|Picture taken by MO Farm Bureau|
We headed out from Lee's Summit, MO at 8:30 in the morning. Here are the sweet bloggers I went on this adventure with...
Gina Wamsley (that's me!)
I encourage you to check out all these blogs. We were quite the mix....food blogs, farm and family blogs, military family life and then me-sewing, but we were all interested in learning more about where our food comes from.
|This is me around the age of 6 showing this future show calf how to lead.|
I grew up on a small dairy farm in NW Missouri, so I was pretty excited when I saw our itinerary for the day...
FIRST STOP- MORELAND DAIRY FARM
The Moreland Dairy is located just north of Harrisonville, MO. Mike, Jay and Matt Moreland were kind enough to spend a few hours with our group. They explained the hard work and loving care that goes into caring for their animals on a daily basis. Do most people understand the life of a dairyman? I wonder.
|This is my wonderful father Kirby. He worked hard to provide for us, and caring for his prized Holsteins.|
My dad was a dairyman, so I've seen the early mornings, the late nights- the sacrifices. Dairyman do what they do because they love what they do. They want to provide for their family, create the best environment for their animals and most of all they want to create a great product for the consumer.
|Feed includes....Corn, Soybean Meal (vitamins), Ground Milo (energy source)|
So, how does a dairy farmer provide the best care for their herd? A top priority is nutrition. You might be surprised to know, I was, that this herd of Holsteins has a nutritionist. Yes, a nutritionist! A nutritionist has determined exactly what nutrients these cows need to be the healthiest and happiest. A happy cow produces more milk and more milk means a happy farmer. It's a win-win.
|Distiller's dried grain (from the ethanol production process-good protein, less starch)|
|and Cottonseed (fiber, protein, energy-fat)|
The Moreland cows eat about 90-100 lbs of feed a day! All these ingredients-the corn, the ground milo, the distiller's grain, the cottonseed, all get mixed together in a big mixer every day. By my calculations, that is about 13,000 lbs of feed served fresh every day. Yum, yum!
Now, cows generally do three things- eat, rest, milk and repeat. If you are a mom, consider what it was like when you decided to nurse your newborn. What are the best things for a nursing mother? We need to eat well and get plenty of rest. If we do not, our milk production goes down and then we do not have enough milk for our little ones. Well, apply that same concept to the cow. In between milking she needs to rest and what better way to do that, but on a......WATERBED!
I was not able to get a great picture of the cows resting on the waterbeds, but HERE is a link to a great article on free stall barns and the use of waterbeds. There is also a good picture of the waterbed. I've heard about the waterbeds, but had never seen them with my own eyes, so I was excited to see them. The cows did look pretty comfy!
Lastly, we stopped by the milk barn. I was most excited to see what their barn looked like. To my amazement it looked just like my milk barn growing up! Check it out!
The dairy barn is older and they do have plans on updating the barn soon and adding in some robotic technology. I'd LOVE to go back and visit and see the robots in action.
Before we left the Moreland farm we did go down a farmers block to Matt Moreland's farm. Along with helping manage his father and uncle's farm, he and his wife have opened a pumpkin patch. It is called, the Red Barn Ranch. If you live near Harrisonville, you definitely should go check it out this fall. Another neat feature at the Red Barn Ranch is that they sell lean ground beef to the public.
You can check out their facebook page HERE to learn more.
2nd Stop-The Roth Family Farm-Irrigation and Corn
Doug and his wife run Roth Irrigation. They are 4th generation farmers who specialize in growing corn and in 1971 they became a Roth Zimmatic Irrigation dealer. They are a busy operation, employing 15 people to help run the daily operations of the irrigation business, directing the comings and going of semis to the storage silos and just the day to day care of the property.
While on our tour, Doug gave us a close-up view of his combines, describing how technology like GPS has advanced the farming industry. GPS not only helps with planting straight rows (which was the depth of my understanding), he can utilize the system to more accurately apply fertilizer.
Last Stop- Kurzweil Farm, Beef Cattle and Hogs (Harrisonville, MO)
Kurzweil Country Meats opened in 1995. It's a restaurant located on Hwy 7, just between Harrisonville and Garden City, MO. We had the pleasure of stopping there for lunch during our tour. If you do not live in the Kansas City area, no worries! They ship their meat all over the country. Check out their page HERE to find out more.
A final thanks to my sweet husband and children for getting up so early to drive me to Kansas City for this tour.