When you think of a dairy cow, the mental picture that pops up in your brain probably depicts a black and white bovine with a shiny coat and an eraser-pink nose. There’s no doubt Holsteins are the most common dairy cow, but they’re not the only breed of cattle that produce dairy products. Holsteins, Jerseys, Guernseys, Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorns and Dutch Belted are the seven major dairy cow breeds, and they can all be found in Washington State.
To provide the highest quality product, the Dairy Farmers of Washington work hard to bring fresh milk from the farm to your fridge. It takes just 48 hours for milk to travel from the milking parlor to your local grocery store. Sometimes farm fresh milk is available for sale in stores the very next day. Learn more about milk's journey from farm to fridge...
Cow manure has long been thought of as a waste product. See how the Dairy Farmers of Washington are transforming manure into other valuable products through the composting process.
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.”
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.
Last month we celebrated National Dairy Month by posting some fun facts about the dairy industry. The post sparked some great conversation over on Twitter, but one fact stood out and built quite the buzz: In 2008, the average Washington cow produced 14.5% more milk than the average U.S. cow. So, what makes our cows so productive? For those who are curious, we wanted to expand on our initial 140 character answer here on the blog.
It's a well-known industry fact that if you treat your cows with the utmost care and respect, they will reward you with the best milk possible. However, recently released videotapes aim to suggest that dairy farmers would rather abuse their animals than treat them well. While this claim is completely false and offensive to dairy farmers, it is clear that the videos are perpetrated by one or two sick individuals, not the dairy farmers, their families or other employees. Further proof of this fact can be found in last week's decision by a grand jury to not charge a central Ohio dairy farmer with animal abuse. Read on to learn the real story behind the video....
It seems as though winter is finally over and spring has arrived to Washington State. There is a lot to do as we transition to springtime, but nonetheless it is an exciting season for all Washington dairy farmers.
Whether the act of naming a cow is causal or correlated probably requires more research; but the idea provides some insight into the practices Washington dairy farmers employ every day to keep their cows contented.
If you ever thought “working the land” as a dairy farmer would be a bucolic and relaxing experience, think again! Being a successful dairy farmer requires knowledge of advanced agricultural technology, educational preparation and business savvy.