Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #3

We're back with a week's worth of delicious recipes. I can't wait to try that Guava Cheesecake!

For those of you that watch ABC's The Bachelor, they are going to a dairy farm on Monday!! In the spirit of getting ready for their big trip, here are 10 facts about dairy farming!

Looks like Chris Soules finally found himself a farm girl ;)

10. Did you know cows get a 2 month vacation before having their baby? This is called the dry period where they are not producing milk and instead those nutrients are going to grow that baby.

9. Baby calves are rather large. A Holstein (black and white) calf can be about 90 pounds. Jerseys (the little brown cows) are lighter. Regardless, they're big!

8. You cannot tip over a cow. At over 1,000 pounds (and sometimes upwards of 1400 pounds), good luck trying to tip them over. Especially because...

7. Cows can smell you coming from about 6 miles away. Wow! Good luck surprising them.

6. Baby calves represent the best genetics on the farm, so it's always important to make sure they get the best start possible. So with that in mind, day 1 is important and involves...

5. Making sure they get colostrum as soon as possible, piercing their ears for their new earrings (ear tags with their name/number in the herd...this makes tracking their health throughout their life much easier), dipping their navel with iodine to keep any bacteria out that may cause an infection, and making sure they are moving around and doing well. Colostrum is the first milk a cow produces after giving birth and is full of antibodies to kick start the calf's immune system. Next comes their big move...

4. To individual pens or hutches. It's important that calves have individualized attention and that they are eating (drinking milk) enough and are healthy. Mama also gets individualized attention. You already learned how big cows are (about 1400 pounds) and that the 90 pound calf doesn't stand a chance if new mama doesn't pay attention and steps on it (I've seen it happen), or if she doesn't produce enough high-quality colostrum or milk for the calf or doesn't let the calf drink. Consistency is key. The health of the cows and calves are the top priority and direct many management decisions on a dairy farm.

3. Most dairy cows have their own dietitian to keep them on track with their nutrition. I think the cows eat better than I do. Cows need different amounts of energy, fiber, protein, etc. during different stages of their lives and even throughout their lactation and a dairy cattle nutritionist helps make sure they get it.

2. They also have regular doctor visits. These routine home visits to the farm can include vaccinations to protect against disease, medical attention when needed, and just checking on the cow's overall well being. There is something to the "Happy Cows" saying. Happy cows are healthy cows and that is every dairy farmer's goal.

1. Milk is one of the most tested and regulated foods available. It's tested on the farm, by the milk hauler, at the processing plant and many other times throughout the supply chain. There is zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in milk and there are very stiff consequences, including potentially losing their license to sell milk. That's a huge deal. Want to learn more about how dairy farmers protect the milk supply from antibiotic residue? Click here.

With that in mind, let's get cooking!

Weekly Meal Plan #3

Enjoy a lighter, healthier version of Easy Fettuccino Alfredo from Organized Island without compromising on taste

Kimmi's Dairyland's Caramel Apple Pork Chops are a yummy way to celebrate a fabulous day!

What’s not to love about it?  Mom's Messy Miracles' Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders looks amazing and they are super easy to make, thanks to the slow cooker!

BACON!  Yup, that's what is included in The Crumbly Cupcakes' Crock Pot Roasted Tomato Bacon Bisque.  You better believe I'm making this one!

My Fearless Kitchen's Fall-Off-The-Bone Roast Chicken is just what you need to finish the work week.  Besides being a top 'comfort food' favorite, Marybeth includes brining tips and shows you how to carve up your whole chicken.

Now that you have some time, put together Monkey Bread one night and enjoy it the next morning!

You pick the night you want to serve Guava Cheesecake.  Whichever one you select, it will be a winner!

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