This blog is being posting a little later than I expected. I was hoping to have it up before our new baby girl arrived. BUT since she made her arrival two weeks early that didn’t happen. And there hasn’t been much time for anything else since. So I apologize that I am a little behind on blogging! Anyways…
Things are never boring when you are married to a dairy farmer, but they can be EXTRA interesting when you are pregnant. There are probably a few things you might have heard your husband say to you when you are pregnant that other women would not normally hear. And it is not just your husband, all the dairy farmers in your life might have some funny things to say to you. Being that dairy farmers deliver baby calves every day, they begin to think they are some what of experts in all areas of pregnancy, labor and delivery across all species… BAHAHAHA… Below is a list of my favorite things my husband has said to me or about me while pregnant. Did I miss some of your funniest moments? Leave a comment below with some of your favorite farmer lingo for expecting mothers.
As the holiday season comes to an end, I find myself looking back over the last few weeks and thinking, “What a whirlwind!”. Balancing work and family time with life and traveling around the holidays. One thing I have learned over the years is life on a dairy makes the holidays a little different than most people’s. There is no paid time off or paid holidays for dairy producers. Work continues as usual on the dairy, making things a little non-traditional. For starters, I have never wished for a white Christmas. While the farmer in me is always glad when we get some moisture here in New Mexico, the dairy side of me knows that it just means extra work for everyone. As a kid, all my friends would dream of snow on Christmas. All I could think was, snow means no presents until Christmas afternoon because my dad would have to work a little longer. As is, we waited to open presents until after all the morning chores were done. And you just had to hope everything went smoothly.
When you hear the words large dairy farm, what is the first thing you think of? Factory farm? Corporate farms? How about family farm?! No? I didn’t think so. There are so many misconceptions about these dairy farms. Unfortunately, much of what you will read online or videos you watch won’t tell you any of the facts. I am here to tell you, I am apart of a large FAMILY farm and hopefully, after reading this you will have a better understanding of what these farms are really like. Here in New Mexico we are known for our big herd size and dairy farms. New Mexico has the largest average herd size at over 2,000 cows per dairy. Lots of open spaces and the climate are the main factors behind this. But it might surprise you to hear that 95% of all dairies in the United States are family owned and operated. And it is no different here in New Mexico where 96% of our dairies are family owned.
Growing up in our dairy community in Eastern New Mexico, it felt like everyone I knew was Dutch and dairy farmers. So all of my family’s weird quirks seemed normal. It was not until I was older did I realize not everyone did all these things. I have included just a few fun facts. Some are more dairy, some are more Dutch.
Today it hit me like a ton of bricks… IT IS SUMMER!!! I know I am a little late to the party. I think you start losing track of school breaks and the seasons start running together when you don’t have kids in school. Also, this May has been unseasonably cold. We did get some much needed moisture! But today was sunny and 85 with a little New Mexico breeze (in other states that is known as a 35 mph wind). Today is also the first day with our newly renovated backyard! My husband and I (more him than me) have been working on adding a little patio in our backyard, and we put up a fence! YAY!! I know what you are thinking… “Crazy lady most yards in America have a patio and a fence.” But this momma is a little excited.
The first time I heard that, “Farmers, the original environmentalists”, it really stuck with me. Because isn’t that the truth?! Who would care more about the environment than people whose livelihoods depend solely on the land they live on? Yet, it always seems to surprise people (from both sides of the table) when I tell them I am an environmental dairy scientist. It is not a conventional role or job on a dairy. And it leads me to do a lot of explaining even to my husband and family. So what do I do exactly?
With Superbowl Sunday just around the corner, I wanted to share one of my favorite family recipes with you all. It is packed full of lots of amazing dairy products. And here in New Mexico, nothing goes together better than cheese and green chile. It is Gary’s Green Chile Queso Blanco. Gary is my dad! And he is a pretty awesome cook. (Hopefully he will let me share some more of his recipes!) I want to warn you…. this queso is addicting!! And even better than that, it is really easy to make. This is a great appetizer to make ahead. Then you dont have to spend all morning before the game prepping all your appetizers.
Unfortunately, these were the topics of conversation yesterday, when we hosted New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez and her team at our dairy farm. Many local dairy farmers came out to discuss the repercussions of winter storm Goliath and how the State can help. Here we are 18 days after the blizzard getting use to our “new” normal. We all knew it was going to be hard, but it doesn’t make it any easier. We may be a little bigger than the average dairy, but this is our family farm. We have worked hard to raise our herd, only to have Mother Nature wreak havoc. Everyday I hear the same stories from heart broken producers and yesterday was no different. One producer’s story hit too close to home for most people in the meeting. He described the emotions he was feeling stepping foot on his dairy Monday morning after the storm. That morning one of his employees came up to him with tears in hers eyes and said “I am sorry for your loss”. And with that they hugged and cried. All his hard work, gone in one day. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.