Tag Archives: community

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.

Advancing Health, Wellness and Education in Rogue Valley

Improving student performance and advancing a culture of health and wellness were the primary themes discussed at the Learning Connection Summit at Central Point Elementary School on October 26.

Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council staff took a lead role in bringing together a broad spectrum of community leaders from the private and public sectors to come together and strengthen local networks, stimulate action and support the link between health and education. Discussions included school and worksite wellness, community nutrition, physical activity and school nutrition innovations.

“Advancing a culture of wellness in the Rogue Valley will help improve student achievement and contribute to the vitality and health of our region,” said Cheryl Kirk, Nutrition Instructor for Family and Community Health/SNAP-Ed, Oregon State University Extension. “This will help get our community thinking about what we can all do as individuals and collectively to make a positive difference.”

Summit participants came from both Jackson and Josephine counties and included elected officials, superintendents, school nutrition directors, county staff, health system administrators, business leaders and local farmers. All committed to advance school and community wellness with time and resources over the next year and beyond.

This effort was originally prompted by registered dietitian nutritionists from the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. Two years ago, the Council organized a similar gathering in Tillamook. This led to the Tillamook County Commission declaring a “Year of Wellness,” yielding positive changes in individuals, businesses, schools and organizations. Following on that success, Umatilla followed suit with a summit of their own.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Rogue Valley Learning Connection Summit was supported by Central Point School District, Oregon State University Extension, AllCare Health, Rogue Creamery, and Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs.

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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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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.

Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Mary Chamberlain is a dairy farmer alongside her husband, Jason, and in-laws Warren and Lori, at Dairylain Farms in Vale, Oregon. Mary and Jason have three boys between the ages of one and seven, and she coaches a cross country running team at the local high school. We asked Mary eight questions about her life as a farmer, community volunteer, and a mother.

Why do you farm?

It’s a family tradition that goes back to our great-grandparents. I was raised on a dairy farm, and I married a dairy boy. It only made sense to work on his parent’s dairy and raise our kids to love dairy cows as much as we do. Raising calves, fostering them to cows, and giving them what they need to produce wonderful milk — that is the pretty basic description of what we do. But in reality it’s so much more.

When our first born arrived, I tried to stay home, but the farm needed an extra set of hands. I found myself pushing a stroller along as I fed calves, vaccinated cows, or checked heifers. Now on our third child, we start our mornings by heading to the barn to get milk to feed the calves, and end our day checking on the robots (we added robotic milkers last July). I’m very proud to have my boys working with us every day.

What’s life like for your kids on the farm?

They all have different levels of love for the farm and our way of life. My one-year-old just loves to watch the cows, and of course, sample their food.

Dairylain_2017_2048My four-year-old plays for hours with his farm toys in the sandbox. Every once in a while we catch bits of his make-believe land, where he is the ‘dad’ and he drives his loader and feeds the cows. We even get hints of a girl he likes as she makes an appearance in this pretend world to feed baby calves. When he isn’t in the sandbox, he loves to follow his dad around or ride along while I check on the heifers.

Our seven-year-old is starting to connect the dots that feeding animals and taking care of them is essential for them to not just survive but to helps us survive. When an animal is born, he is one of the first to let us know, and then help his dad move her to the barn. He helps with every task on the dairy. Some he hates (he thinks feeding calves is too boring) and others he loves (like picking out animals to train for fair).

And you’re also involved in your local schools?

Yes, I’m the local cross country head coach, and I substitute teach when I can (which is a bit rare these days with a one year old). Before my boys, I ran marathons and did triathlons all over the country. These days, it’s important for me to stay fit for my sanity and my health. Coaching running is great way to give back to the community and teach kids a way to deal with their own stress and worries.

With a master’s degree in dairy science and a love for running, I’m a bit of a quirky sub. I encourage getting outside to do work. I believe there is this huge connection to moving and learning that we don’t utilize in the classroom.

How important is nutrition to your family and your cows?

Dairylain Farms Chamberlain jerseyAs a three time mom in her 30s who still runs and bikes when she can, what’s in my food and my boys’ food is a concern. We all burn a lot of calories. I don’t want any food around that is just going to give a quick energy high and then leave me with a headache and cranky kids. Protein, carbohydrates, digestible and usable sugars, vitamins and minerals: that’s what I look for in all my food, and I try to balance the levels based on what we need and when we need it.

Good nutrition is also important to our cows. They are sort of like a pro-athlete; they will burnout if they don’t train and eat right. We feed the cows to increase milk supply naturally by giving them the correct amount of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals (and plenty of water). We have to make sure their nutrition allows them to milk plenty but doesn’t deplete their bones and body.

Do you use antibiotics or hormones?

Out of 375 milking animals, we have only one that’s getting antibiotics right now. We use antibiotics on our dairy according to the label, and no antibiotics are allowed to enter the food supply. If she gets an antibiotic shot, her milk gets dumped.

I think there is a misconception that as dairy farmers we are constantly giving shots for sickness. Really we give very few. My one year old has received more doses of antibiotics for ear infections this winter than we gave the entire milking herd for the same four months. We all work hard to give our animals the best chance to fight colds and viruses on their own. When they can’t, we call the vet and get the medication they need.

As for hormones, cows don’t need additional hormones to make them give more milk, they have enough natural ones.

How do you take care of your cows and calves?

Dairylain calf feedingWe feed them, ensure they are safe, healthy and comfortable, and we provide clean homes and bedding. We give the calves blankets and warm water in the winter and cold water in the summer. Sometimes when my kids are sick, it’s hard to leave the house to work at the dairy. But the cows and calves need us too.

Cows are not humans, and sometimes they can hurt or neglect their calves. So to the calves, we are their foster parents. They depend on us to understand their language, like a wagging tail and licking tongue means ‘I’m good!’ — droopy eyes and not getting up right away means something doesn’t feel right.

How do you care for the environment?

Improving the land around us is a big priority. Since we grow our own crops for the cows to eat, there is always plenty of land that could use more nutrients. We sample the soil to decide where nutrients are needed and that’s where we spread manure from our pens and barns. It’s natural, organic fertilizer.

We ensure that the water used in our barns for cooling milk is recycled, so the cows can have plenty to drink. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste in all forms and recycle what we can. We use solar powered electric fences to keep the heifers in, and solar powered pumps to run our pivots to keep the fields watered and the grass growing.

Are there any parting thoughts that you’d like people to know?

Dairylain_2017_1972Just as none of us are perfect parents, there are no perfect farmers. But we honestly do the best we can do on this day, and hope for the same or better tomorrow. Every day is another chance to do even better. I trust what we do, what my neighbors do, and what our fellow friends and dairy farmers across the country do. We are proud of the quality foods that we help bring to your table and ours!

RELATED STORY
Mother’s Day Brunch Idea: Better with Berry Butter

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

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall Reaps Positive Results

Families gathered at a local elementary school in Umatilla last month to learn how to cook healthy recipes that they could make together at home. It was a free class offered by Umatilla School District, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start and Oregon State University Extension Service; and it was precisely the kind of community collaboration that the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council had in mind when it organized the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall.

At the town hall meeting last October, local community leaders from education, school nutrition, extension, public health, health care and agriculture joined together to discuss how nutrition, physical activity, health and education impact student success. Together, the participants are strengthening local networks in Umatilla and Morrow counties and engaging a broad range of stakeholders in supporting the proven link between child health and wellness and education.

“The support for our students from teachers, child nutrition, after school and community programs has a clear and direct impact on their success,” said Heidi Sipe, Superintendent, Umatilla School District.

The town hall highlighted best practices in nutrition and physical activity and put the spotlight on Umatilla School District for their outstanding commitment to child health and success with innovative approaches to ensuring all kids are nourished for learning. Participants walked the new fitness trail at Umatilla High School, which was partially funded by the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and built by committed community members.

Town hall participants were asked to commit to school and community wellness with time and resources in the next school year and beyond. They each identified 90-day goals to keep the connections active and further their shared goal of advancing community health.  Participants will reconvene in one year to share their successes and continue their commitment.

“We need to do everything we can to stay connected and ensure the success of our students, families and community,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall was supported by: Umatilla School District, Umatilla County, OSU Extension SNAP-Ed, Intermountain ESD, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Child Nutrition Program and ODE Office of Teaching and Learning.

Dairy Celebrates Oregon’s Bounty: October 8 at the State Capitol

Free face painting, petting cuddly sheep, looking at antique tractors and picking pumpkins sounds like a fall day at the farm, but you can experience it all in downtown Salem by celebrating the harvest for Oregon’s Bounty, Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Capitol. Best of all, admission and parking is free.

Numerous activities will be available in the Capitol Galleria and State Capitol State Park throughout the entire four hours. The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is sponsoring a booth in partnership with the Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassadors. There will be a photo booth for you to get your picture taken as milk, cheese or yogurt.

Roundhouse Band will perform on the Capitol steps starting at 10 a.m. Free face painting will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Capitol building tours will be provided at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and three Tower Tours will be offered at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., weather permitting. Tower tours are limited to the first 50 people for each time slot.

There will be half hour performances by the Cherry City Cloggers at 11 a.m. and the Independence Wagon Wheelers Square Dancers at 1 p.m.

Claudia the Chinook Salmon, a large walk-through exhibit will be available to explore. There will be a free pumpkin patch for families, first-come, first-serve, limited to availability.

There is no charge for any activity and parking around the Capitol is free on Saturdays. This is a fun, safe, family-friendly event sponsored by the Oregon State Capitol Foundation.

For more information about the event, please visit www.oregoncapitol.com or contact the Oregon State Capitol Visitor Services Department at 503-986-1388.

VIDEO

Prompting Positive Changes for Community Health

community health

What happens when a broad-based group of citizens comes together with a common goal to improve the health of their community? Change happens!

Just over a year ago, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC) organized a town hall gathering in Tillamook to bring together a diverse group of community leaders who care about health and wellness. This led to the Tillamook County Commission declaring 2016 the “Year of Wellness.”

Anne Goetze, Senior Director of Nutrition Affairs for ODNC, has been serving on their appointed task force and co-chairs the nutrition subcommittee. Additionally, this town hall led to ODNC’s work with the Oregon Department of Education and the Tillamook School District on wellness policy activation with Fuel Up to Play 60 as a featured program.

In August, a well-attended Community Health Matters Forum helped chart the course for ongoing community engagement. Results from an online challenge showed people making healthier food choices, preparing healthy meals and being more physically active every day. The success of this program serves as a model that will be introduced in Umatilla later this year.

For more information about the Year of Wellness efforts, visit their website at http://tillamookcountyhealthmatters.org/about-us/.

Milk Carton Boat Race Returns on June 26, 2016

Royal Rosarians adopting popular Rose Festival competition

 

A unique Portland tradition dating back to 1973, the Milk Carton Boat Race will welcome boaters back to the historic Westmoreland Park Casting Pond on Sunday, June 26. The Rose Festival sanctioned event will be produced by the Royal Rosarians and sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (formerly Dairy Farmers of Oregon).

“The Royal Rosarians are proud to adopt this great community event, and registration will be opening soon,” said Rick Saturn, Prime Minister, Royal Rosarian. “So drink your milk and start saving up those milk cartons and jugs!”

Aptly named, the Milk Carton Boat Race features large, hand-made, human-powered boats that float entirely by means of recycled milk cartons and jugs. Racers young and old compete with their creatively constructed watercraft in seven classes ranging from sleek and slim boats built for speed to the whimsical showboat class. There is even a corporate category for businesses. All compete for the coveted Best in Show milk can trophy.

“We are so grateful the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and Royal Rosarians came together to carry on this fantastic family fun event,” said Frank Chinn, Portland Rose Festival Foundation President. “The Milk Carton Boat Race is one of the more creative and colorful events in our encore season and a great way to cap the 2016 Rose Festival.”

The race will take place at the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond in the Sellwood Neighborhood of southeast Portland on June 26 at 11 a.m. It is free to attend and participate in the races; and with great food, giveaways and entertainment, it promises to be a fun event for all ages.

“What better way to celebrate June Dairy Month than a Milk Carton Boat Race?” said Pete Kent, executive director of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “We appreciate the involvement and leadership of the Royal Rosarians and the Portland Rose Festival Foundation, and look forward to seeing this year’s new fleet of milk carton boats on the water.”

REGISTER HERE

INFORMATION AND OFFICIAL RULES

NEWS RELEASE: Milk Carton Boat Race 05.17.16

Need empty cartons to build your boat? Sunshine Dairy Foods has generously offered to provide free cartons to registered participants on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Please contact Allyse Paettsch at 503-419-0324 or apaetsch@sunshinedairyfoods.com to arrange for pickup. Past participants have also collected empty jugs and cartons from friends, neighbors, coworkers, local coffee shops and restaurants.

About the Royal Rosarians:
In distinctive white suits and straw hats, the Royal Rosarians serve by Mayoral Declaration as the “Official Greeters and Ambassadors of Goodwill for the City of Portland.”  Formed in 1912, the Royal Rosarians promote the best interests of the City of Portland and the Portland Rose Festival.  

Royal Rosarians welcome visiting dignitaries from around the world and host hundreds of out-of-town visitors each year. Representing the outstanding character of the citizens of Portland, members march in parades throughout the world, promoting the Rose as the Queen of Flowers and Portland as the Rose Capital of the World. The Royal Rosarians are a volunteer organization dedicated to community service in charitable projects through the Royal Rosarian Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

About the Portland Rose Festival Foundation:
The Portland Rose Festival has made Portland, Oregon a better place to live and visit for 109 years. As Portland’s Official Festival, The Rose Festival attracts over one million people to the Pacific Northwest every year. By sharing community pride, the Rose Festival provides Portland with fun and entertainment for all ages and generates more than $70 million for the region’s economy and local businesses.

The Rose Festival Foundation is a non-profit that serves the community by providing families with events and programs that promote the arts, education and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, cultural diversity, patriotism and our floral heritage.

About the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council:
The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is funded and directed by the Oregon dairy industry, with governance by a ten-member Board of Commissioners and oversight by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Oregon is home to 240 dairy farm families and 22 dairy processors who provide more than $1 billion in economic impacts annually, along with delicious, award-winning cheeses, ice creams, yogurts, fluid milk and other high quality dairy products.