Category Archives: news and events

Oregon Celebrates National School Breakfast Week

National School Breakfast Week (March 5 to 9) is a weeklong celebration of the School Breakfast Program, which provides millions of children a nutritious morning meal each school day. Dairy is an important part of those balanced, nutritious breakfasts, so the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council helped organize events for Oregon schools.

On Monday, Independence Elementary Schools’ fourth and fifth grade students gathered in the gym for a special assembly with former NFL player Anthony Newman to learn about the importance of eating a healthy breakfast in order to fuel their day.

“When you start in the morning, you have to fuel your body,” said Newman, “and put something in your body so you can go all day long.”

On Tuesday morning, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador Stephanie Breazile joined Newman in celebrating healthy school breakfasts with students and the school nutrition team at Ash Creek Elementary School.

“When you come to school, it’s like a game. If you don’t take care of yourself you’re going to crash. You’re going to get tired,” Newman warned. “Fuel your body, and take care of your body with the proper foods.”

Both assemblies ended with encouragement for students to take a pledge to live a healthy lifestyle. Alongside Newman, students and staff signed a poster to commit to that declaration.

According to a survey of School Nutrition Association members, 96 percent say student participation increases during National School Breakfast Week. National School Breakfast Week appearances were made possible by the Fuel Up To Play 60 program – a school health and wellness program supported by dairy farmers in partnership with the USDA, the NFL and the National Dairy Council.


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Future Chefs Learn Good Cheese Starts with the Cows

This week, a group of 13 aspiring chefs from Oregon Culinary Institute took a closer look at where cheese comes from by taking a field trip to the source. They visited TMK Farm and Creamery, a 20 cow dairy and boutique creamery located in Canby, Oregon.

“We support the farm to table movement by providing chefs and culinary students with the opportunity to visit a dairy farm,” said Anne Goetze, Sr. Director of Nutrition Affairs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “It was a perfect match, and they learned firsthand about all of the factors that go into producing high quality milk and dairy foods, including care for animals, land, water and air.”

Between milking cows and making cheese, it was truly an opportunity for hands-on learning. TMK Creamery hosted a cheese making class where students were able to join in the entire process of making queso fresco cheese. Queso fresco, which translates as “fresh cheese,” is the most widely used cheese in Mexican cooking.

From cutting the curds, draining the whey and actually milking the cow, all the steps were included. Education is the goal for TMK. They want students, especially in the culinary world to understand not only the process, but also the passion behind their artisan cheese.

“It all starts with a quality milk,” says Bert Garza, who makes the cheese alongside his wife Shauna, “and to get quality milk, you need to be caring for your animals.”

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TMK Farms and Creamery

Oregon Culinary Institute

Artichoke Jalapeno Dip

Score Points with this Super Artichoke Dip.

Word on the street is there’s going to be a pretty big football game televised this Sunday. One might even call it “super,” with the express written consent of the National Football League, of course.

No plan yet for your big game watch party? Kick it off with this artichoke dip that’s sure to score points with your guests. It’ll be super in a bowl, or on a plate, and will stand apart in a crowded field of game day snacks and appetizers.

Yields 2 cups

dash-recipehealthy-recipeSide dish recipe



Dietitian’s Tip: 

  • Scoop onto crunchy carrot sticks, cucumbers, radishes, or jicama
  • Serve with whole grain crackers
  • Dip left over? Spread on whole grain toast for a healthy snack



1 ½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt or plain yogurt, strained*
1 cup canned water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh jalapeno chili, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper



Mix ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate a couple hours before serving.

Follow the link to LiveBest for directions to strain plain yogurt.



Per ¼ cup serving: 57 calories, 1 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 228 mg sodium, 168 mg potassium, 16 mg magnesium, 123 mg calcium


Recipe courtesy of LiveBest

Four Seasons of Oregon Dairy Stories

Looking back over the past year, there were a lot of great stories about Oregon dairy farmers, processors and the positive work they support with schools, health professionals and communities across the state.

In case you missed them, here are links to some notable posts we shared in 2017:

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall Reaps Positive Results

What I Learned on My First Visit to a Dairy Farm

21st Century Dairy Farm, 21st Century Dairy Farmer

Grants Support Strengthening Oregon Schools and Students

New Elk Meadow Students’ Video Highlights Healthy Habits

Community Inspired to Live Stronger, Healthier and Happier

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

Meet the Miramontes Family: First Generation Oregon Dairy Farmers

Seven Things You Should Know About Large Dairies

Every Day is Earth Day for Dairy Farmers

Exploring New Markets for Dairy Exports

Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission Updates

School Culinary Trainings Spice Up the Menu

Back to School: Literacy Project Helps Bridge Gap

Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Oregon Celebrates School Wellness Awards

Adopt a Farmer Program Includes Oregon Dairies

Milk Builds Strong Schools in Oregon

Is DASH the Best Diet … Ever?

Improving School Meals for Oregon Students

Two Great Ways You Can Enjoy the Milk Carton Boat Race

Starting the Day out Right with School Breakfast

Farming with Innovation and Heart Earns National Award for Rickreall Dairy

Brews to Moos: Cows Savor Brewery Byproduct

For This Nurse, Dairy Farming Provides the Perfect Antidote

Grant Helps Hermiston School Connect Technology, Nutrition

Dairy Princess Ambassador Goes International

Milk Celebrated as Official Beverage of Oregon, OSAA

Oregon Schools Invited to Apply for School Wellness Awards

Stacy Foster Selected to Manage Oregon Dairy Industry Relations

Oregon’s Newest Creamery Invites You to the Farm

Advancing Health, Wellness and Education in Rogue Valley

New Adopt a Farmer Video Features Oregon Dairy

Ten Oregon Dairy Farms to Follow on Facebook

Recent articles have also covered the DASH Diet, solar panels and milk as Oregon’s official state beverage. Stay tuned, because we have more interesting and exciting stories coming your way in 2018. If you have a burning question or a topic you’d like to see us cover, just let us know.

Reflecting on the Year of Milk

Amidst the excitement of heading into 2018, we’re reflecting on a memorable year that marked the anniversary of milk’s selection as Oregon’s Official State Beverage. We called it the “Year of Milk,” and it was a celebration 20 years in the making.

It all started back in 1997, when Bruce Cardin’s sixth grade students at East Elementary School in Tillamook felt strongly that milk should be Oregon’s state beverage. They traveled to Salem twice to testify in support of the designation, and Senate Joint Resolution 8 became official in April 1997.

Fast forward to 2017, and some of those same students returned to Salem for Dairy Day at the Capitol in March for a reunion with Mr. Cardin and some of the legislators who helped pass the resolution. Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation designating April 2017 as Oregon Milk Month, which served as the beginning of a series of events and observances celebrating milk and Oregon’s dairy farmers, dairy food processors and dairy cows.

Through Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s Literacy Project about milk and presentations by Dairy Princess Ambassadors at Oregon AgFest, students learned more about milk and its role in their diet. Milk was also celebrated at events including the Milk Carton Boat Race, the Tillamook Dairy Festival and Parade, the Oregon State Fair and Oregon’s Bounty. Observances included June Dairy Month, National Ice Cream Month and Hunger Action Month for the Great American Milk Drive.

While the Year of Milk has come to an end, we look forward to two additional landmark anniversaries in 2018. It will be the 100th anniversary of the Oregon Dairy Council and the 75th anniversary of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission. So there will be plenty more reasons to raise a toast with a cold glass of milk in the year ahead.

And now a special message from the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Alexis Taylor …



White Chicken Chili

Try this delicious, hearty chili on a cold, wintery day or any day.

Serves 8




Dietitian’s Tip: To help you meet your DASH daily goals, here are suggestions for foods to eat with this hearty chili:

  • Whole grain crackers or a slice of whole grain bread
  • Salad with leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of nuts and a drizzle of olive oil
  • For a simple dessert or snack later on, choose fruit.

1 tablespoon oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder or 6 cloves garlic
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped mild green chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat sour cream
½ cup nonfat or 1% milk



Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Add the beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in sour cream and milk.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


Per serving: 260 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein, 6 g fiber, 220 mg sodium, 855 mg potassium, 86 mg magnesium, 175 mg calcium


Recipe courtesy of Food Hero


DASH into the New Year for a Healthier You

by Josie Oleson, Oregon Health & Science University Dietetic Intern

Having trouble setting a New Year’s resolution? Why not DASH into 2018 by eating better and working toward a healthier you?

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, emphasizes dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein as part of a balanced diet to reduce high blood pressure and improve health. Cheese, milk, and yogurt provide essential nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium that are key in making the DASH diet work.

For eight years, DASH has been ranked the Best Diet Overall diet by U.S. News and World Report. In 2018, the eating plan also topped the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently lowered the recommendations for what it means to have high blood pressure. This change will increase the number of people with elevated or high blood pressure, but this also means that people will be able to fight back sooner by changing their diet and getting more exercise. This is what the DASH diet was originally designed to do, but it’s also a healthy way of eating that is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Want to kick-start your DASH resolution?

Take the Rate Your Plate Quiz and get started with this 4-step plan.

Try this new DASH recipe – White Chicken Chili





Find more recipes.


Oregon Dairy Farms Milking Energy from the Sun

Steve Pierson of Sar-Ben Farms

For Steve Pierson of Sar-Ben Farms in St. Paul, Oregon, any project that is good for the environment and good for his bottom line generally is a go. That said, when the opportunity arose to install solar panels on his 300-cow dairy, Pierson didn’t hesitate.

Today Sar-Ben’s milking parlor and irrigation systems are powered by the sun.

“From a business perspective and an environmental perspective, solar panels make a lot of sense,” Pierson said.

Across the state in Vale, Oregon, where sunny days are the norm, Warren Chamberlain of Dairylain Farms also found that solar panels could help him meet his power needs in an environmentally friendly manner. Today, after five years of enjoying reduced energy costs, he’s a firm believer in the power of the sun.

Warren Chamberlain of Dairylain Farms

“As dairy farmers, we do whatever we can to protect the environment,” he said, “and because we have a lot of sun over here on the east side of the state, solar panels just seemed like a natural fit.”

Between solar panels and methane digesters that convert cow waste into renewable energy, dairy farmers are providing a significant boost to Oregon’s renewable power supply, according to Energy Trust of Oregon.

About one-fourth of dairy waste from Oregon’s 228 dairies is converted to renewable power through methane digesters, according to Energy Trust of Oregon. And many operations are now turning to solar panels.

Melissa Collman of Cloud Cap Farms, a 200-cow dairy in Boring, Oregon, looked at installing solar panels for seven years before making the move in the spring of 2017. “For years, we thought it would be a great addition to the dairy,” Collman said, “but we never went through with it because of the cost and complexity of it.”

“All farmers are environmentalists at heart.”

When a company approached the dairy with an offer to install the solar panels and even rent the land they are sited on, Cloud Cap made the change. Cloud Cap won’t have access to the power generated by the panels for the first 15 years, but the benefits apparently are worth the wait. “At that point, once we take ownership of them, it should completely power the dairy,” Collman said.

Melissa Collman of Cloud-Cap Farms

Cloud Cap’s deal is one of many that dairy farmers have used to purchase solar systems. Many have utilized state and federal renewable energy grants to help defray some of the upfront costs.

Depending on the formula and the amount of kilowatts a system generates, the systems can pay for themselves in a relatively short period. Pierson of Sar-Ben Farms, for example, said the three ten kilowatt systems he installed will pay for themselves within four years. A more typical payback period is the seven years that Bouke deHoop of Holland’s Dairy in Klamath Falls estimates it will take for him to recoup his investment in solar.

Systems typically are installed on less productive farmland, and, according to Chamberlain of Dairylain, don’t take up much land to begin with. The two ten kilowatt systems on his farm run about 100 feet in length, he said.

Systems are relatively maintenance free after the installation, Chamberlain said. “All we have to do is wash the dust off during the summer a little bit and knock the snow off during the winter,” he said. “Other than that, we haven’t had to do anything to them. They just sit out there and produce electricity for me.”

Bouke deHoop of Holland’s Dairy

Most solar systems won’t power an entire operation, but are designed to supply a portion of a farm’s energy needs. That portion, however, can be significant. Chamberlain said that over the five years he’s run on solar power, he has saved about $35,000 in electricity costs, or about $7,000 a year.

Beyond that, Chamberlain noted, he’s also been reducing his carbon footprint, which is something he and other dairy farmers take pride in. “Anytime you are able to save money and do something that is good for the environment, it always makes you feel good,” he said.

“I think farmers are always looking for ways to be more sustainable,” said Collman of Cloud Cap Farms.

Pierson of Sar-Ben Farms agreed: “All farmers are environmentalists at heart. This is just one more way we help protect our environment. We use renewable resources whenever possible.”

White Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

I’m Dreaming of a White … Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pie.

These cookies are ‘mint’ to be for parties, gift baskets or a fun baking project with your kids during the holiday season. Try one bite, and you’ll be saying “whoopee” for whoopie pies.

Makes 2 dozen whoopie pies

indulgent-recipeDessert recipe

Chocolate Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup milk

White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:
2 ounces chopped white chocolate
5 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
½ cup butter, softened
3 ¾ cups (1 1-pound box) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure mint extract (or peppermint extract)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 peppermint candies, crushed into fine pieces


Preheat oven to 375˚. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

For Cookies:

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Stir in milk. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake until edges appear set, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool on pan 1 minute. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

For White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling:

Combine white chocolate and 3 tablespoons cream in microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute at medium (50%) power, stirring at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, mint extract, vanilla and salt on low speed until blended.

To assemble, spread the bottom sides of half the cookies with the White Chocolate Mint Buttercream Filling. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down; press gently together. Sprinkle the edges of the buttercream with crushed peppermint candies.

Recipe submitted to Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council by Edwina Gadsby

Ten Oregon Dairy Farms to Follow on Facebook

Did you know there are more than 2 billion active users on Facebook, and the average person follows 338? You can follow your hairdresser, your kid’s school teachers and even your post office on social media – but are you following your local dairy farmer? You should.

By following farmers on Facebook, you can get to know the families who help deliver nutritious and delicious food to your table. Just like no two farms are exactly alike, their Facebook pages are unique, representing conventional and organic farms ranging from 20 cows to more than 20,000. Some include stories, behind the scenes videos, humor, answers to your questions, beautiful photography and even invitations to visit.

Here are ten Oregon dairy farmers you should be following on Facebook (in alphabetical order):

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