Last year in New Zealand, we had the opportunity to help out on a dairy farm. A real, honest-to-goodness dairy farm. We found the placement through HelpX and thought “how fun! let’s work on a dairy farm!” It was the hardest work we have EVER done! Dairy farmers have our utmost respect and admiration for the time and effort that it takes to produce the fresh milk that miraculously appears on our grocery shelves every day.
The cold, pre-dawn hours are spent getting the cows ready for the day’s first milking…and it’s a messy job! The work is fast-paced and there is NO room for error.
Your hands may be chapped and numb, but the line of cows just keeps on coming. Hook one up, un-hook the next, and the cycle continues until all have been relieved of their heavy udders and are happily chomping on grass back in the field. Then the ravenous little ones are tended to. Milk is mixed, poured and hauled to the barns where surprisingly strong young calves are clamoring for their breakfast. It’s hard not to fall in love with those sweet faces, until you’re unceremoniously butted hard in the rear end when you’re slow on filling the bottles!
Dairy farmers are a dedicated bunch who provide a service that all too often goes without thanks. So we’re here to say THANK YOU to the dairy farmers who work seven days a week, 365 days of the year to give us our milk, our cheeses, and all of the dairy products we enjoy so much!
10 Facts About Dairy You Probably Didn’t Know –
1. Cows drink about 35 gallons of water a day. That’s the equivalent of a regular sized bathtub full!
2. A cow has 4 stomachs and 32 teeth.
3. The most popular ice cream flavors (in order) are vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip and butter pecan. What’s YOUR favorite?
4. Cows spend about 6 hours a day eating and then 8 hours digesting it by ruminating or “chewing their cud”.
5. The average American drinks 25 gallons of milk each year.
6. Each person in American eats approximately 46 slices of cheese pizza a year!
7. July is National Ice Cream Month
8. Cows chew 50 times per minute!
9. If you’re sampling jalapeno’s take a sip of milk first. The proteins in milk will soothe a fiery mouth quicker than water.
10. Cows have an acute sense of smell and can detect odors up to 6 miles away!