Thursday, June 15, 2017

'Atta Boy Dairy Farmers!

Don't we all appreciate a pat on the back once in a while?
 Isn't it exciting when your boss says, "Great job!" Or how about "Thanks Mom, dinner was great!" from your kids. We all like to be thanked and appreciated, and recently one of our local bankers gave dairy farmers an 'atta boy!

Frandsen Bank & Trust in Hastings, Minnesota said "Thank you dairy farmers" in celebration of June Dairy Month.  They realize the impact dairy farmers have on our community. 

Dairy farmers purchase machinery, trucks, fuel, and more from local companies. This creates jobs and produces revenue for our area. Dairy farming requires a large investment in land, buildings, equipment, and feed for the animals, so many farmers know their banker very well  :)

Only 2% of the United States population has a connection to farming, so events like this are important for folks to connect with the agriculture community. Thanks to Laura Stiles, local dairy princess, for greeting visitors and treating them to ice cream. Also, thanks to Sorg Farms for bringing Norman (the calf) to visit. And a HUGE thanks to Frandsen Bank!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Meet Farmer John

This week I have shared about our children Sara and Michael, and now it's Farmer John's turn to be featured.

  "I'll never marry a farmer. They work long hours and never take a day off." That's what I said as a teen...but as the saying goes, never say never! I've known John our entire life, as we grew up in the same church, but it wasn't until I returned home after graduating from college that we started dating. We've been married for 33 years and I still admire his dedication to farm and family.

Long days and late nights are a part of many dairy farmers lives, but Farmer John never complains. He loves what he does, and hopes to farm forever! He approaches every task with passion and commitment to do the best job possible. His philosophy is "leave everything better than you found it," and that's an important rule to live by for a farmer as he realizes the importance of properly caring for the land as well as our animals. 

 If you don't find Farmer John in the barn milking cows, or in a field preparing the crops, you may find him talking to our County Commissioner about the latest concerns affecting our farming community. Perhaps you'll see him leading the monthly meetings as the chairman of our township planning commission, or maybe serving on our church council. No matter where you find him, it's always with passion and dedication.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Meet Michael...and Nina

"Mom always liked me best!" 
I wasn't about to risk hearing this from Sara or Michael, so since I highlighted our daughter Sara this week, today I'd like to feature our son Michael...and Nina. I've shared this photo of Michael and Nina before, but it still makes me smile, and it describes them both perfectly. 

Nina loves people, and giving cow kisses! She will give you a gentle nudge if you don't acknowledge her as you walk by, and don't even think about her leaving the milking barn until she gets a pat on the nose. Michael is a true animal lover, a comedian, and a farm boy any farmer dad would be proud of.

Michael is a champion skid steer driver, scooping da poop every day to keep our cows happy, healthy, and comfortable. 

 Michael is also the morning milker on Bremer Farms, and right after the cows are milked he heads to Hastings to star on "Take A Hike, Mike!" his TV show where he visits local businesses and lends a helping hand. Perhaps I'm using the term helping a bit too liberally, since at the end of each episode he's told to take a hike! Here's a taste of his show where Michael featured our farm-

A farm boy with a TV show! What else? Even though Michael's off-the-farm job is filming and editing productions each day at his job, it's also his hobby. Whether it's filming while flying a drone, filming with a camera strapped to his head, or filming while following his mom around when she narrates a tour of our farm; you can bet he does it well. He's a perfectionist.

God gave us undoubtedly the best kids ever! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Meet Sara...and Bella

School's out for summer! School's out forever! 
Just ask Alice Cooper...
It's not just the students (and Alice) that are excited for summer break. Our daughter Sara is ready for a little time off too. 

Sara taking a selfie as she is speaking at 8th grade graduation.
Sara is an 8th grade language arts teacher who loves teaching, but even a great teacher needs a break...but not for long, as in just one week, she will be back to teach summer school.

But Sara is more than a teacher-
Sara is a passionate, hard-working farmers daughter too.
Each night you will find her in the barn milking cows, along side Farmer John.

Here she is with Bella. Bella has an interesting history, as she was named by past Minnesota Viking player Toby Gerhardt when he visited our farm.

Sara also helps Grandma Karen with the calves, and names and pampers all our cats and kittens.

When she is not at school or in the barn, you may find her hosting her cooking show, "Aprons Optional" on our local television station. Here is a sample- her Mother's Day episode when I got to make a guest appearance.

Teacher, farmer, local TV celebrity- what more can she do? She can make decorations and adorn our farm for the holidays like you wouldn't believe! Take a look-

Farmer John and I are so proud of Sara and her commitment to school, community, and farming.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June Dairy Month 2017

We at Bremer Farms, and dairy farms all across the United States are celebrating! Each June we raise our glass in a toast to dairy farming and dairy foods. June Dairy Month is an annual celebration that began in 1937 as a campaign to encourage people to strengthen bones and build a foundation of good health by drinking milk.

I'd like to invite you to take time this month to learn more about dairy. During the month of June I will be sharing the life of our dairy farm family including who we are, what we do, how we share our passion for dairy, and dairy foods and recipes we enjoy. I'll also be introducing you to some of the "stars" of our herd...the ladies that provide us with that milk you had on your cereal this morning, or that cheese on your grilled cheese sandwich you're having for lunch, or perhaps that bowl of ice cream for your bedtime snack. See? You're celebrating too!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I'm Not Retiring, I'm Reinventing

There have been a lot of changes in my world lately. 

For the past 19 years I have helped students that struggle with reading and math, but this past week was the end of my career as a Title One Instructor. I have chosen to retire. I think my friend Becky said it best, "You're not retiring, you're reinventing." I feel that is a pretty good description of what's happening. Retirement can mean laying on the beach sipping drinks with those little umbrellas, or traveling, or spending time with grand kids. Nope, nope, and nope. For me it means devoting time to other adventures.

One of those adventures came about last January when my responsibilities as the Minnesota Dairy Princess Coordinator increased. Besides the opportunities I mentioned in 12 Good Reasons, I now also organize the May Leadership and Promotion Event that was held this past weekend where the finalists for Minnesota's goodwill ambassador, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, are chosen. I am happy to announce that the dairy farmers of Minnesota will again be represented by twelve dedicated young woman ready to share their passion for the dairy community. 

Introducing the 2017 finalists:
  • Emily Annexstad, 19, St. Peter, daughter of Rolf and Jean Annexstad, and representing Nicollet County;
  • Anna Broll, 19, Chaska, daughter of Dan and Kathie Broll, and representing Carver County;
  • Shelby Campbell, 19, Maple Lake, daughter of LeRoy Campbell and Donna Decker, and representing Wright County;
  • Gina Holdvogt, 19, Freeport, daughter of Alvin and Bernie Holdvogt, and representing Stearns County;
  • Abby Hopp, 19, Chatfield, daughter of Doug and Heather Hopp, and representing Fillmore County;
  • Madelin Lindahl, 20, Lindstrom, daughter of Kevin and Tara Lindahl, and representing Chisago County;
  • Quinci Scherber, 23, Rogers, daughter of John and Staci Scherber, and representing Hennepin County;
  • Rebecca Schubert, 18, Rice, daughter of Natalie and Jerome Schubert, and representing Benton County;
  • Margaret Socha, 18, Corcoran, daughter of Michael and Donna Socha, and representing Wright County;
  • Samantha Traxler, 18, Cleveland, daughter of Brian and Patty Pettis, and Brian and Heather Traxler, and representing Le Sueur County;
  • Ashley Warren, 19, Watkins, daughter of John and Carol Warren, and representing Meeker County; and
  • Jessaca Zuidema, 19, Blomkest, daughter of Jan and Jolene Zuidema, and representing Kandiyohi County.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Flavor Of The Fair

Who doesn't love ice cream? No one I know!
But ice cream with hot sauce, or dill pickles?
That's right, folks. These fun combinations were all ingredients in this years nominations for the #FlavorOfTheFair at the Dairy Goodness Bar at the Minnesota State Fair.

For the third year in a row, you can pick the Flavor Of The Fair, a special malt or sundae flavor available for only one year, and you get to help choose the flavor. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
This past Friday I was invited to be an official "unofficial" taste tester as Midwest Dairy unveiled the three choices for this years fair. It was all captured on Facebook Live. 

The three choices, created from suggestions collected at the 2016 MN State Fair, are all unusual, creative and fun. We first sampled "Pie 'n the Sky" a delicious combination of our secret recipe vanilla ice cream, lemon curd, dark chocolate drizzle, and topped off with those crunchy little cookies you get when you ride on an airplane. Hence the name 'n the sky. Get it?

 Next we moved on to "Nacho Average Malt" and it sure wasn't! Imagine vanilla ice cream, tortilla chips, shredded Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle on a bit of hot sauce! Now I admit I am not a hot sauce fan, but since I was an official "unofficial" taste tester, I dug right in. The first bite was tricky since I didn't stir the ingredients together. Wowzer, that first bite was HOT! But it was surprisingly good when stirred together!

Finally, it was "Vanilly Dilly." Now, when a cup of vanilla ice cream, dill pickle potato chips, and a pickle slice was set before us, I had flashbacks to my pregnancy days. But since my mouth waters whenever I even think of pickles, I knew I wanted to give this one a try, and boy, I'm glad I did! My only needs more pickles!

It was now time for each of us to cast our vote.

Yep, "Vanilly Dilly" got my vote. 
Now it's your turn. Head on over to cast your vote by April 17. Who knows? You may be enjoying your pick at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. Only 136 days until the start of the Fair!

I have shared the entire taste test on My Barnyard View's Facebook page. Check it out.