Bluebonnet Adventures: Visiting a Dairy Farm

I’d like you to know that I’m a huge fan of dairy. Most nights, I can be completely content with good cheese and butter on French bread alongside some fruit and call it dinner. I refuse to drink coffee without half and half – I’d rather just abstain. This is why it was such a thrill to be invited by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council to visit an active family dairy late last year.

In October, Tracy and I had the opportunity to meet up and hang out with some pretty awesome cows. My husband will tell you, I am a sucker for baby cows.

The NY Farm to Table event was really all about excellent food: from nutty, creamy cheese to succulent and sultry beef steaks, we were treated to a showcase of everything edible there is to offer from the dairy world.

If you’re Texan, you know John Deere. And love ’em too.

Traveling around Noblehurst Farms, a seven generation family co-op, we learned about how they keep their 1,800 cows happy and healthy and providing delicious milk, cream, and eventually, cheese and beef.

The Noblehurst cows live on a diet of silage in Winter. This is a combination of hay, corn, alfalfa, cotton seed, and more that is placed in giant piles and covered in great big sheets of plastic to ferment in the sun. Cows love it because it is sweet, and they eat nearly 100 lbs each, every day. That’s a lot of cud!

In the Summer, Noblehurst’s cows get plenty of pasture time, but during the winter, it’s healthier to keep them close together and inside, where they can keep the temperature in the balmy 50s, a cow’s favorite temperature. We visited the ladies getting a little outdoor time before moving indoors to see their high-tech merry-go-round, the milker!

The milker is seriously cool. The ladies go for a spin a couple of times a day, providing up to 10 gallons of milk each. There are workers to put the milkers on and make sure that everyone is healthy and happy as they go in. It seriously looked like the ladies were sharing the daily gossip as they spun round.

Those are some serious milking devices!

Then it was off to see BABY COWS! (Yes, I know a baby cow is a calf, but it’s much more fun to say BABY COW!) These little guys were the males born that day. They’ll move on to greener pastures, while the girls stay with their mamas.

This last photo here is to remind us what Dairy farming is all about – families. This is “Grandma’s House”, and it’s over 100 years old. The current grandmother of the family lives in the original family homestead today, and all the family is within a half a mile, or so it seems.

After our day on the farm, we spent the evening at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, whom, let me assure you, know how to cook a perfect steak, and also the exactly right wine to pair with it.

The farm we visited that chilly October day might not have been organic, but it was clear the family truly cares for their cows. We were supposed to meet an organic farmer from Twin Oaks Dairy as well, but due to the busy time of year, they were unable to make it. I’d love if you’d visit Tracy’s blog to read what we learned in an after-trip interview with the wife of the husband-and-wife team that run that farm.

The bottom line is, dairy is an integral part of any diet. To be happy and healthy, include it in yours. Know where it comes from – hard working families with a dream to provide the best quality product they can to as many people as they can. Get yo’ cheese on!

And now for the fun part!
The American Dairy Association and Dairy Council have put together a sweet prize pack for one dairy loving B&B reader to enjoy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was invited on this trip by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council. They provided lodging, some meals, a gift bag that matches the giveaway, and a gift card to cover the cost of travel to the event. The opinions stated above are my own.

Bluebonnet Adventures: Visiting a Dairy Farm
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  1. Barbara Maxfield says

    My favorite thing to make with butter is chocolate chip cookies. They’re good with a tall glass of milk afterward too. I am a huge dairy fan! I have to have my milk and cereal every morning, and my apple pie with cheese in the fall.

  2. Megan J says

    My current favorite is homemade yogurt– i make smoothies with it all the time. But I’m also obsessed with just plain old milk!

  3. Carole Resnick says

    One of my favorite butter recipes is Cranberry-Orange Butter. Simply combine 1/2 pound sweet butter (softened), 3/4 – 1 cup fresh cranberries (depending on taste) and the zest of 1 medium orange in a food processor. Process until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

    Wonderful on sweet potatoes, hot rolls and/or muffins.

    Can also use other fruits.

  4. Mary says

    I love pretty much all things dairy! We eat a LOT of cheese in our house. If I let the cheese or hot sauce run out there would be a revolt!

    My favorite thing to make, btw it’s so hard to pick just one thing, I love homemade biscuits with butter and honey.

    My aunt and uncle have a dairy farm in Minnesota. My favorite part of visiting them were the baby cows! They have the sweetest eyes and there is just something so adorable about their spindly legs.

  5. Terri C says

    I don’t know what I don’t like about dairy! I’m a cheese fan, I just go cut a chunk and eat it when I’m hungry(and when I’m not) heavy cream is my friend for ice cream, scalloped potatoes which include butter and cheese. Only buy butter. Eat yogurt often and love to bake with it.then there is cream cheese, sour cream…… I <3 Dairy!

  6. says

    I agree – it’s so much more fun to say BABY COWS! That little white one with the spots is too cute. I would have been tempted to stuff him in my purse and take him home. Same goes for “Grandma’s House”. If I could fit that thing in the back of my car, I’d totally swipe it. Noblehurst is lovely. Thank God for dairy farmers!

  7. Theresa Sea says

    Oh my gosh…that’s such a difficult questions! Let’s say cheddar cheese scones with jalepenos. Cream, butter, and cheese in one delicious, crumbly treat! :)

  8. Andrea Smith says

    I love to make some fettuccine alfredo, nothing screams dairy like that! Yum yum! And those baby cows are adorable!

  9. Paula says

    I love to eat cheese nearly any way, bowl of cereal with milk, anything with butter (yumm), and make creme brulee with cream :)

  10. Laura says

    I grew up on a farm and one of my strongest memories is watching my Mom and my Granny using this contraption to separate cream from milk and then use the cream to churn butter. It was delicious! (homemade biscuits with butter, yummo!) But my favorite dairy product has to be cheese, love it, love it, love it! Give me a grilled cheddar or swiss or pepper jack or gouda or ….well you get the picture!

  11. Bonnie K. says

    Tops would be macaroni and cheese–this includes cheese, milk, cream and butter! Not at all low calories but oh so good comfort food. I use half milk and half cream for the best flavor. No reduced fat cheese here. I love cheese and crackers. Butter on english muffins. Welsh rarebit. Toasted cheese on bread. I could go on and on.

  12. says

    I cannot end an evening without a glass of milk. It just doesn’t happen. I drank so much milk as a child that I’m surprised I didn’t start mooing! :) Milk products are simply heaven-sent!

    And, who isn’t a sucker for a baby cow?! (Yes, saying “baby cow” is tons more fun.)

  13. says

    This trip was such a great learning experience. Thanks for the link to my post as well; it was really great how the ADAC connected us with the organic dairy farmers as well to ask them the questions we had!

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