Monthly Archives: March 2017

Seven Things You Should Know About Large Dairies

Larger Farms

Oregon has 228 family dairy farms, ranging from fewer than 100 cows being milked each day to more than 30,000. Regardless of the size of the farm, there are certain values, standards and management practices that every Oregon dairy farmer has in common.

Farm size does not determine farm quality. It’s a misperception that larger farms are somehow not as good for the animals, environment, employees or community. Here are seven things you should know about large dairy farms:

environment1 They are good stewards of the air, land and water. No matter how many cows they milk, farmers care for their land and their natural resources. It’s important to them to do the right thing and be good neighbors and members of the community and they take the initiative to do so by voluntarily implementing best management practices on their own.
farmers work with nutritionists and veterinarians2 Their cows are well cared for. Dairy farmers’ commitment to providing high quality milk begins with taking good care of their cows. On farms of all sizes, farmers work with nutritionists and veterinarians to provide a nutritious diet, great medical care and healthy living conditions. Cow comfort is key to a farmer’s livelihood.
State and federal standards3 They follow the rules. Large farms must meet state and federal standards, and they face the same kinds of regulations and oversight as smaller farms. They have regular inspections of their operations to check for and ensure compliance. Dairy is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S.
Sustainability and efficiency4 Sustainability is not just a buzzword. Farmers are innovating and working toward a sustainable future. They are increasingly working smarter with robotics, automated feeders, methane digesters, precision agriculture, solar panels and beneficial use of waste to increase efficiency and reduce impacts. Large scale farms allow optimal use of scarce resources such as water, energy and land.
Milk testing5 Food safety starts at the farm. Milk is one of the most tested and regulated food products, and all farmers employ rigorous standards, practices and procedures to ensure that it is kept pure, cold and safe. Farmers are held personally responsible for the quality of the milk that comes from their farms.
Josi family6 Oregon dairies are family owned. Even the largest Oregon dairies are family owned. Dairy farmers take great pride in their work, and they want to continue working on the same land so they can continue providing the nutritious food that we enjoy and depend on. It is their legacy.
Milk cheese yogurt7They coexist alongside smaller farms. Large farms support smaller farmers and vice versa. Not all farms produce milk for the same processors or the same dairy products or the same consumer markets. There is room for farms of all sizes and types – organic and conventional – to thrive.

RELATED INFORMATION

Meet the Miramontes Family: First Generation Oregon Dairy Farmers

In agriculture, farms are typically passed down from generation to generation – and dairy farms are no exception. These days, it’s unusual for a dairy farmer to start their own dairy. But that’s just what Jesús and Emma Miramontes did eight years ago.

Jesús at Miramontes DairyAfter spending 27 years caring for other dairy farmers’ cows, Jesús looked at his wife Emma one day and said, “Why don’t we just get our own cows and go for it?” So they did. They started Miramontes Farm with 80 cows and through hard work, excellent cow care, and teamwork, they are now milking 400 cows in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Before coming to the United States as teens, the Miramontes’ farming roots started in Mexico where Emma’s grandmother had a few farm animals. Jesús really enjoys the cows. He’s had strong mentorship from dairy farmers along the way who taught him about animal husbandry. For Emma, she loves caring for the calves. “I read a lot of [trade] magazines for information. It’s how we learn. There’s something new to learn every day,” she said.

When asked about some important lessons they have learned over the years, Emma responded without hesitation, “Working as a team.” Jesús and Emma have built their dairy while raising their three children, Manuel, Nancy, and Noah. She said there are good days and bad days in the dairy industry, but regardless the Miramontes family comes together as a team.

RELATED STORY
Outstanding in His Field: Noah Miramontes on Dairy Farming and Soccer

Outstanding in His Field: Noah Miramontes on Dairy Farming and Soccer

Soccer Ball Miramontes Dairy

What’s black and white and can be found in a field? A Holstein cow or a soccer ball would both be correct answers – and ninth grader Noah Miramontes knows his way around either one.

As the son of first generation dairy farmers Jesús and Emma Miramontes, Noah has grown up on his family dairy near Grants Pass, Oregon. In addition to working hard alongside his parents on the farm, Noah Miramontes is now a freshman varsity soccer player for North Valley High School.

Making the varsity team wasn’t easy, especially as a freshman. He attributes his success to the lessons he’s learned on the farm and to eating healthy.

Noah Miramontes“The values I learned growing up and working with my family have helped me with success on the soccer team,” said Noah. “Values such as being a team player, keeping an open mind and not trying to control fellow teammates.”

There are so many tasks to complete in any given day on a dairy farm, Noah understands that routine is important as is every pair of hands and feet. Just like soccer. Farm work has also helped him prepare for any weather conditions as well as the hard work and physical demands that comes with playing competitive soccer.

When he’s not working, practicing or playing in a game, Noah enjoys snacking on fruit with peanut butter and washes it down with plenty of milk. In fact, Noah’s favorite dairy product is milk – especially chocolate milk. He recognizes the importance of nutrition to help make him strong so he can continue to improve.

While his big brother and sister have both left the farm to pursue their own passions, Noah knows he has at least a few more years of farm chores ahead of him. But he’s not complaining.

“If we didn’t have a farm, I don’t think I would get to hang out with my mom as often,” said Noah. “Growing up on a farm gives me some great moments with my mom.”

RELATED STORY
Meet the Miramontes Family: First Generation Oregon Dairy Farmers

Community Inspired to Live Stronger, Healthier and Happier

livebest-with-yogurtWho doesn’t want to live a stronger, healthier and happier life?

All were elements of Judy Barbe’s Eating Well, Being Well workshop in Tillamook on Saturday, March 11. Barbe is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a nationally-known author and speaker, and her appearance was sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Organized by the Tillamook County Year of Wellness Nutrition Committee, and led by Oregon State University Extension Professor Jessica Linnell, PhD, the event drew more than 70 attendees, including all ages and walks of life. In addition to Tillamook Mayor Suzanne Weber and Commissioner Bill Baertlein, dairy representatives included local dairy farmers Julie Lourenzo and Joanne Seals, as well as Dairy Extension County Leader Troy Downing.

Judy-Barbe-TipsJudy Barbe engaged the audience in exercises aimed at assessing their food and lifestyle choices along with some goal setting activities to make improvements. She made an impression. One of the attendees said, “I am going to lose the prejudices I’ve formed about several food groups.” Another later posted a picture of his notes from the presentation posted on his refrigerator at home. Still another Tweeted about her meal prepping after the workshop.

Barbe gave positive “dairy deliciousness” food suggestions and addressed the health benefits of consuming real dairy. She answered questions about dairy fat and alternative beverages. Hallie Hopkins with Oregon State University Extension Service provided a tasty and instructive food demonstration with bulgur, roasted vegetables and a yogurt sauce made with donated Tillamook yogurt.

“The workshop concluded with participants sharing the goals they set for themselves based on what they learned,” said Anne Goetze, Senior Director of Nutrition Affairs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “People left motivated to make positive changes.”

THE TILLAMOOK COUNTY YEAR OF WELLNESS NUTRITION COMMITTEE INCLUDES:
Michelle Jenck, Year of Wellness
Laura Swanson, Tillamook Pioneer
Sue Phillips-Meyer, Adventist Health
Hallie Hopkins, Oregon State University Extension
Mis Carlson-Swanson, Oregon Food Bank
Dawna Roesener, Tillamook County WIC
Lauren Sorg, Food Roots
Joyce Trogdon, Rinehart Clinic

RELATED LINKS:

Tillamook County Year of Wellness

LiveBest – website for Judy Barbe, RDN

New Elk Meadow Students’ Video Highlights Healthy Habits

School milkStudents at Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend have premiered a new video about integrating healthy habits into the school day. Complete with a catchy tune and local dairy products from Eberhard’s Dairy, the video was created for a national contest for Fuel Up to Play 60 – the largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program in the U.S.

“During a recent series of art workshops at Elk Meadow, where students sampled from a variety of different art forms, some took a peak into the art of movie making with retired Bend/La Pine music teacher, Peggy Frede,” said Grant Mattox, FUTP60 Program Advisor at Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend. “Over the course of a few weeks, they put together this video which they have also entered into a little competition through Fuel Up to Play 60.

”Inspired and led by youth, Fuel Up to Play 60 was created by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. Funded by Oregon’s dairy farm families and managed by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, Fuel Up to Play 60 is active in more than 73,000 schools nationwide and hundreds of public schools in Oregon.

Having reached Touchdown Status as a school and with back-to-back student ambassadors representing Oregon at the last two national summits, Elk Meadow Elementary School has been a star performer in Oregon’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program. This is attributable in large part to their program advisor Grant Mattox and his student team of “Wellness Warriors.”