June is National Dairy Month! To celebrate it, we were invited to visit an Alabama dairy farm courtesy of the Southeast United Dairy Association. We had a WONDERFUL family day and I’m so excited to bring you along with us in today’s post!
This is Mr. and Mrs. Childers, who celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary next Tuesday. They were so kind to invite us to visit their dairy and you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer couple. They are a friendly as the day is long.
Mrs. Childer’s grandfather began the dairy in 1945. He had purchased some jersey cows and bred them to sell but when the calves started coming they found they didn’t have a buyer so they built a barn and started milking instead. When Mrs. Childer’s father came home from the war he just sort of stepped in and took over taking care of the cows and eventually built up the herd.
Mr. and Mrs. Childers met when they were both attending Auburn and were married in 1964. They both graduated in 1966 and moved home to start their own small dairy. By then, though, her father’s barn was in need of remodeling and some new equipment so the couple decided to merge the two herds and ended up with over 400 cows, in a rather crowded neighborhood. Mr Childer’s says “We got a lot of notice from the neighbors so we decided to move over to another location and built a brand new facility in 1983.”
And that is the facility we had the opportunity to visit.
We began our day in the break room, eating Mrs. Childer’s delicious oatmeal cookies and washing them down with ice cold milk (of course!) then we moved on to the milking room. (I’ve already asked for the recipe and will bring it to you soon!)
The dairy is a true family business, with two sons and several grandchildren helping out now. This is my family with Mrs. Mary and her husband (Mary works for the the Southeast Dairy Association), Mister Childers, his granddaughter Anna and his grandson Murphy (front right).
As we went through the farm, little Murphy, age four, caught me gazing up in admiration at a long line of cows getting ready to be milked and he softly pulled me down to his level and proudly said “Them’s my cows.”
Katy Rose checking out the milking process
Each cow is equipped with a sensor on their ankle.
As they come in to the milking stations the computer instantly reads that, picks up what cow it is and records all of the milk production and several other areas of data on the cow.
If the cow is determined to be ill or in distress in any way, they are then tagged in the computer and given special care to ensure they get well again. Instead of being milked, they are led out of the barn and a special gate (connected to the computer) opens when they get near it to send them to a section of the farm where they are looked after.
Okay, so it is much more technical than that but that is the jist of it.
It is amazing how well cared for the cows are and how sterile your milk is.
Did you know that the dairy industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States?
This is everyone headed out to the big barn, which is kind of like a little cow barracks
Murphy and his cows.
I just love this photo of the Childer’s daughter in law, Leigh Ann and her younguns, Murphy and Anna.
I love this photo of Miss Mary talking cows with Katy Rose. She looks like one of those Normal Rockwell kids 🙂
Here are the cows in what basically amounts to their beds. They just kinda roam in and out of the fields and shade as they want. Not a bad life!
Brady and Mister Childers talking about the cow business.
Don’t you just love black and white cows?
They have a pretty good setup here!
This is a big old pile of soil and fertilizer. There is a pretty involved drainage process throughout the farm and all of the water used to wash out the areas is then sent to a pond. The pond water is then filtered out, sediment removed to this pile, and reused. This pile then gets spread out over the fields where food for the cows is grown. Pretty cool.
Here is one of those drainage canals which is taking the water to the pond. I love how self efficient it all is.
And now for the best part! BABY COWS!
Brady and Katy loved getting to meet all of the calves. The first one mooed as she went to pet it and she said “Mama, that cow growled at me!”
I said “Katy Rose baby, cows don’t growl, they moo.”
To which she replied “Well you didn’t hear that one then!”
Katy Rose and Murphy
This is Katy checking out the calf “crib”
Isn’t that the sweetest thing?
I highly recommend searching in your area to see if there is a dairy farm your family can visit. We had such a fun day!
I wanted to take this little baby home with me
Later on the Childers gave the kids popsicles while they continued with their cow gazing.
I just love this place!
Special thanks to Miss Mary for arranging this tour for us!
We had a FABULOUS day!
Happy Cows from from Happy Farmers 🙂
You can get your own coloring page like this by clicking here.
If you color one, ask your parents to post a photo of you and your picture on my Facebook page so we can see what a great job you did!
Be sure and check out the other great free kid’s activities they have, too!
Pour one more!
Experts reccommend three servings of milk a day but studies show that most people are falling short. An easy remedy to this problem is to “Pour One More” glass of milk a day for better health and stronger bones!
Here are some yummy ways to add more milk to your diet:
- Coffee drinker? Make it a latte! I love adding whole milk to my coffee. To make the coffee extra creamy and smooth, I pour the milk into my cup first and microwave it for about thirty seconds before adding in my coffee.
- Thrill the kids with Smoothies! Smoothies are a favorite of the whole family. They can be made with yogurt, milk, and a variety of your favorite fruits. For a quick and easy smoothie recipe, check out my Bananaritas by clicking here. You can also check out my recipe for Orange Juice Specials (similar to an Orange Julius) by clicking here.
- Yogurt! We all love Yogurt and each of us has a favorite. My husband likes Yoplait. Katy Rose likes Trix yogurt. Brady likes that Yoplait smoothie yogurt, and I love the Fiber One and Activia Light yogurts (key lime pie is my favorite!). That new greek yogurt is also very good, especially with some honey stirred in.
Pour One More today!
Be sure to search on the internet for great National Dairy Month Events in your area! This weekend in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama the Burritt Museum is having a Dairy Day. Click here for details.
You can also visit Working Cows Dairy online, Alabama’s own organic Dairy Farm
And be sure and check out Wright Dairy as well!
June Dairy Month Giveaway from the Southeast Dairy Association
To celebrate National Dairy Month, EVERY DAY THIS MONTH the great folks at the Southeast Dairy Association are giving away all sorts of great prizes like t shirts, hats, and even grocery gift cards! To enter, check out their facebook page for details!
Go say hi to them and get more details on their Facebook page by clicking here!
(Be sure and tell them I sent ya!)
If you know of any other dairies that allow visits of have
events coming up, please let us know in the comments below!
Got any great dairy farm stories to share or ways to celebrate National Dairy Month?
I’d love to hear about those in the comments, too!
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned,
worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
– Denis Waitley
Thank you, Jenny, for submitting this wonderful quote. If you’d like to view some of the hundreds of others that have been submitted, or add your own, please click here.
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by anyone and I wasn’t financially compensated. We did have a great family day, though, and no amount of money can buy that! I hope you get to visit a dairy farm soon, it’s a great experience.