New Things Excite Me

It’s been such an exciting Wednesday!

I love new things and Wednesday morning 12 brand-spanking new items installed in our milking parlor.

New milking units. Glorious. Blue. Sparkling clean! I love working in a clean parlor. Throw in 12 new super-clean milking units and there was no way possible I was going to be in a bad mood.

All I can say is this, “It’s about time.”

It has always been a huge goal of mine to produce the highest quality milk that we can on the farm. I probably write about it more than you care to read about it.

When I married Steve, I can honestly say, “Our milk quality was less than stellar.”

We had a somatic cell count that hovered around the 600,000 parts per milliliter. From what I have gleaned off the Internet, and the Internet is always true, one teaspoon equals 4 milliliters and one cup is almost 237 milliliters. One milliliter is one weensy-teensy quarter of a teaspoon.

When I put it like that it makes me think our old cell counts should have been in milk as thick as Mod Podge. Thick and gooey.

Rest assured, it never was.

We have successfully lowered that number to an average of 140,000 parts per mil.

I have been hounding Steve for years that we need to replace our milking units in the barn. I thought our cows would milk out better, which would improve milk production and quality.

The actual milking units are 10-years old, as of this past summer. It hardly seems that long ago that we built the milking parlor. It’s like the stove I can see as I stand here at my standing desk. It seems like just yesterday we purchased that stove, a dishwasher and a refrigerator with the money we received when we sold our trailer home.

That was 20-years ago. The stove is the only appliance that hasn’t worn out. The kids will say, “Well, duh, Mother. That’s because you never use it!”

That’s a lie.

So back to the uneven milk out of our cows. One quarter would still have milk coming out of it and the remaining three would be getting pulled inside out. (That doesn’t really happen.)

That’s bad when that happens. The three teat ends on the quarters which are done milking will get damaged.

It’s called keratosis. Quiz later. In a facility such as ours, teat ends are a high priority.

When they are damaged we get many devastating cases of mastitis.

Been there. Done that. Don’t want to go back.

As of late, we have had many cases of mastitis in just the left-rear quarters on many of our cows.

It was odd and we had a heck of a time trying to find the reason. One milking unit was to blame because it had a hairline fracture that I could barely see. The people we hired to come analyze our parlor setup and procedures found it.


While the dudes from Bou-Matic were here helping us find our issues, we were given a sales pitch on the new and improved milking units.

Every sales pitch involves new-and-improved product. Tractors, seed, computers, cameras, etc.

Steve bucked a little bit at the thought of spending several thousand dollars on new milking unit. But I know how to win him over. I gave him my best puppy-eyes and argued my point.

So now we have brand-new, cobalt-blue milking units being used in the parlor. We will spend the next few weeks fine tuning the vacuum settings on the units. (It can only be adjusted a little bit at a time.)

It’s going to be fun to see how this goes.

(P.S. It’s Steve’s birthday today! Wish him a happy birthday if you see him out and about!)

Everybody has a cause

Everybody has a cause.

Angelina Jolie is a supporter of peace around the world and works with members of the United Nations and regularly works with survivors of disasters that happen all over the globe.

Jon Bon Jovi’s cause is homelessness. He tries to help disadvantaged people affected by poverty fulfill their potential in this world.

Heck, even Prince Charles is required to be involved in some sort of charity work. His cause offers support by training, mentoring and providing financial assistance to help disadvantaged young people achieve their potential.

Many, many celebrities support that animal rights group that I refuse to name.

You know the one I am talking about.

I just don’t understand how people can be so ignorant when it comes to a cause.

I don’t even get mad when I hear about what this radical group is up to; I find it very frustrating. I used to get mad, but what is the fix for stupidity?

I don’t think we are ever going to do away with groups that really don’t understand what would happen should their cause become the norm.

I believe it would be more damaging to the environment to have every single soul on this planet become a vegan. I have nothing against vegans, unless they try to shove a broccoli floweret down my throat.

It would take millions of more acres to raise only plant-based food for all the people in the world. More tractors would be needed to work that land, which would contribute to global warming, which would lead to plants that cannot survive because of the heat. (Which reminds me that we would have to get cows to stop farting, because, apparently, that contributes to global warming too.)

Plants that cannot survive the heat with then have to be genetically modified.

The horror! Genetically modified organisms are bad, so we would still need more acres to grow food for the human population.

You see what I mean. It’s a never ending battle. It’s just one continuous circle.

I can foresee the population in 2000 years still arguing about all the very same things people argue about today. Do you suppose the world’s first civilizations argued about food?

That’s why I find the entire process to be so tiring.

When will it actually stop?

I still continue do my part in trying to prevent uninformed people from basing their decisions on poor science and ignorance.

A long time ago, I found this great site called 100 Days of Real Food. You may have heard about this, because as of late, the particular web author has been all over mainstream media.

I liked her site because of the recipes. I personally don’t like to purchase Spaghettios and factory-made, but totally-delicious, single-serve cakes. I find the cheese you squirt out of a can an abomination to the cheese world.

Squirting cheese will never appear in my cupboards, but I won’t stop you from spreading a Ritz with it, if you so desire.

That’s it.

I have to take up a cause. A cause so important to me that I will do whatever it takes to prevent another person from ever consuming or using that product.

Anyway, this real food web page I was following was promoting an anti-ag movie, which I have refuse to watch.

She had posted a comment on a certain movie she “finally” let her kids watch, because she felt her children were old enough to watch the slaughter of animals. Well, are my kids old enough to watch flowers opening up in the spring?

What kind of la-la world does this woman belong?

That was the end of a beautiful, but totally anonymous, relationship.

Well, I sent the author of the website a note stating how “I enjoyed her site because of the recipes, but due to a recent post I would have to discontinue my membership in her site.”

I explained that I was a dairy farmer and was offended by her promotion of a movie that contained stretched truths and fallacies.

Then I invited her to come visit my dairy farm.

She has yet to respond.

And I doubt she will. Maybe I should keep sending her an invitation.

So anyway, back to my social cause, I may not be as important as a celebrity, but every cause has to start somewhere.

How about Ban the Rat Terrier because they take care of all the cats on my farm?

I know. I am going to protest my cat bringing me live mice in the middle of the night. I mean, it’s so annoying when she plays with them at 2 a.m. I think I need to stop feeding my cat so she is actually hungry and will eat the little rodents.

How about squab? The delicacy that is 4-week-old pigeon and costs a measly $18 a pound. Have you ever seen a 4-week old pigeon? Why would a person want to eat that? Much less pay three hours of minimum wage (minus the taxes) to fill his or her stomach.

I think we should all help squab to become better pigeon citizens that live to their full potential – allow them to bloom into fine-feathered friends that are the messiest birds I have seen.

I may be on to something here. Some pigeons, mostly the cosmopolitan ones, become quite attractive as adult birds. Who knows, maybe that squab you ate for dinner would have been beautiful.

I have no problems with people taking up causes that benefit human beings. We all need a little help every once in a while.

I do have a problem with causes that expect us to treat animals as human beings.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at