In light of distance learning, spring field trips have been cancelled, and all education has moved online. But, you can still visit a farm—virtually of course. Check out these links to see Oregon dairy producers (and friends) doing what they do best- making delicious dairy products for your fridge.
In this video, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Jaime connects us with Darleen from Abiqua Acres: Mann’s Guernsey Dairy in Marion County shows you their beautiful Guernsey dairy cows who are milked by robots! The camera even gets a kiss from the cow named Darleen.
Also in Marion County is Oregon 1st Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, who will give you a tour of her family’s dairy. Explore cattle feed, maternity pens and feeding calves with a special appearance from the cutest barn cat.
Next, travel to Harrold’s Dairy in Lane County to visit with Bobbi, a fourth generation dairy farmer who is introducing her dairy to 8th grade students at Coburg Community Charter School through AgLink’s Adopt a Farmer Program.
You can find more educational videos for your virtual classroom on the Oregon Dairy Women’s Facebook page, where Oregon’s Dairy Princess Ambassador, Jaime, and First Alternate Dairy Princess Ambassador, Taysha, will teach you about all dairy cow breeds and cow nutrition, milk from farm to table, MyPlate nutrition, and so much more in this four part series.
Oregon’s dairy community loves what they do. They work hard every day caring for their land and animals, and providing your family with essential nutrition.
During this pandemic, food heroes including farmers, processors and grocers are working hard to get products to you, from farm to fridge. But don’t just take our word for it, here they are in a short video to tell you themselves.
While things have not been perfect, and this world looks extremely different than it did a few months ago, Oregon’s dairy community has rallied together to make sure everyone gets the food that they need, through your grocery stores, to your schools, and through Oregon’s food banks.
So whether you need essential nutrients found in dairy products, or just come good ol’ comfort food, dairy farm families across the state, like the Lancaster family, Heimerl kids, Wismer triplets, Krahn girls, processors Darigold and Tillamook Creamery, Darleen from Guernsey Dairy Mama and Derrick from TDF Honest Farming want you to know “we’ve got you covered.”
After stay-at-home orders cancelled Louie Kazemier’s plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his dairy farm with an open-house party, he decided to shift gears and help out the community instead.
“My family still wanted to do something to serve the community in a different way,” said Kazemier, owner of Rickreall Dairy in Rickreall, Oregon. “So, we gathered our resources and came up with an idea to ‘pay it forward’ to the community that has supported us for 30 years.”
The family decided to do a food giveaway. “With so many families out of work right now, we understood that food insecurity is also increasing,” said Kazemier’s daughter, Stacy Foster. “We weren’t sure if a few pounds of ground beef and milk would really make much of a difference, but we wanted to try just the same.”
They were shocked by the positive response from the community. “We posted information about the event on the dairy’s Facebook page, and within a few days the post had been shared over 700 times,” said Foster. “We had no idea it would get that kind of response.”
“People have been so supportive and encouraging,” said Kazemier. “It has been a great reminder that we are loved and supported in our little town.”
The day of the event brought people out in large numbers. “We started to panic when cars were lining up at 12:30,” said Foster. The event didn’t officially start until 2:00, and yet people chose to drive in and wait in their vehicles. At 1:45 there were approximately 80 vehicles lined up to receive food. “We started to question if we would have enough, and if we were going to be giving enough to each family,” she said.
Every car received four pounds of ground beef donated by Rickreall Dairy, two half-gallons of milk and four 14-ounce containers of chocolate milk donated by the dairy’s processor, Darigold, and a bag of potatoes donated by Farmers and FFA Fighting Hunger in Oregon.
In the end, giving back to the community felt much more meaningful than a party, said Kazemier as he watched his family and employees pull together to help the community. “My family has always been pretty close, but anytime we can all work together on a project like this it brings out the best in all of us, ” he said.
“We served approximately 430 families in our community,” said Kazemier. The food was gone by 3:45. “It was tough to have to turn people away. We learned that the need in our community is immense,” he said.
The dairy community as a whole has understood that hunger in the U.S. is going to be a serious problem until people are able to go back to work. That’s why dairy farmers and processors across the nation are increasing their donations to food banks and school meal programs to help people in need of nourishment. Many, like Rickreall Dairy, are quietly making contributions without seeking recognition or accolades.“We just pray that this random act of kindness will give everyone the hope they need as we all struggle through these crazy times,” said Kazemier.
Stacy Foster, who is quoted in this story, serves as the Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
Searching for free school meals in your area? Run out of recipe ideas? Looking for ways to exercise at home? Anthony Newman has got your back.
Anthony Newman, former NFL player and Oregon Duck, tackles health issues for kids and teens in our short video series, “Staying Healthy with Anthony Newman.”
Where to Find Free School Meals
Anthony Newman shares information on where to find free school meals in your area. Free school meals are available to ALL kids and teens age 1-18. Not just those in school. No ID or registration is needed at pick up. And they’re delicious and healthy!
Self-care is an important part of staying on track while staying at home. Anthony shares information on the importance of sleeping, eating well, and how kids can establish a healthy routine during this time.
Feeling lonely or disconnected? Anthony provides tips on how to cultivate a positive attitude while staying safe and socially distancing.
Food Hero Smoothie Recipe
Who likes smoothies? You will after watching this video! Anthony shows you how easy it is to eat healthy at home with a recipe from Food Hero, a website chock-full of easy and nutritious recipes kids can make at home.
An Oregon dairy was among the winners of the 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards announced yesterday in a presentation by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman, Oregon, was one of three dairies nationwide – and the only one on the U.S. West Coast – to receive the award for Outstanding Dairy Sustainability.
Threemile Canyon Farms was recognized for demonstrating how growing crops and milking cows can complement one another in a regenerative, closed-loop system, resulting in little to no waste. “We find what traditionally would be considered waste and redeploy that waste to beneficial use,” said Marty Myers, general manager and part owner for Threemile Canyon Farms.
For the past nine years, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has recognized dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet. Selection involves a rigorous nomination and review process, and the winners serve as a replicable model for best practices that yield economic, environmental and social benefits.
Threemile’s 70,000 Jersey cows are located at the center of the 93,000-acre farm. Practicing precision agriculture, the farm also grows organic blueberries, onions, carrots, potatoes, and corn, as well as a variety of conventional food, feed, and cover crops. Manure from the dairy serves as organic fertilizer for the crops, and the cows consume byproducts from food processing for human consumption that would otherwise go to waste.
Modeling creativity, innovation, and efficiency, their efforts to continuously improve farm practices generate positive results for food safety, air and water quality, animal care, and community benefits. “Our philosophy and approach is continuous improvement, with our team members bringing new ideas to our operations in farming, livestock, and renewable energy,” said Myers.
As an example, Threemile recently partnered with Equilibrium Capital to invest in converting its methane digester from generating electricity to producing clean Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). This process sequesters about 136,000 metric tons of carbon emissions every year. This is the annual equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 28,875 passenger vehicles driven while yielding a beneficial product in the form of RNG. Renewable natural gas used in vehicles reduces fuel emissions by 80 percent or more compared to diesel fuel.
The farm also thinks beyond its borders, voluntarily placing 23,000 acres into a wildlife conservation area and donating 7,000 pounds of ground beef to Farmers Ending Hunger every month. It also supports internships and opportunities for local 4-H and FFA students and other local community projects.
This year’s U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners show how operations of all scope and size are doing their part to make a positive impact on Earth’s resources. Go to usdairy.com/sustainability to learn more about the winners and to see how U.S. dairy adopts conservation practices in sensitive ecosystems, recycles water, produces clean energy and more.
“Threemile Canyon Farms is a highly successful working model of how modern dairy practices can be an environmental solution,” said Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council Executive Director Pete Kent. “To feed not only our own local communities, but growing global populations, we must embrace such efforts as these to care for our natural resources, so we can rely on them continuously to produce our food in the decades ahead.”
With more than a decade of experience in video production and social media management, Shannon Guirl has been selected as the new Sr. Manager of Integrated Communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC). In this newly created role, she will be responsible for reaching multiple audiences with engaging visual storytelling and content about Oregon’s dairy community.
Amidst an ever-changing media landscape, the competition for attention is constant. Combine that with the fact that many consumers are increasingly disconnected from agriculture and where their food comes from, and it becomes immediately evident why ODNC prioritized this new position.
“We always say dairy needs to do a better job of telling its story, from sustainable farming practices, to exceptional nutrition, to the economic benefits and beyond,” said Josh Thomas, Sr. Director of Communications for ODNC. “But it isn’t just about telling more stories, it’s about telling the right kinds of stories and in the right ways – and increasingly, that translates to visual storytelling on digital platforms.”
As a freelance editor in New York, Guirl worked on broadcast, cable and documentary productions for NBC, A&E, Discovery, CNN and Reuters among others. She also worked in corporate communications for UNICEF, TED Talks and Etsy. Most recently, Guirl owned and operated a lighting design studio in Portland specializing in making handcrafted lamps. She holds a degree from the University of Southern California, where she graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts.
“In addition to Shannon’s strong technical expertise in visual and digital communications, she brings creative vision and a natural enthusiasm to our team,” said Pete Kent, Executive Director for ODNC. “We’re excited that her work with ODNC will help us build understanding, trust and sales for dairy in new and engaging ways.”
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented significant challenges to individuals, families and businesses worldwide. Our thoughts are with you and yours to stay safe and healthy as you continue to adjust your lifestyle.
The dairy community is also adjusting. While demand for milk and dairy products at retail has increased, the shutdown of schools and sudden disruption of the foodservice supply chain have caused ripple effects.
In some instances, if there is nowhere for the raw, unpasteurized milk to go, it must be disposed. This is a last resort when all other options are exhausted. If a farmer does have to dispose of the milk, it is responsibly discarded to ensure it does not enter rivers, streams or waterways. The last thing a dairy farmer wants to do is dump milk, and it takes a serious financial and emotional toll. Dairy Carrie and TDF Honest Farming have provided helpful explanations.
Oregon dairy farmers and processors are working tirelessly to provide healthy and nutritious foods, and they have been delivering food for retail sales, youth feeding programs and community food banks.
Oregon’s dairy farm families and dairy processors thank you for your support during these challenging times. Your purchase of milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and other dairy products makes a difference, and it is greatly appreciated. We’ll get through this together.
Do you have a picky eater at home? It’s always a challenge to get kids to eat healthy, but studies have shown that if you involve your child in the meal prep, they are more likely to eat what they prepare. Plus it gives them something productive and fun to do during times while they are homebound.
In this video, Juliauna (age 5) makes Zucchini Pizza Boats with just a little help from her mom. And, at minute 2:31 you can see how much she loved what she made.
FoodHero.org is a fantastic website where you will find kid-approved, budget-friendly and healthy recipes. Plus you will also find meal ideas and shopping tips. Funded by Oregon SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), they help Oregonians improve their health by increasing their consumption of nutritious foods.
Their website makes it easy to search for recipes that incorporate foods you already have in your home with a section where you can search recipes by ingredients. While supervision by a parent or caretaker is necessary for cutting and cooking, many of the recipes are easy for kids to make with very little help or direction. They also have coloring pages to help your children learn about the ingredients they are using.
We will all remember the Spring of 2020 because of the stay at home restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of disease. To make the most of the time, we offer you these tips to stay healthy while staying home.
Eat Well. Our bodies need the best fuel every day, and this is a great time to focus on healthy food choices. Eating a balanced diet, which includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, can help keep you healthy. And, it’s easy! Use the USDA’s MyPlate app as your guide. Think about food groups when planning meals and snacks. Try for at least two food groups for a snack – fruit and cheese, for example – and at least three for a meal – whole grain pasta, tomato sauce with added vegetables, and lean ground beef. Pour a glass of milk to round out the meal.
Drink plenty of fluids. Your body depends on fluids to survive, and most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. Water is recommended, but when you want something different, consider drinks that won’t add unnecessary sugars to your diet, like milk. Milk not only tastes great, it also is an affordable, excellent source of 9 essential nutrients. And, did you know that three of the nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin D, and protein – are essential for a healthy immune function?
Get fresh air. While doctors don’t typically prescribe sitting on your porch to cure an ailment, they do say that stepping outside can help to impact both our physical and mental health. Open a window, take a walk, or sit on your porch. “Taking a short break outdoors can leave you feeling refreshed and more energized to get back to your daily tasks,” says Dr. Jimmy Johannes, a pulmonologist at Long Beach Medical in this article. Plus, it’s easy to keep a safe “social distance” outdoors!
Keep moving. Just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you should stop your exercise routine. Use this time as an opportunity to try something new. Many gyms are offering online classes, and many at home programs are offering free trials. Who knows? Maybe now is the time to start training for your next 5k or marathon. It starts with the resolve to keep moving. Need to get started? The Department of Health and Human Services offers physical activity guidelines and practical ways to be active on their website.
Get plenty of sleep. Getting a good night of sleep not only helps you feel and think better, it can also help you manage stress. Start with a healthy evening routine. Turn off the screens, including your phone, an hour before bed and pick up a good book, meditate, write, play music or find another relaxing activity that will settle your brain. Being “stuck” at home does mean you have an opportunity to binge-watch your favorite television show, just consider that getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep will help you stay healthy.
Do something good. Times are stressful. People are uncertain, confused and cooped up. A great way to help manage your own stress is to take time each day to do something for someone else. Check on a neighbor, share a roll of TP, call a parent or grandparent, sew some masks for healthcare workers, or donate funds to your local food bank. While you are at it, thank a farmer for continuing to produce food for your family. Even doing something small for someone else will boost your mood- and theirs too!
Meal programs are getting nutritious food to children ages 1 to 18 in school districts statewide thanks to dedicated school nutrition professionals around the state with the support and partnership of Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs.
According to No Kid Hungry, one in six American children faces hunger and three out of four teachers report regularly seeing hungry kids in their classrooms. Oregon ranks especially high in food insecurity for youth. When school lets out unexpectedly for something like COVID-19, it poses potential problems for many students who depend on school meals.
That’s why many school districts are now providing drive up or walk up, “grab-and-go” meals at selected school sites for all youth from 1 to 18 years old at no cost, regardless of income. These meals meet strict regulations for nutrition and are provided at no charge, with no need to sign up or show identification. Some school districts are even delivering meals to children through their bus routes. This way of distributing meals has created a new set of logistical challenges in keeping food, especially milk and dairy products, fresh.
Seeing this immediate need, the ODNC Youth Wellness team quickly created a program on behalf of Oregon dairy producers and processors to provide portable coolers to support the new meal programs. 200 portable coolers were shipped across the state to help 32 school districts keep milk cold for grab and go meals as well as meals delivered on bus routes. “The coolers are helping us to serve safer meals to our kids by keeping the cold and warm things separate,” says Cheryl Davis, head cook for Spray School District.
As closures were announced for the continuation of the school year, and unemployment numbers skyrocket, these grab-and-go programs continue to grow. Nutrition directors in Oregon and across the country anticipate the numbers will continue to rise as households are affected more long term and consume their existing and emergency food supplies.
Check out a meal site near you, and help spread the word on your social media accounts and in your community to help families with kids and teens ages 1 to 18.
Find a list compiled by Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon at this link, or call 211 for more information.