Dairy Farm Notes
The Dairy Farm in my neighborhood recently had an open house. It is owned by the UF IFAS. They own a lot of the agricultural land in my neighborhood. It was well organized and efficiently planned. I went with my two daughters and my grandson.
We rode a hay wagon to the registration desk. They had a huge field of giant farm vehicles, tractors of all sizes, bush hogs and other big things for kids to climb on. My grandson was in heaven! We stopped at all of the exhibits which were plentiful. I learned some very interesting things about cattle feed. They had bins of various crop elements with labels and there were scientists there to explain the methods. There is almost no plant waste, which is good to learn. There were bins of cotton seeds, hulls, soy bean meal, the stalks and leaves of cotton, dried and cut into kibble for grain. Corn debris and cobs cut into feed. It was really interesting. Many of the crops I see in the fields at the agronomy farm are used for the beef and dairy units for the agricultural research farms.
We moved on to the cows and their exhibits. Since this is a research farm, many of the cows had painted strips on their rumps in various colors. This indicates different feeding programs for research. Some of the cows had small vents in their sides for scientists to withdraw test samples from their stomachs. I was assured that they don’t suffer for this or even notice it. The cows were clean and well cared for. Some were out in the fields and some in the barn. They were very docile and friendly, allowing everyone to pet them.
The children were taught how to milk cows at one exhibit and able to see how cows are born in the reproductive exhibit. it was a marvelous adventure. There were cartons of milk iced down and some were chocolate. I confess that I drank one of the chocolate milks and enjoyed it thoroughly. I can’t remember the last time I had chocolate milk.
If you have children or grandchildren and live in the area where there are research farms, take them. Both of my daughters belonged to 4-H as children and they loved it. They learned how governments are run and parliamentary procedure. They learned the responsibility of good land and animal stewardship. They learned how their food is grown and harvested.
What does this have to do with art? Everything! Art is part of our everyday world and should be. I am a better artist because I have interest in science and the natural world. Artists should have many interests in life to feed them new ideas and knowledge.
More musings for artists and collectors to come….
3 cups sifted flour 1 cup shortening
½ teaspoon salt 2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda 2 eggs beaten
½ teaspoon cloves 1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 cup nuts chopped 1 cup raisins chopped
Sift flour, salt, baking soda and spices together. Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk in small amounts. Add nuts and raisins and mix thoroughly. Drop from teaspoon onto greased baking sheet and bake in moderate oven (250 degrees) until brown. Makes about 48.