Author Archives: ODNC

Grant Helps Hermiston School Connect Technology, Nutrition

Armand-Larive-Middle-School_students

Fuel Up to Play 60 grant funding provided by local dairy farmers is making a difference in Oregon schools.

Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston received a grant of $3,555 to purchase a computer, accessories and software for video production. The new computer equipment enables students to make Food Hero time lapse recipe videos to help educate students on healthy recipes.

For the application, the school teamed with Angie Treadwell, Family and Community Health Umatilla-Morrow SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator for Oregon State University Extension Center. “We are excited for the opportunity to help Armand Larive students gain additional experience in video production while educating and promoting healthy behaviors among their peers and perhaps, the community at large,” said Treadwell.

Additionally, with the new computer equipment purchased, students were able to compete at the Student Television Network Conference in Anaheim, California in March. Under the category of Middle School Anchor Team, Armand Larive took 2nd honorable mention.

At a special school assembly in April, the Food Hero videos were shown to the student body while they enjoyed tasting the ever-popular“Popeye Power Smoothie.” All of the videos created by the students are now on www.FoodHero.org.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. To learn more about the grant visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.

For This Nurse, Dairy Farming Provides the Perfect Antidote

Jennifer-Evers_Wismer_s-Dairy

When she isn’t caring for her patients, she’s caring for her cows.

For Jennifer Evers, a critical care nurse at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Oregon, spending her days off working on a dairy farm is the perfect antidote to a stressful work week. And it’s something she wouldn’t miss for the world.

“I really appreciate the farm as my outlet from nursing,” Evers said. “I really enjoy just going out there and relaxing, enjoying the environment, the peace, and just being with my family.”

Jennifer-Evers_farm-and-family-time Evers, who grew up on her family’s Wismer’s Dairy in Gaston, Oregon, married a fellow dairy farmer, Zack Evers, who now helps run his family’s operation, Ever May Farms in Forest Grove.

These days, Evers works three 12-hour shifts at the hospital each week, 4 to 8 hours a month at a nearby cardiologist’s office, and splits her time “off” between the two farms, pitching in where she’s most needed.

“I’m just a set of helping hands,” she said. “They’ll call me when they need a driver, or a milker, or someone to feed calves, or to move cows around. I’m just an eager helper, because it is not my everyday routine. I am refreshed and recharged, and it is a way for me to de-stress from my full-time job.”

For many young adults who were raised on a farm, it was never a doubt as to whether they would stay and work the family farm. For others, staying on the family farm was not their calling. Evers is sort of a hybrid.

“When I was in high school, my dad used to ask me why I wanted to leave him and leave the farm,” Evers remembered. “I told him [it was] so I could make a career for myself and because I wanted to help people in their worst of times and their best of times. And I still can’t think of anything else that I would rather do than nursing.”

jennifer-evers_critical-care-nurse It was when she was fresh out of college and still living on the family farm that Evers came to realize just how much farming meant to her.

“I really started to value my lifestyle and what I grew up with,” she said. “I could see how lucky I was compared to my co-workers. None of them had this outlet that I had. It was a place to go to be with family.”

During an intensive regimen of college courses, Evers continued to work the farm on most weekends and during college vacations. Her senior year, she started a two-year stint as a Dairy Princess Ambassador, advocating for the industry at events around the state and in classroom settings.

To this day, in fact, her fellow nurses call her the Dairy Princess.

“They tell all my patients, ‘You have the Dairy Princess taking care of you today,’” she shared.

Evers doesn’t mind the teasing and, in fact, uses it to advocate for the industry.

“I get very passionate when I talk with my patients and their families and staff about dairying,” she said. “My co-workers know I’m a farmer, and when they have questions, they come talk to me. About once a week we’re in a discussion in the middle of the nursing station, talking about a particular farming practice, or about how a farmer takes care of their land, about how they treat their cows if they are sick, and just kind of correcting misunderstandings that they may have from misinformation.”

Her interest in representing the dairy industry led her to join the Oregon Dairy Products Commission as one of its newest board members. Looking ahead, Evers said she has no plans to choose between her full-time profession and her passion for dairy, preferring to leave things as they are for the foreseeable future.

“For me, it is the best of both worlds, to be able to work thirty-six hours a week as a nurse, and spend four days a week on the dairies,” she said.

It might not be your normal weekend activity, but it’s one that works just fine for Jennifer Evers.

 

This story also appears on the DairyGood website.

Brews to Moos: Cows Savor Brewery Byproduct

As an estimated 80,000 locals and tourists taste samples at the 30th annual Oregon Brewers Festival in downtown Portland this week, cows in Astoria will be enjoying the spent grains from one of the participating brewers.

This story began more than 10 years ago, when dairy feed costs started soaring in the wake of the U.S. ethanol mandate. Dirk Rohne of Brownsmead Island Farm near Astoria, Oregon, had one of those “what if” moments.

What if he could use a byproduct generated by the beer brewing process at nearby Fort George Brewery as feed for his 170 cow dairy?

“I had this conversation with the owners of Fort George, and it came out that Fort George had a problem,” Rohne said. “They had to get rid of all this grain, and, intuitively, I thought it could be a resource for my dairy.”

Rohne and Fort George began an arrangement that today is providing Rohne a valuable feed source and helping Fort George dispose of its byproduct in an environmentally friendly manner.

The arrangement is one of dozens in place today between Oregon dairies and Oregon microbreweries, arrangements that Rohne characterized as “a winning scenario for everyone involved.”

“This (arrangement) is way better than sending it to a landfill, because it is a valuable feed commodity for Dirk,” said Fort George founder Jack Harris. “And if we had to landfill it, it would be very expensive, because we make a lot of it.”

Use of spent grains as dairy feed, although a practice dating back decades, had a slow start among Oregon microbreweries, primarily because the smaller breweries weren’t making enough beer for dairies to justify hauling it to their farms.

“Initially, it was really difficult for a lot of these microbreweries to get rid of their spent brewers grains,” said dairy nutrition consultant Mary Swearingen. “I remember when I was younger, there were producers that used to get it for free, because the distillers needed to get rid of it. Today is has become an up-and-coming trend, and a hot commodity for producers to get their hands on.”

“Originally, it was very challenging time wise, driving back and forth with a flatbed carrying four fish totes,” Rohne said. “Then Fort George got larger, and I bought twenty fish totes. They would fill up the totes, and I would use their forklift to load the totes onto my truck and trailer in the middle of the road outside their brewery.”

Today the dairy hauls between forty and fifty tons of spent grain a month from the downtown Astoria brewery to the dairy in a one-ton truck with a triple-axle dump trailer that Rohne purchased solely for hauling the spent grain.

“Now it is a well-oiled machine,” Rohne said, “and because I was willing to do that in the beginning, a level of trust developed that allowed me to invest more into the hauling.”

Spent grains bring several positives to a dairy cow’s diet, Swearingen said. “Their number one characteristic is they are relatively high in energy, and they are very digestible,” she said.

“We feed alfalfa hay and corn silage and grain during the winter months when we are unable to pasture our cows,” Rohne said. “Those are very dry, so when you have that spent grain, which is very wet, it makes the consistency more palatable for the cows.

“The cows do very well on it,” Rohne added. “When I have a lot of spent grain on hand, everything seems to go a little bit better. The cows seem to eat more and do better, and I cut back on my feed costs.”

Dairy consultant and nutritionist John Rosecrans said he’s been using spent brewers grain in his practice for decades. Before Oregon became a leader in the microbrewery industry, dairies would purchase the feed from Henry Weinhard’s Brewery in Portland and from Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, Washington, among others brewers, he said.

“There were several brewers here back thirty, thirty-five years ago, and it doesn’t matter if a brewer is big or small, livestock is far and away the best use for that brewer’s grain,” Rosecrans said.

In most cases, spent grains make up only a small part of a dairy cow’s diet, Rosecrans said. “It might make up just five to ten percent of a dairy cow’s total intake,” Rosecrans said, “but it is a valuable part of their diet. And we’re turning what would be a waste product into a feed product. That should be good for everybody.”

Rohne even takes this environmentally friendly use of spent grains to another level, turning his dairy’s manure solids into compost and selling it back to the local community as fertilizer.

“In Dirk’s case, we send the spent grains out to him, he runs it through his cows, and we scoop it back up and put it on our garden,” Fort George’s Harris said. “It is a true cycle of life we’ve got going on between us and Dirk.”

Oregon Raspberry or Blackberry Sauce

So simple and so divine! Pour over luscious Oregon-made ice cream and enjoy the bounty of Oregon.
indulgent-recipeDessert recipe

 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups raspberries or blackberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup sugar
1½ Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

INSTRUCTIONS
In a blender, blend fresh or thawed frozen berries for 20 seconds. Place a mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour mixture through the sieve and press using a plastic spatula or spoon. Press to extract puree and remove seeds.

Pour berry puree into a medium pan. Mix in sugar and heat to 160 degrees. Stir often.

Mix lemon juice and cornstarch into a slurry or thick liquid. Add to berry puree and cook for 3 more min, or until cornstarch is completely cooked and puree is thickened into sauce.

Pour over ice cream or frozen yogurt, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission

Farming with Innovation and Heart Earns National Award for Rickreall Dairy

rickreall dairy_louies-portrait

A dedication to protecting the environment, maintaining good employee relations and preserving herd health has earned Louie Kazemier of Rickreall Dairy an Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

The award, now in its sixth year, is awarded for a dairy’s use of sustainable practices in areas of cow care, energy conservation, water conservation, nutrient management, and business and employee relations.

Rickreall is the first dairy from Oregon to win the award. It was one of only three such awards in the country this year, and the only one west of the Mississippi River.

Kazemier, who has managed Rickreall Dairy since 1991, summed up his commitment to sustainability as a constant effort “to do the right thing.”

“I believe that if we know a better way to do stuff and don’t do it, I don’t think we are honoring our purpose here in life,” he said.

His work on the dairy, more than defining him, he said is an extension of his philosophy on life.

Among reasons cited by the U.S. Dairy Innovation Center for Kazemier’s award are his philanthropic efforts to help others.

Kazemier travels regularly to Uganda to instruct dairy farmers, build housing and mentor young men. In Oregon, Kazemier built Camp Attitude, a camp for families with special-needs children.

In Rickreall, residents know him for his open-door policy, and the steps he takes to be a good neighbor.

“We are ultra-sensitive to the public,” Kazemier said. “We only irrigate certain fields, certain times of the day, because of wind direction and concerns with odor. And we have an open door policy, where anybody who wants to see the dairy can come in. We bring in a minimum of 2,000 school children a year at no cost to the schools.”

Rickreall-Dairy-signWhen it comes to the environmental improvements, Kazemier worked with Energy Trust of Oregon and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade his barn lighting and parlor laundry systems, steps that have reduced his energy use by hundreds of thousands of kilowatts per year.

Kazemier’s nutrient management plan involves applying only the amount of nutrients plants take up, so nutrients don’t leave the soil profile. He conducts water-quality tests in a nearby creek on a quarterly basis, and takes soils tests on the farm’s cropland on an annual basis, just to be sure.

Additionally, Kazemier provides neighboring farmer Scott Zeigler excess manure nutrients from Rickreall Dairy in exchange for feed, an arrangement that has proved beneficial to both parties.

Kazemier’s father-in-law, Gus Wybenga, a third-generation dairy farmer who expanded and redesigned Rickreall Dairy when he purchased it in 1990, designed it with water conservation in mind. Kazemier has refined the system to capture and conserve water, and ensure that tap water is recycled at least three times before being used for irrigation.

And Kazemier has arranged with a local food processor to take excess waste water off the processor’s hands, an arrangement that, again, benefits both parties.

When it comes to his 3,500 cows, Kazemier works closely with a nutritionist, a veterinarian and a herd manager to regulate and monitor herd health. And he uses computer software to track daily milk production and maintain health and treatment records.

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Rickreall Dairy meets most of its feed needs through double-cropping ryegrass silage and corn silage and on the dairy’s 1,100 acres of cropland. Kazemier supplements that with high-quality alfalfa hay, along with two byproducts from a local biofuel production plant, plus mineral supplements, beet pulp, cottonseed, hominy and corn grain, and the feed he gets from Zeigler Farms.

Kazemier uses composted manure solids for cow bedding, a practice that, in addition to providing a comfortable and sanitary bedding, also provides another beneficial use for dairy waste, and he has removed exterior walls to improve air circulation in the dairy’s five free-stall barns.

According to John Rosecrans, the dairy’s nutritionist, Rickreall Dairy cows consistently rank as an “A” herd, exhibiting high milk-production-to-feed rates, low cull rates and high pregnancy rates – all key elements in a dairy’s success.
“This is one of those dairies where you can walk through the cow pens and they don’t run from you, they follow you,” Rosecrans said. “That tells you a lot about a farm.”

Then there are the dairy’s twenty-five year-round employees, workers with an average a tenure of twenty years.

“People don’t quit very quickly here,” Kazemier said, “and I take a lot of pride in that, because agriculture is a tough business, and my guys, they know that I’ve got their back if they put one-hundred percent into this job.”

Indeed, cows, people, the community and the environment all seem to benefit from their association with Louie Kazemier and Rickreall Dairy.

 


 


RELATED LINKS

Oregon Dairy Farm Receives National Sustainability Award
NEWS RELEASE | June 29, 2017
Rickreall Dairy Lauded for Farming with Innovation and Heart

Dairy Farms and Businesses are Advancing Sustainable Practices, from Farm to Table
NEWS RELEASE | June 29, 2017
Winners announced for sixth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, progress report released

Louie Kazemier: Dairy Farmer, Humanitarian, Heart of Gold

Starting the Day out Right with School Breakfast

Imlay students are Fueled Up

Students at Imlay Elementary in Hillsboro, Oregon are starting the day out right with school breakfast thanks to the support of Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

Knowing the importance of breakfast for student success motivated the Fuel Up to Play 60 team at Imlay Elementary to apply for grant funding through the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. Funds brought new life to the cafeteria space with a fresh coat of paint, new menu boards, sound system and posters.

Imlay held a special Fuel Up to Play 60 kick off assembly to highlight all their cafeteria improvements. Teachers encouraged hungry students to participate in “Grab and Go” breakfast and used breakfast time as an opportunity to teach students about “What is a Healthy Breakfast.”

Classes have been fueling their minds and bodies with a friendly competition for the highest breakfast participation. “The student wellness team is helping serve food and participating in taste testing, gathering breakfast participation data and making wellness announcements,” said first grade teacher Lisa Sagapolu.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is the largest school nutrition and physical activity program in the country. The program is administered locally by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, in partnership with the National Football League, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Dairy Council.

Two Great Ways You Can Enjoy the Milk Carton Boat Race

MILK CARTON BOAT RACE
Date:
June 25, 2017
Time:
11:00 am activities begin (boat check-in opens at 9:30 am)
Location:
Westmoreland Park Casting Pond – SE McLoughlin Blvd and Bybee Blvd
Cost:
FREE

At the Royal Rosarians’ Milk Carton Boat Race, teams and individuals race each other across a pond floating atop empty milk jugs and cartons. It’s a unique Portland Rose Festival tradition dating back to 1973. You have to see it to believe it – and you’re invited to do just that.

Here are two ways for you to be a part of this year’s party on the pond:


PARTICIPATE

It is 100% free to register as a participant in the Milk Carton Boat Race. Here are five simple steps to join the race:

1. Read the Race Information and Rules.

2. Give your boat a name and Register Online.

3. Design and build your boat. Watch this video for some helpful tips. Keep in mind that a one gallon jug
supports 8 lbs., a half-gallon supports 4 lbs., and a one-quart paper carton floats 2 lbs.

4. Have all boat riders sign a Waiver.

5. On race day bring your boat, waivers, life jackets and enthusiasm. Check in and boat inspection opens at 9:30 am. Onsite registration is also available from 9:30-10:30 am.

There are multiple divisions for teams and individuals, and children as young as 7 years old can participate. No experience is needed, and every year there have been first-timers. The pond is relatively shallow, and volunteers from the Sea Scouts will be present to help ensure water safety.


SPECTATE

While it’s a lot of fun to participate in the races, it can also be a lot of fun to watch. There’s no cost to attend the event and cheer on your favorite boats and racers. There will be food available for purchase, as well as samples and giveaways.

Seating around the park is first-come, first-served, and you can bring chairs or blankets to make yourself comfortable. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!

The Milk Carton Boat Race is produced by the Royal Rosarians, sanctioned by the Portland Rose Festival and sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

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RELATED LINKS:

Improving School Meals for Oregon Students

Clear Lake kick off school lunch

by DeDe Poynor, Oregon State University Dietetic Intern

Deanna PoynorDid you know school meals have been getting a makeover? It’s true – a lot has changed since the National School Lunch Program began in 1946. Here are some examples.

Current federal requirements help students eat a well-balanced diet with the nutrients they need as they grow. Schools must offer a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the week. They also give students whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. Including more of the good stuff and cutting excessive salt, sugar, fat and calories helps develop healthy eating habits now and in the future.

Another role of school meals is to address child hunger. Oregon is the sixth most food insecure state in the country, with 1 in 6 households unsure of where their next meal will come from. Those kids often do not get the nutrients they need to be healthy and succeed in the classroom. Due to this, many schools around the state are looking at options outside of lunch, including breakfast and summer meal programs, to get students the food they need.

As the name implies, federal meal requirements must be met. However, deciding what to offer and how to prepare the food is up to the schools. It can be hard to find recipes and items that meet federal requirements. It is also hard to find menu items that most of the kids will eat. That is why Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs have joined forces to offer statewide culinary trainings for school nutrition staff. These trainings give tips and tools for offering things that kids will like, including local fruits and vegetables.

Oregon has been a national leader for the Farm to School Program, connecting Oregon schools with local farmers. With funding provided by the state legislature, this program has given kids opportunities to try locally grown and processed fruits and vegetables, as well as meat, dairy and whole grains. At the same time, the Farm to School Program has helped the economy by supporting Oregon businesses.

School meal programs continue to evolve with the support of students, teachers, administrators, parents and communities. School nutrition staff are bringing creative solutions to kitchens and cafeterias that maximize the available funding while keeping Oregon children full with nutritious and delicious foods.

Is DASH the Best Diet … Ever?

Could it be? Is there really a “best diet?” If such a thing exists, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan may just be it. In 2017, for the seventh year in a row, an expert panel of health and nutrition experts assembled by U.S. News & World Report rated DASH Best Overall Diet.

DASH has been repeatedly lauded by expert panels for its proven plan for healthy eating, diabetes prevention and heart health. With nearly 20 years of research to support it, the DASH Diet is recommended by both the 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

What’s unique about DASH is that it is really not a traditional diet but rather an eating plan that you can follow for life. It also works well for families, couples, co-workers and individuals. The focus is on food – simple, easy-to-prepare and tasty food. No pills or special ingredients. Simply food.

The DASH eating plan emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein and dairy foods. In fact, milk, cheese and yogurt are critical components of DASH because of the nutrients they provide. This combination of foods provides enhanced health benefits that are not seen when dairy foods are not included.

DASH was originally shown to be as effective in treating high blood pressure for some people as medications can be. Further research has confirmed this time and again, but also has shown that DASH can help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes while at the same time improving bone health. A 2016 study showed that a modified DASH diet with full fat dairy foods, no juice and fewer sugars maintained and enhanced the health benefits of DASH, including:

  • Similar benefit of lowering blood pressure
  • Reduced blood triglyceride levels
  • No difference in total LDL cholesterol
  • Did not reduce the blood HDL cholesterol levels

So, is it time for you to get started with the DASH eating plan? We can help with the information and tools you need. Visit https://odncouncil.org/dash/ to find DASH recipes to help you reach your daily goal for each food group.

 

 


READ MORE ABOUT DASH:

Bean and Smoked Cheddar Salad

Bean and Smoked Cheddar Salad
This tasty bean salad comes together in no time, and the smokey cheddar adds bonus flavor. No smoked cheddar? Try using sharp cheddar or pepper jack.

Serves 4

dash-recipehealthy-recipeentree-recipeSide dish recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Build a DASH meal with this salad by adding a side of fresh fruit and a whole grain roll

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
½ cup celery, sliced
2 15-ounce can 50% less sodium beans (garbanzo, kidney or black), drained and rinsed
4 ounces smoked Cheddar cheese, cut into ¼ inch cubes

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large bowl combine Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper and olive oil: whisk until well mixed.
Add remaining ingredients to large bowl with vinaigrette and mix until evenly coated. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Per serving: 240 Calories, 11 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 310 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 12 g protein, 192 mg calcium

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