The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA) announced on Jan. 17, 2013, that it had identified a possible case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in a dairy cow that arrived at a Washington meat packing facility on Jan. 8, 2013. The animal originated at a dairy farm near Moses Lake, Washington, and was among a number of animals that had been purchased from a dairy near Monroe, Washington, in January 2012. Since WSDA’s initial announcement on Jan. 17, the following steps have been taken:
Manure. Cows produce a lot of it. And for a long time, finding something useful to do with it was a challenge. But technological innovation on Washington’s dairy farms is increasingly turning what some saw as a problem into what many now recognize is an asset that has value – for dairy farmers and the entire community.
Russ Davis wants more cow manure. He’s the president of Organix, a Walla Walla based company, with production facilities in Yakima County that specialize in converting cow manure into compost.
“We look for dairies that like to export their manure,” explained Davis, who works with several Yakima Valley dairies. “Dairies have their own manure management plans, whether it’s turning manure into cow bedding or using it to fertilize their crops. So that reduces the availability.”
When western Washington grocery shoppers buy a gallon of milk, they may not realize that a group of soccer players had a big part in bringing that milk to market.
A few years ago, Jesus “Chuy” Gonzalez, calf manager on the deVries Family Dairy in Moxee (about two hours from Seattle), was kicking around a soccer ball during his lunch break. Soon that grew to nearly half of his co-workers playing soccer daily on the large lawn in front the dairy’s office.
Greek yogurt has seen a meteoric rise in sales and popularity in the last 5 years, but where did it come from and what exactly is it? The term ‘Greek yogurt’ is in itself slightly misleading as this particular form of yogurt is present all over the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East – Greece being only one area that has made this type of yogurt a staple in their diet.
To obtain its thick consistency, the yogurt is strained repeatedly to remove the whey, lactose, and sugars resulting in a thick “avocado-like” consistency that is both smooth and rich.
Cheese is becoming quite the industry in Washington state, with the first annual Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival held in April followed by the Seattle Cheese Festival at Pike Place Market in May. The festivals were held to celebrate Washington’s delicious and diverse cheeses and to promote the farmers, cheese makers, retailers and chefs who bring them to our tables.