shop. My Secret Santa is Trish Hutchins of Coulee Creek Jerseys in Washington. 

Speaking of cute...how cute is this?
These dairy cows make their home with Trish and her family at Coulee Creek Jerseys. 

Photo credit to Trish Hutchins

You can find photos of her farm and follow her passion for her farm and animals on her Facebook page, Trish Hutchins. 

Photo credit to Trish Hutchins
Thanks Trish, for the darling sign. It looks great hanging in my kitchen! 

I was Secret Santa to Linda Craun Leech, who dairy farms in the state of Virginia at Ingleside Dairy Farm, along with her hubby and two grown children. (Hey...that sounds a lot like me. The hubby and  kid part, anyway.) Since we are both Holstein dairy farmers, I sent a pair of cow kitchen towels with one of my favorite family recipes- Mint Brownies, a cow Christmas ornament because I add a new one to our tree each year, I re-gifted a T-shirt from the MN State Fair where we volunteer each year, and...


finally a pair of Super Bowl mittens since I love that Minnesota gets to host the BIG GAME this year, and I see the mittens are getting put to good use!

Photo credit to Linda Craun Leech
Thanks to Darleen of Guernsey Dairy Mama and Jenny from Keeping Ag Real for hosting this fun gift exchange!



Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018


Happy New Year from the Bremer's.


(Our son Michael is the author of this year's holiday letter.)
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a…. WAIT A MINUTE. Did you seriously think I was going to start the Bremer Family Christmas Letter with this lame starting line?!  And before I go any further, Christmas is over, so technically this is our “Bremer Family New Year’s Letter.” With that being said, let us now go through the Bremer dynasty and see what kind of incredible accomplishments we have achieved in 2017.

Janet at the MN State Fair chaperoning the dairy princesses.
Janet has all the free time in the world these days now that she is retired from her Title 1 position at Pinecrest… Oh wait! She’s now somehow MORE busy after retirement! Janet has kept herself more than busy in 2017.  Starting with her successful blog, My Barnyard View. If you’ve been living in a cave and are not familiar with it, it features her thoughts and stories about life on, and off the farm. Check it out at mybarnyardview.blogspot.com. She has also occupied much of her time with her position as the Minnesota Dairy Princess Coordinator through Midwest Dairy. Janet is like the mother hen (Oops, wrong animal industry!) for all of the Dairy Princess finalists at the State Fair. She also works hand in hand with the Dairy Princess all year long. That’s not the only feat Janet has accomplished... Speaking of feet, on day 1 of the State Fair Janet broke her foot! Luckily, Sara came to the rescue to help oversee the Dairy Princesses the first few days at the fair. In other news, it has felt like Janet has been on the TV show “This Old House” this past year as she has been fully engrossed in preparing Grandma and Grandpa Brown’s houses for sale. We popped the champagne in 2017 as the childhood house she grew up in was successfully sold!

TLC from Farmer John.
John, the don, considers 2017 a success. When I asked him what he wanted in the letter about him, he shrugged and smiled. John is a man of few words, so I consider that a success! John was delighted by some dandy purchases on the farm this year: a new drag, a sprayer, a silage bagger, AND a round baler! These pieces of machinery make life on the farm smoother, and a heck of a lot more fun! There has also been some primping to our parlor recently, as we updated the milking parlor’s ceiling, and lights. Now we can see better while we milk cows, and more effectively put on tours (like the tour we did last summer to a group of over 100 German students!). Serving as Trustee on the St. John’s Church Council, and being the Chairman of the Nininger Planning Commission keeps dad more than busy!

Sara hosts "Aprons Optional."
As most people were counting down the 12 days of Christmas, Sara has been counting her 12 YEARS of teaching at the Hastings Middle School! Nouns, verbs, adjectives… Sara teaches it all (and is a pro at Mad Libs because of it!). Always pushing the envelope, Sara is now in charge of the Fuel Up To Play 60 club after school. This program educates students on the importance of fueling up with dairy, and getting 60 minutes of physical activity each and every day. It’s never a problem for Sara getting 60 minutes of go-time a day, as she milks cows every evening. She also has been walking countless miles this winter setting up her enormous Christmas light display! Sara’s light display was so good this year, she was able to convince Santa and Mrs. Claus to come out for a fundraiser that collected food for Hastings Family Service and monetary donations for The Great American Milk Drive. We were thrilled to have over 400 people attend our Santa on the Farm event this year! If Sara’s plate wasn’t full enough, she has also literally had her plate full with her cooking TV show, “Aprons Optional.” Check out all her delicious episodes by searching for it on YouTube and Facebook!

Michael is a national winner!
And then there’s me, “Take a Hike, Mike!” also known as Michael. My TV show has had a gangbuster year! My show was nominated again this year for a NATOA award in the humor category. This pitted me against other TV stations across the country. I was able to impress the judges enough to bring home the bacon as I came in FIRST place in the country! I got to spend a week in Seattle for a video conference and the awards ceremony. You can search for my show on Facebook and YouTube! Along with my TV show, I have been engrossed with many other things at Hastings Community TV. I have been directing weekly live sporting events, and filming countless other shows. I also get to play teacher as I am the Technical Advisor for the Broadcast Journalism Class (The Ekko) at  the Hastings High School. Though I love my full time job at HCTV, I refuse to miss out on the fun at home on the farm. Milking cows, cleaning the cowyard with the Bobcat, and working in the field are all part of my repertoire. The sky was the limit for me this year as I jumped out of a plane 13,000 feet in the air and underwent a 60 second freefall! That’s right, I was nutty enough to go skydiving!

Cheering the Minnesota Vikings on to victory. 
Other Bremer bulletin board worthy mentions include going to cheer on the Vikings at US Bank stadium as a family, and living out our rockstar dreams at the Guns N’ Roses concert! We also have been playing Extreme Makeover Home Edition as we have remodeled our kitchen, and downstairs bathroom. We’re excited for you to try them out! While you’re here, stay for a bonfire at our new fire pit while you observe the fact that we recently removed several of our massive trees!
Like every year, 2017 has had its ups and downs. But to quote the 90’s one hit wonder band, Chumbawumba in their song Tubthumping: “I get knocked down, I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down!” From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! ...Oops! I already forgot Christmas is over! Happy New Year!
-Michael & the Bremer Family

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Giveaway Winner Is Announced

Thanks to all of you who entered my most recent giveaway on My Barnyard View's Facebook page. It was fun reading about your favorite Christmas traditions. I learned that many of you have recipes and traditions I was not familiar with, and I loved the conversations begun through our comments. 

Here is just a few of my favorites-

Alison wrote- "I have always enjoyed making cookies and candies at Christmas time. Even as a youngster I went to Grandma's to bake with her. Still now I bake with my mom and daughters! We have them ready in the freezer to take to parties, and to hand out as gifts." 

Jadeen shared- "Our favorite tradition is my father is Flea Market Santa! Beautiful, unique gifts that he purchased from the heart from flea markets! He loves his hobby selling costume jewelry at area Flea Markets! Our children will pass down this loving family tradition hopefully forever!" 

Joyce has a tradition I hadn't heard before- "Having the grandkids all "hide" on Christmas Eve while Santa brings treat sacks for everyone. It doesn't seem long ago that it was me hiding, now it's my 4 kids. My mom loves this tradition. She'll be 81 next week!" 

Joanna spends time with her neighbors- "Every year we invite the neighbors who have children to come over to our house for a cookie decorating party. Each family brings something to eat for breakfast and the kids come in their PJ's. We eat together, we catch up on each others lives, the kids decorate cookies and go on a candy cane hunt. It's a wonderful time to slow down and connect." 

Leslie says- "My favorite tradition is making Santa cookies before bedtime on Christmas Eve and listening to my husband read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to our kids. FYI- Our littles aren't so little anymore, and he still reads it every Christmas Eve!" 

AND THE WINNER IS-


MISSY M. FROM PENNSYLVANIA. 
(Please private message me your address and your prize will be in the mail.)

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their favorite Christmas traditions. I hope you will stop by often to see what's happening at my barnyard!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Big Thanks From Santa

Holy cow! We were hoping for a great turn-out, but wow!
Our Santa On The Farm event last Saturday brought quite a crowd. 
Read on to see a video of our Christmas display too!

Kate loved Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Nearly 400 people visited Bremer Farms. Each car that drove through our holiday display brought food shelf donations or money to donate to the Great American Milk Drive. We received more food than Santa's toy sack can hold. Good thing he has a big sleigh!

Megan and Jack came to visit.
There were lots of photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus gave everyone a cow coloring book, crayons, and "I heart Milk" stickers, and Santa made sure all the good little boys and girls, and the moms and dads too, went home with candy canes.

Porter and Maverick's aunties brought them to see Santa on the Farm.
Thank you to everyone who came to see how we celebrate Christmas on Bremer Farms and for all the generous donations! After only our second year of hosting "Santa on the Farm" it has quickly become one of our favorite holiday traditions!

Please enjoy our SANTA ON THE FARM VIDEO


Thanks to Santa and Mrs. Claus for visiting Bremer Farms! I only wish Sara and Michael could have been here to see them (wink-wink).

IT'S TIME FOR A GIFT GIVEAWAY!
"LIKE" My Barnyard View on Facebook and you will be entered to win a dairy goodness holiday package. This random drawing includes milk and cookies tree ornaments, 2 "Dairy Christmas" kitchen towels and The Dairy Good Cookbook! Good luck!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Santa On The Farm 2017

We at Bremer farms are bustling about as fast as Santa's Elves right now. While the Elves are building toys at the North Pole, we are creating a Christmas extravaganza on the farm, and we hope you will come for a visit. Santa and the lovely Mrs. Claus are taking time away from their busy schedule to be here to greet you!

Here's a sneak peek-

A few of our gingerbread houses.
There may not be gingerbread samples, but there will be goodie bags for the kids, and candy canes for all! We will also be collecting food donations for Hastings Family Service and cash donations for the Great American Milk Drive. On average, people served by food banks receive the equivalent of less than 1 gallon of milk per person per year.

Snoopy is helping too!
There will be thousands of lights, characters you will recognize, and be sure to tune your car radio to 88.9FM to watch the light show synced to music. This year's show features "The Christmas Without A Santa Claus."

We hope you can come!