The Washington Dairy Farm – Where Cow is Queen and… How To Make Honey Butter
I had a unique opportunity recently…
I got to visit a dairy farm!
*This post is sponsored by Washington Dairy. All opinion and experience are my very own. The Washington Dairy Products Commission celebrates the contribution of local dairy farm families. By producing wholesome and nutritious dairy products while also caring for their cows and land, local dairy farm families are a key ingredient to making the northwest a great place to live. Learn more at www.akeyingredient.com.
It was like being transported back to elementary school – FIELD TRIP!
I know, I know… the thought of a dairy farm doesn’t sound all THAT exciting. But I was curious, and the more I learned about the farm we visited (Werkhoven Farm in Monroe – a Darigold producer) the more genuinely interested I became. The scale of operations is incredible here. The number of industrial heaters and cooling systems is truly remarkable!
I went into it thinking, “OK, I might learn something… but cows are cows are cows.” I thought at the very least it would be a chance to get some cool cow and farm shots:
And it was.
Cows are just so adorable.
What did I learn?
I learned about the Washington diary community and their commitment… to cows and our environment. I will share more on their commitment to the environment in a couple weeks. But I also learned about animal care… and as the say, COW IS QUEEN!
We spent the greater part of a day walking side-by-side, listening to the family-run owners and managers of Werkhoven Dairy Farm.
We also got a pretty good peek into many of the areas of the farm. Including the youngest member of the team…
If you are a female who has nursed, you know the power of a stress-free environment and one’s ability to produce milk. That is the exact approach these farmers take when caring for their animals… their comfort.
Dairy cows like to eat, sleep, chill-out, and milk. They are milked three times a day, and we were told they look forward to it… basically, there’s not a lot of making them get to the “nursing station” if you will. They happily head on in.
*And again, if you’ve ever nursed before, you know the relief that comes when those full mammaries are released 😉
I was quite amazed at how much thought, science, and effort go into the care of dairy cows. From the complexity and detail of what and how they feed the cows (a specific mix that is closely watched and mixed so the cows get all the good stuff)…
…to making sure they are comfortable in heat and cold… to ensure their days and nights are stress-free. However, there are no recreational activities such as beach ball bingo or crafts since a cow’s idea of fun is doing nothing. I don’t get it, but I guess that’s why I could never be a cow.
It was a good trip. It’s good to learn and to gain insight into the effort and heart behind the milk we drink and the dairy we eat. It was encouraging. And impressive. The level of thought and science (which is math times a million) that goes into running a healthy farm is mind blowing. And the level of passion is too. It is tough, tough work with little financial gain. I left with a greater appreciation for BOTH the farmer and the cow and their relationship with each other.
And it really is a relationship. You can learn more about Washington dairy farms at www.akeyingredient.com… and check back in a couple weeks when I share more about the thoughtful care these farmers give to the land as well.
Until then – why don’t you make some honey butter… or BERRY BUTTER?! I made a video for that very purpose – How To Make Honey Butter and Berry Butter!
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