Dairy Goddess has MOOO-ved

DG-Logo-Milk&CheeseI have realized that many of my followers were still going to my old Blog site. This is my new one available right on my website.

I have to admit I am behind on posting on this blog site too. I plan on making a post though, very soon!

I have so much to share with you. Not only has my blog moved onto my website but my cows have moved to our new farm too. (Just up the road from our previous farm)

Why the move you ask? Well, we have made the decision to transition to Organic Farming. We are about half way there (It takes about 3 years to transition). We are really excited for our last half!

As you can imagine we have been so very busy with this move and transition so please be patient…I can’t wait to share with you all of our goings on.

My Mom always had a saying growing up…”The ones you love the most are the ones that often get neglected…” I feel that is so true with my Blog and it’s followers AKA “Godd-etts” I promise I am going to try to be better. I truly love blogging and I love each of you!

Have a “Dairy” Good Day!

Barbara AKA Dairy Goddess

Why Dairy Goddess Milk & Cheese Is So Heavenly

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day!

I am taking this holiday to catch up on some office work and work on some projects that I have neglected. I have been wanting to put together this processing temperature/timeline that my friend and distributor, Rolland Pacheco had put together on some regular paper by hand quite some time ago. I finally, (after quite of bit of time since I am not that great at Excel) I did it on this spread sheet. I love it!

Why is Dairy Goddess Milk so Heavenly….

-Our process takes 1 to 2 hours   – 4 Steps – Vat (lower temperature pasteurization) Non-Homogenization (The Way Nature Intended)

 

-The other’s  process takes 24 to 48 hours * 12 Steps * High Temperature * Homogenized

By any means I am not disparaging other milk out there but this is what makes us different and I wanted to share that with those that want their food like we do. Less processed, natural. Getting back to basics with how our food is processed and eating as fresh as possible.

DG Process Timeline

 

 

 

#CowCamp15 – Dairy Goddess Farms

Can it really be that my last post was in March and it was about my 1st Cheese Festival in Petaluma? Little did I know that that trip was going to be the sign I needed to pursue what I had been wanting to do for a long time!

I felt that I was truly being blessed with this sign. It was the last thing that Tony needed to get on board with it once and for all! We took the leap and lots of changes have happened since then!

I can not wait to share it with you all… but this week I am preparing a presentation for Cow Camp.
This is going to be a group of 50 4-H kids ranging in age from 8-18. My topic for the presentation is “Social Media & Interacting With Consumers”

I am very honored to have been asked to share this topic, it is one that I am very passionate about. I am in no way an expert, but I do use it everyday and feel that it is very important to tell “Our Story” and  to connect with consumers and give them a glimpse of where their food comes from.  I will do my best and sure hope to not disappoint these special campers! I hope that through this presentation I can recruit more AgVocates, and they too, can share their stories with all of those folks not blessed to have hands on experience with agriculture.

Shooting for my next post to this blog, I want to share with you, all of the changes happening here. I am thrilled to share with you, the birth of Dairy Goddess Farms!

As you know with any new venture there is a lot of hard work involved.  On top of that, adjusting to so many new things. I am happy to report that it is all is going very nicely and feel that this next chapter was totally meant to be….so please stay tuned! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Cow

 

Dairy Goddesses 1st Cheese Festival

I can not believe it has been a whole week since the California Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, California. This was the first time we had attended the festival and what a great event it was. It was very well organized with lots of participation from the very best in Cheese Makers, Cheesemonger’s and Chefs and of course Wineries. I have to admit I was a bit nervous going and being around such accomplished and experienced cheese makers. I still feel like such a baby cheese maker but everyone was very nice and welcoming.

On Friday we had some time to explore the beautiful area of Petaluma. Rolling hills and green pastures with beautiful cows all over the place.

Larry Peter's Owner of Petaluma Creamery and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese

Larry Peters- Owner of Petaluma Creamery and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese

We made a stop at the Petaluma Creamery Cheese Shop. I recommend if you are in the area to stop by. Good food and great cheese and ice cream. We were lucky enough to meet the owner Larry Peters. He is very nice and made sure we had a tour of his big beautiful plant.

On Friday night was the beginning of the festival festivities. “Cheesemongers’ Duel- The Best Bite”. This was the first year and it was very well received and a lot of fun! They had about 25 Cheesemongers’ competing for the title.

Cheesemonger's Duel The Best Bite

Cheesemongers’  Duel
The Best Bite

20150328_144414

Cheesemonger Line Up

 

Well I was certainly blessed to get Phyllis Heagney of Oliver’s Market of Cotati. Not only is she so very nice and fun but she is a gifted cheesemonger and baker. She was paired with my Naked Fromage Blanc. She baked the most delicious cracker topped with my cheese and then topped it with a candied orange (Yeah…she candied the orange herself) All I can say is AMAZING. Everyone must have thought so too because it voted the “Best Bite” of the night. That was so very exciting. A great way to start off my first festival.

Best Bite 2015

Best Bite 2015

Queen Cheesemonger  Phyllis Heagney

Queen Cheesemonger
Phyllis Heagney

And the winner is....

And the winner is….

On Saturday we started off our day exploring the beautiful hills with our good friend Tim Pedroza and his daughter Laura from Pedroza Dairy and Cheese

Bodega, CA They filmed the movie the Bird's here.

Bodega, CA
They filmed the movie the Bird’s here.

Then we were off to Valley Ford where we got to visit our good friends Karen Bianchi – Moreda of Valley Ford Cheese Company along with her wonderful family. We had a great tour of their dairy and cheese plant.

IMG_20150321_143917199_HDR

 

We all then headed back for Saturday nights festivities. This was the Chef’s Best Bite Competition. The best Chef’s gathered and came up with some awesome bites. I was lucky to get with Chef Garrett Adair from Bistro 100 . He created a lovely French Toast bite with my Naked Fromage Blanc .

Chef Adair of Bistro 100

Chef Adair of Bistro 100

After all the great food and wine we had to check out the local watering hole Volpi’s ! What a fun night hanging out with our new friends and listening to the owner, John Volpi, play the accordion.

20150321_225345_004

We had a late night but we were ready for the last day of the festival,  The Market Place, where we got to set up to sample and sell our cheese, Cheese lovers from all over came to sip wine and sample the best of California cheeses.

20150322_103406

A very successful day… Our whole weekend was amazing. Got to see some old friends and meet many new ones.

Here are some of the other wonderful cheese makers that we got to see!

Brian Fiscalini

Brian Fiscalini

Fiscalini Cheese Company

Donna Pacheco

Donna Pacheco

Achadinha Cheese Company

Mary Matos

Mary Matos

Joe Matos Cheese Factory

All I can say is we can’t wait until next year!

 

Happy Ag Day 2015–so God made a Farmer

It has been an extremely busy day on the farm and at the plant but I didn’t want #AgDay2015 to pass without a mention from me. (It’s 11 06 pm so I am cutting it close).

In this terrible California drought and in a day and age that consumers are so very removed from the farm and knowing where their food comes from. I think that there is no better reminder than the words of Paul Harvey. It is my greatest hope that when people go to the grocery store they realize that it all begins with water, seeds, dirt and yep…a farmer. Happy Ag Day 2015

Paul Harvey ‘So God Made a Farmer Speech’ to the FFA delivered November 1978, Kansas City, MO   (Click here for audio of the original speech)

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker”

–so God made a Farmer

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board”

— so God made a Farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it”

— so God made a Farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps; who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, and then pain’n from tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours”

— so God made a Farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds, and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place.

— so God made a Farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners; somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church; somebody who would bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says that he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”

— so God made a Farmer.

Cows and Valentine’s Day…Everyday!

Growing up on a dairy farm, holidays were very much the same. My mom always made a fuss over holidays but there was not any time off. Cows don’t celebrate holidays, so as in everyday, they must be milked, fed and cared for.

My dad was a very quiet man who loved his farm, animals and of course his family. My mother was his polar opposite. She of course loved the farm, animals and our family but she was very social. She loved to sing and embraced life. She loved people and I know that was exactly what my father loved about her.

True and real love was what they had and it didn’t need to be spoken and shown, you just felt it.

I would be in the barn with my dad, or in the kitchen as we prepared his thermos of coffee to take to the barn. I would mention that is was going to be Valentine’s Day (or whatever holiday coming up)  and he would say “Every day is Valentine’s Day” (the same for every holiday) !

It didn’t mean much to me when I was young. I just thought it was his way of getting out of going to the store in town. As I got older I thought about him saying that and realizing how very true that statement is.

I mean everyone loves a gift, a special treat or evening out but isn’t it really about how you live your life with that special someone that really matters. Having a true partnership and working together towards something bigger and better than both of you. Creating something beyond just yourself. After so many Valentines Days together (37 for Tony and I) the real gift is looking back and seeing what has been created together between the both of you, a business, our home, our children and their success. Seeing our Granddaughter Delilah…now that is the best gift ever.  None of those things would have been if it wasn’t for that “Everyday Valentine”.

Well, that what Valentine’s Day is for me.

Manuel & Linda Borges

Manuel & Linda Borges

Delilah's 1st Valentine's Day- 4 months old

Delilah’s 1st Valentine’s Day- 4 months old

Delilah Valentines 3 Delilah Valentines 1

 

 

 

“Happy Valentine’s Day…..EVERYDAY”

A Year In The Life Of Dairy Goddess

Wow…here we are February 2015. I can not believe that my last post was on 4/29/14. I am so sorry that I have been away from my blog for so long. As I have said before, I love blogging. I believe that blogging gave me the confidence to start Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese and Milk. I never would believe that it would continue to grow and become what it has today. I am still running the dairy and Dairy Goddess. I am spread very thin and so the time for blogging has been difficult. 2014 was a great and exciting year. So many wonderful changes have blessed our life. I will break down the past year to get you up to speed.

January 2014 – After 2 months of marriage, my daughter Tara, also my right hand in running the daily business of Dairy Goddess found out that she and her husband Shane would be having a baby. My first grand child. I can not tell you the joy this brought to all of us. I was craving a new baby to bless us and the start of the 5th generation on our farm.

.Tara announces pregnancy

February 2014- We began making our California Style Curds in Plain and Seasoned. They are great as a snack and they melt beautifully and make a great addition to your favorite “cheesy” recipes.

March 2014- We began raising free range chickens! What started out as a hobby for Tony, he LOVES little chicks, actually any baby critter steals his heart. He kept bring home little chicks and we all know what happens…they grow up…. Dairy Goddess Farmstead Eggs was born…”We love’m like our Cows”

eggs in carton

April 2014- Tony and I celebrated our 31st Wedding Anniversary. We also found out the our 1st grandchild was going to be a GIRL!

Tara Baby Cake announcement

 

May 2014- We got our 3rd Refrigeration van, or as I like to call it…Chariot for Dairy Goddess to transport her goodness!

DG Van 3

June 2014- A.J. finds out that he was accepted as a transfer student for Veterinarian Medicine at Oklahoma State University. We were all so thrilled that he would be closer to home.  We knew at that moment that we would be able to go and visit which we did in October for OSU’s homecoming. What a blast that was and we were so lucky to get to go with my cousins, the Walton’s. Their son Brandon is completing his undergrad there.

OKC AJ OSU homecoming 2014

July 2014- Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese wins 1st place in the flavored-fresh cheese category  for our “Valley” (Peaches, Almonds, & Honey) Fromage Blanc, at the American Cheese Society Awards in Sacramento, CA. What an honor! To win among the many other great entries made us so very proud.

ACS Cheese Awards

August 2014- Dairy Goddess celebrated it’s 4th year in business.

September 2014- It was all hustle and bustle for Dairy Goddess as we prepared for Tara and Shane’s baby to arrive. Tara does so much for DG so we needed our ducks in a row. We were all getting so excited to meet Baby Girl Rodrigues!

October 2014- Finally on the 8th of October, God blessed us with our newest Little Goddess, Delilah Dolores Rodrigues. She was perfect. She completely stole our hearts and is the very center of our life.

Barbara and Delilah Hospital

November 2014- It was only a month after Delilah joined our clan but we had prepared and completed a 3rd Party Audit for Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese and Milk. It was a two day inspection to make sure we are doing everything possible to bring our customers the best quality products produced in compliance of the state and major store chains. We also decided to upgrade our website and invite you to take a look at it. We are very proud of how it turned out.

December 2014- I had made the tough decision to leave my Board of Director seat for the California Milk Advisory Board I loved serving the dairy farmers in California. It was important to me to be a voice for my fellow dairymen and to do my best to direct that our milk marketing dollars were being spent thoughtfully and assuring their hard earned money was being put to good use to market the milk that they produce. As Dairy Goddess has grown I realized that I would not be able to give 100 percent to that seat’s responsibility. We had a beautiful dinner and so many kind words were said and I truly felt appreciated for the 6 years that I had served.

CMAB apprecation certificate

January 2015- We started 2015 with a bang! We baptized our sweet Delilah and then were off to San Francisco for the Winter Fancy Food Show this is the largest food and beverage show on the West Coast. It was amazing and felt very successful. We could not believe how many fabulous products from around the world that were there and how large the show itself was. We were proud to be a part of it.

Fancy food show 2015

One of my New Years Resolutions is to blog more…I promise to work on that. I love sharing our life with you. I appreciate you taking the time to visit this blog and my website. I would love for you to like my Facebook Page too. That is a quick way to stay in touch with our latest shenanigans!

One last thought. We are still in a terrible drought here in California. We have had a bit of rain and hoping for a wet February. We ask for you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as all of Agriculture in California is suffering and if we do not get rain and also reform for water in this state it will affect us all. This drought is truly a crisis.

Cows and Babies...a couple of my favorite things!

Cows and Babies…a couple of my favorite things!

Our Littlest Goddess!

Our Littlest Goddess!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dairy Goddess Knows Butter Is Better! You Should Too!

After a year and a half of planning…my daughter Tara celebrated her wedding to Shane Rodrigues on November 2, 2013. It was a perfect day. We could not be any more happy. We managed to run business as usual and Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese and Milk as well as Tony Martin Dairy continued with out a hitch. It took a team effort and prayer and we got it done. We appreciate all of the well wishes that we received and are grateful to all of our customers blessings and support.

The Original Team Dairy Goddess

The Original Team Dairy Goddess

Along with getting back to reality I want to get back to my blog which has taken the back seat through all of this.

It is no secret that I believe that we need to take our food back “old school”. Less processing, more natural. Keeping the integrity of the food that we consume for maximum benefit, the way it was intended.

My cousin, Anita Caole, shared with me the Margarine VS Butter information. I thought it was fitting as we are getting towards the holidays with extra cooking and baking. We should be striving towards more WHOLE and NATURAL foods with everything in moderation. We have been on a dangerous path with the “mutilation” of food by processing. Read your labels….less is more! Besides, it just tastes better! I hope you find this information helpful. Please pass it on…many of us do not have any idea!

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.

It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings….

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?

Read on to the end…gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.

Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.

Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.

Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

Very High in Trans fatty acids.

Triples risk of coronary heart disease …

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)

Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..

Lowers quality of breast milk

Decreases immune response.

Decreases insulin response.

These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.

Pass the BUTTER PLEASE”

 

Dairy Goddess Drinks Non-Homogenized Whole Milk and So Should You!

Non-Homogenized Lightly Pasteurized "Cream Top" Milk Nectar From Our Dairy

Non-Homogenized Lightly Pasteurized “Cream Top” Milk
Nectar From Our Dairy

I drink whole milk and eat full-fat yogurt, cream cheese, and sour cream. Sure, full-fat dairy products taste better than the skim/fat-free versions, but I don’t eat them for the taste. I eat full-fat dairy because it’s better for my health and my weight.

Yep, you heard me right: I eat dairy products with all the fat god gave ‘em, and I do it because it’s good for me.

Here’s why:

1. Our bodies cannot digest the protein or absorb the calcium from milk without the fat.

2. Vitamins A and D are also fat-soluble. So you can’t absorb them from milk when all the fat has been skimmed off. (This makes fortified skim milk the biggest sham of all — you can pump fat-free milk full of a year’s supply of vitamins A and D, but the body can’t access them).

3. Milk fat contains glycosphingolipids, types of fats linked to immune system health and cell metabolism.

4. Contrary to popular belief, low-fat and fat-free diets do not help prevent heart disease, and science has now revealed that the link between saturated fat (long villainized as a cause of heart disease) and heart disease is tenuous at best.

5. In fact, studies now show that eating saturated fat raises good cholesterol — the kind of cholesterol you want and need in your body.

6. The world’s healthiest foods are whole foods — foods that have not been processed. Why? The nutrients in whole foods have a natural synergy with one another — that is, they work best in and are most beneficial to the body when they are taken together (not when they are isolated in, say, beta-carotene supplements of Vitamin C capsules). So when you pull some or all of the fat out of milk, you throw its nutritional profile out of whack. Basically, you discard all of the health benefits when you discard the fat.

7. And last but definitely not least: healthy dietary fat will NOT make you fat. We’ve been taught for years that dietary fat is the root of all evil. But we need healthy fat in our diet for proper body composition and long-term weight maintenance. The key factor here is knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats (for more on good and bad fats and the role healthy fat plays in weight maintenance..

A final note: When it comes to whole milk, you should also drink nonhomogenized when you can. Homogenization is “the technique of crushing milkfat globules into droplets too small to rise to the surface in a cream layer,” writes Anne Mendelson in Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages (Knopf, 2008). Homogenization offered two big advantages to the dairy industry: (1) the abolition of the “creamline,” as it’s called, made it possible to package milk in more convenient [read: disposable] cardboard packaging instead of traditional glass bottles and (2) homogenizing made it possible for a commercial dairy to “calculate the amount of fat in incoming milk, completely remove it, and homogenize it back into milk in any desired proportion…In effect, ‘whole milk’ could now be whatever the industry said it was.”

To put it more bluntly: homogenized whole milk isn’t whole. The dairy-processing industry decided that whole milk should be milk with 3.25% fat (raw milk straight from the cow averages between 4 – 5.5% fat). That way, no matter what cow produced the milk, after homogenization all the milk would taste the same.

When you buy homogenized milk, you’re buying a whole food that isn’t whole — it’s had it’s fat removed, evened out, and injected back into it in an amount less than what appears in nature. So choose whole milk, skip homogenization, and enjoy!
By Laine Bergeson, Experience Life

Dairy Goddess : Yep, Cool Cows Are Our Priority And Water Is My Worry!

Cows Cooling Off

Cows Cooling Off

Summertime! It is here with a fury. As a child it was my favorite time of year. When you are young you don’t have as many worries as we do as adults. I used to have fun playing on the dairy, barefoot, making “Big Foot” prints in the fresh cow patties and then running through the “wash pen” to wash off and cool off. I was out there with the cows running around in my swim suit with out a care in the world. My dad made sure the cows were always comfortable. He would keep them longer in the “wash pen” and they were blessed with shades.

We continue to have those comforts for our cows along with soakers, misters and fans! Nonetheless, now as an adult and caretaker of these favored female bovines I worry. We are continually checking to make sure these cooling devices are working and doing their job. We make sure they are eating enough and the food is fresh. We watch their troughs to make sure the water is cool and plentiful.

In the summer we also plant corn. We grow corn to feed our cows along with wheat and alfalfa. I worry about the Central Valley and it’s water availability. There is so much “politics” in the water issue. They only ones who truly suffer is us the farmers, our animals and crops and you the consumer. Water is so important to this Valley and our food supply. Let us never take this for granted. Don’t let big politics lead you to believe it is about saving non-indigenous species. It is about big business, big money that hides behind “heart-strings” for their personal profits and agendas.

I worry about my cows and the crops I grow for them. I pray for water to keep my cows cool and thirst away. I pay that we have enough water to grow our crops and have a plentiful harvest.

Care free summer days for me are gone…but I do thank God for all of the blessings and comforts that my “girls” have. I am grateful for everything that they provide for our family and giving them the very best is the least we can do!

Celebrating My Dairy Dad This Dairy Month

Manuel Borges Jr Dairy Farmer - Father

Manuel Borges Jr
Dairy Farmer – Father

Well here we are in June already. Always a busy month. Between graduations, farming our corn and fathers day. On top of that it is “Dairy Month”.  For a dairy farmer every day is dairy day, week, month and year. The cows need their food and milking everyday, 24 /7 the cows are on our minds and run our daily lives, but we love it and most of us agree it is our calling.

This is the 24th Father’s day without my Dad. I still miss him terribly, yet his legacy and passion lives within me. My Dad was not a man of many words. He liked his routine and was just happy to be in the barn with his beloved cows. We were pretty much polar opposites when it came to socializing and chit-chat. I think he thought me a bit quirky, a bit boisterous, and always on the go. I was just like my mother. It was a yin/yang thing. All I know is it worked. I truly think that my life growing up was as perfect as it gets. I had the best of both worlds. A free and easy, hippy style mom and a quiet hard working Dad that like routine and structure.

We have all of these fancy terms for everything these days. I think that my Dad might have been termed, OCD. He was the cleanest person I have ever met. He spent so much of his time that he should have been sleeping, cleaning. He only slept about 4 hours a night.

My first memories of my Dad was by his side…working and cleaning. You see I was the oldest, I know in his heart I was supposed to be a boy, thus his nickname for me was Bobbi. (He had married later and I was born when he was 35 years old). He needed a worker and well, I ended up doing just that. At four years of age he put steel wool in my hand and taught me to help him scrub the line. My very favorite memories was about that same time when he put me in the big stainless steel milk tank to help him clean it. He said that my hands were nice and small to get into the “crannies”. It was such fun slipping and sliding around. I remember we used a lot of cleaning chemicals. I told him, “Daddy I can’t breath”, he calmly said to me “it’s OK honey, just hold your breath”. I did just that. While others might not think that was the best parenting moment, it was one of my happiest times.

My Dad was even picky about the color of his cows. He liked them mostly black with only a little white on the bottom. When asked why, he would simply reply, “They look cleaner like that”. He was known by many of this preference and any bull in his breeding program reflected this and any cow that was purchased had to fit that bill. (I am blessed to have a aerial photo of our dairy farm and his   “Vacas Pretas”  as he would call them in Portuguese are prevalent and a beautiful keepsake of our life).

That desire for quality and cleanliness was passed down to me. A good product starts with the best quality milk. Once you have the milk, so pure and pristine,  processing it must also retain cleanliness and quality.  The importance of this has been passed onto me and I pass that on through my cheese and milk. So many people tell me that my cheese and milk lasts long after the “best by date”. I tell them that is because of our clean milk and processing. It makes me so very proud. I am so lucky that my husband also is a stickler for quality. It is, to my delight that my daughter, Tara, has also inherited that gene. I am so happy to have her heading up all of our production.

I am sorry that my Dad did not get to see “Dairy Goddess” come to life. I know he would have just shook his head and smiled that crooked grin. My father told me out loud only one time that he was proud of me. That was on my wedding day. I always knew that he was, but like I said he was a man of few words. He did often tell me he loved me, especially towards the end of his life.

There has been many times since his passing that I have heard him. When I had been lost in my thoughts or worried about this thing or that, his voice will pop into my head and say “I love you, Bobbi”… and then it’s gone, but that moment stays with me and I know that he is right here watching the whole thing. Our loved ones never really leave us. We carry them in our hearts and in our actions. We hope that all of the best parts that they gave us are then passed down to our children.

Happy Fathers Day Dad….and to all you Fathers! Don’t forget June is Dairy Month…go on out and celebrate. Think about all of the hard working dairy farmers out there bringing you the best of what Dairy has to offer.

Cheers…preferably a big cold glass of milk!

Dairy Goddess Fulfilling Her Dairy Dreams With Your Help!

As you know. Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese and Milk was created by me. Partly as a dream to create products from our cows milk but also out of desperation during the worst economic time in our dairy industry. Trying whatever we could to save our farm.

With the help and support of my husband Tony, my daughter Tara we have done a pretty good job. I am very proud of what we have accomplished in two and a half short years.

I am proud to announce that we just made it into the Northern California Whole Foods 35 plus stores with my Non-Homogenized, Low Pasteurized Whole Milk and Chocolate Milk along with Dairy Goddess Fromage Blanc Cheese. If you are in that region…please go in and tell them you LOVE Dairy Goddess. The real key to this success is to receive and maintain those re-orders.

I have expanded my tiny little plant and product as I have gone along. Dairy Goddess does not have a marketing team. I do not have an advertising budget. We do EVERYTHING ourselves. With that said. I am asking you to help me out. Please go to Fresno Food Expo’s Website (click here) Like their page. Then look at all of the wonderful new San Joaquin Valley New Products that will be highlighted at the Fresno Food Expo on March 14th. Then please LIKE each of my products. I have the Whole Milk / Whole Chocolate Milk and Cheese. Click the like by each of those pictures and that is all you have to do and sharing that with your friends would also be appreciated. This type of promotion is what has got me to where I am now. It is hard to get reach without professionals helping, but with your assistance I could not be happier!

I am the little ant that could….and this ant is going to do her best to keep going!

Thanking you in advance for your help…remember LIKE all Three Dairy Goddess Products by clicking the “thumbs-up” next to it’s picture.

Photo from Hanford Sentinel article

Dairy Goddess LogoImage

Farmers Given Tribute! Dairy Goddess Says “THANKS DODGE”

Isn’t it nicImagee for a change that farmers are given some real and positive recognition…AND it was during the most watched event in the world.

Now let me go back a bit…I did not see the Dodge commercial titled “So God Made A Farmer” yesterday, during the Superbowl but one of my daughters friends, Claudia Avila, posted on my Facebook wall…

“Hope you saw that farmer commercial for Ram…totally thought of you guys. Xoxo”

I was so bummed that I missed it but Thank God for You Tube (click to view) I watched it, and watched again. It brought tears to my eyes and I swelled with pride. I thought, finally…a shout out to all of the farmers that feed our nation…our world and they are supporting Future Farmers of America to boot! Wow that is so cool!

I was so happy that Claudia, a beautiful, sweet, twenty-something that lives in the city, away from farms saw that commercial and took that moment to share that she thought of us. THANK YOU Claudia that make me very proud.

The commercial’s impact continues. It has been all the buzz this morning on the talk shows and I was so happy to hear “Kelly and Michael” say how much they loved it and made them think about how hard farmers work. It is nice to have this good media attention for a change.

I am happy to say that I do drive a Dodge and this farmer thanks you! 

 

Dairy Goddess Loves Her Customers!

Great Recipe with Dairy Goddess Cheese

Great Recipe with Dairy Goddess Cheese

Well here we are in 2013….amazing isn’t it?

I wanted to start off my New Year wishing you all a very prosperous and happy 2013.

I also wanted to start out extending my gratitude to all of my great customers.  I, Dairy Goddess, appreciates you all more

than you can ever know! I want to share with you a recipe a customer had sent me with a picture of the wonderful dish they had made using Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese…I made it and it is AMAZING. I feel very blessed to have such great customers using my products and sharing their recipes with me!  Thank you Justin and Tara for sharing!

I tried your cheese in a recipe and loved it, so I thought that I would share. Great product!” – Justin and Tara
 
 
Roast Red Bell diced, mushrooms quartered, Broccoli flourettes, julianne white onion, tossed in olive oil salt and pepper fresh garlic @ 350F for 18 mins (or pan saute if you wish)
 
To separate pot Add 2C of cream, 2 oz Azores 1 oz Central Coast cheese with 4oz of cheddar, 2 tsp of powdered chicken stock and 2 tsp fresh garlic salt and pepper
 
serve sauce over Fettucini noodles topped with grilled or baked thin sliced diced or julianned chicken,  then the roasted  veg, dash of parm, and yummy bread.
 
 
Let me know if you try and like it. Check pic. I’m a chef and me and my girlfriend just added as we went along lol!
 
Justin & Tara

Dairy Goddess Testifies At The CDFA in Sacramento

I have just gotten back from Sacramento. Karen Ross had called a hearing to raise all Class Milk prices for up to 6 month to help dairy farmers through this terrible crisis. Mind you getting to a meeting in Sacramento at 7 am on the Friday before Christmas was no easy task.

I was proud to see many dairy farmers there. There were also plenty of processors there to fight it. Their lack of empathy toward our dairy crisis is disturbing. 

I have been up since 230 am so I will post my testimony for you to read. There was a lot of very good producer testimony and I do hope that we were heard.

 

I am here today urging you to increase the pay price that dairy farmers receive.
We have been receiving nearly $2.OO less per hundred weight than the rest of the 
United States for far too long. Along with that we have the highest costs and 
the highest regulations as well as providing the highest quality of milk.

300 dairy families gone along with another 100 this year.

We have been pleading and petitioning for a year all to be denied and delayed. 
All the while many dairy families have lost or  are losing their generational 
farms and culling generational herds.  We hear from processors that we need to 
become more efficient . I can guarantee you this ... The dairy farmers that are 
still in business today have become efficient or else they would not be in 
business today. I would only hope that our government would become as efficient 
as  us dairy farmers...we would not be on the fiscal cliff we are standing on 
right now.

Have any of you ever here seen a dairy farmer walk around his dairy after the 
cows have left for slaughter? It is heart breaking...it is a memory that will 
never leave me. I pray that no more dairy families have to take that walk.

Those of us still here are fighting for our lives.  Yet, as we fight for our 
lives our main concern is to feed and care for our cows. Everything we do 
revolves around our animals that is pressure that you will never understand. 
Getting the cows fed and feeling relived, only, then to have the burden of 
figuring out how you are going to cover your other bills like payroll, 
electric,fuel,insurance, environmental regulation fees and God help us if we 
have a blown tire on the tractor or a pump goes out. I do not wish the stress 
and pressure on any of you. Though I would like for you to walk in my shoes for 
a day...

We dairy families rallied on the Capitol steps in September and October . Only 
to be treated as a minor nuisance.  It was disheartening for so many but I am 
extremely proud that,  finally, California dairy farmers And 3 of our major 
co-ops stood together. 

I am disappointed in the actions of Secretary Ross and the CDFA. I would never 
expect you to work and not receive a fair wage for what you do. Yet you have sat 
back and watched the demise of so many dairy families knowing that we were 
receiving so much less than the rest of the nation. Shame on you CDFA for 
waiting so long and hoping it would fix itself as it has done in the past. Shame 
on you for not appreciating the California dairy families and all they have 
contributed to California.

In March of this year was the first I heard of the forming of a task force to 
fix our industry for the long term. I pray for its success.  As predicted,  It 
had not started off to be very fruitful. The one plus I see from there meeting 
is that Sec Ross could see for herself the true line in the sand between 
producers and processors.

There is a dark, sinister cloud that looms in our industry. I hope that we can 
work to change our system for a healthy dairy industry in the future and to rid 
the dark forces that shadow it.

Here we are at years end asking yet again, to be given some type of relief as a 
result of this hearing. I urge you to act swiftly. We are hanging on by a thread 
and for too many it is already too late.


The Second Sunday of Advent. Are you REALLY ready?

We we just had the second Sunday of Advent. Many Christmas celebrations have taken place while many of us remain busy preparing for our own. 

I spent a busy weekend working farmers markets. We did decide to go to the Cayucos Christmas Celebration on Saturday night after our markets. They have a tree lighting and businesses are open for shopping or for cheer along with carolers and carriage rides. 

As we were leaving there was a terrible accident right in front of where we were. (News report of Cayucos accident here) 

You could see it was bad. Two people down in the street. Tony went to see while I stayed in the car. He came back very upset and said a car hit two people that attempted to cross the street. The lady that hit them was very, very upset and said she hadn’t seen them. (No arrests were made). Just a terrible accident.

As we celebrate advent we prepare for the 2nd coming of Christ. Really, though, we never know when it is going to be our last day. This was a shocking reminder to me that we should be in constant preparation because it can come at any time.  

As we continue to prepare for Christmas take time to make the most of this Advent Season by preparing our way to the Lord.

“Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36) 

Sadly, the husband had died and the wife remains in critical condition. Tony and I have been praying for them and their family.  We think about how something like a simple evening stroll can be your last. 

Women & Dairy; Goddesses Unite! Women in Dairy Conference-Penn State Extention

Women In Dairy Conference – November 7, 2012

Women in Dairy Pennsylvania – Penn State Extension

Last year we had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful group of dairy farmers from Pennsylvania that were visiting California dairy farms. Our dairy was one of their stops. Tony and I shared our dairy and our cheese plant and the debut our chocolate milk. I had the opportunity to speak to them and shared our struggles with the dairy business and operating a dairy products plant.

A couple months later I received an email asking if I would be interested in being the Keynote speaker at their Women in Dairy Conference being held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I reminded them that I was not a professional speaker. She said that it was the ladies from the tour that suggested me as the speaker. I was flattered and frightened at the same time.

They also asked if I could sit on a panel for blogging. That, I thought, no problem. I feel comfortable with blogging. I admit I do not know a lot of the technical things associated with blogging but I do feel comfortable sharing my message and I realize the importance of getting your story out and not let others speak for you. Especially in the dairy industry.

I agreed to do it. I admit, a bit reluctantly. It seemed so far away. I really didn’t know where I would be with my business. I didn’t know how I was going to manage to get away. I didn’t know how to put together a keynote address. I had seen plenty of wonderful speakers in my day. I was especially moved when I had seen Dr. Scott Vernon from Cal Poly SLO give his keynote address at the California Women in Agriculture convention earlier this year. I was challenged and I like that. I decided to do it!

Months before, and up to just before departure I was agonizing over my decision. One day it was, “how exciting” the next day was “what the heck did I get myself into”. I was worried about letting those ladies down. I knew it was too late to back out now. I dug my heels in and resolved to do my best.

I would hole myself up and write, rewrite, write and write some more. It is very rewarding putting your life on paper. I also created my first power point! Accepting challenges and learning new things, isn’t that what life is about?

Penn State Extension is an outreach program of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. They provide educational programs for dairy producers, their employees, and advisers. (click here to see the great programs that they offer) They do a great job. They are professional and work very hard. It is very clear that they like what they do and they like working with these dairy farmers. I felt their devotion and respect for the dairy farmers that they served.

There is nothing easy about getting to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from Fresno, California. I departed at night on November 5th. I arrived, after a couple of plane changes, in the morning of November 6th. It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful place. I would not let my weary body get me down. I had to go explore. Explore I did. I want to thank Unique Limousine of Harrisburg, PA. I called them at the last minute. They asked what I was interested in seeing. Offered me a very fair price and picked me up right away to escort me on my adventure. I got to visit the Central Market in Lancaster, PA It is the oldest, continuously ran, farmers market in the nation. A perfect stop for me right? I enjoyed introducing myself to the farmers/vendors there and they were kind and warm. I even got a hug from a lovely Mennonite vendor. I was driven through the beautiful countryside enjoying the farms and got a glimpse of Amish life. I drove through Hershey, PA, the “sweetest town in America” and yes the street lights are the shape of Hershey’s kisses. The whole time, as I was enjoying this, I kept telling myself how much Tony would love to see this and vowed to come back and spend more time.

After my full day I got to enjoy dinner with some of the Penn State Extension team. We also went to a pre-conference reception that evening.  It was nice to have this “warm-up” because that moment was here and there was no turning back now.

After a surprisingly good nights sleep, that moment, that I had agonized for so long, was now here. I admit, I was glad that I was up first. When I was done I felt great relief and satisfaction. Mission accomplished! I had wonderful feed back and response and felt embraced. One very nice young lady said that I had “set the tone” for the conference. I was happy that I did not disappoint. These are hard-working dairy women. They are busy working on the farms, milking cows, raising calves and taking care of their families. I wanted it to be worth their time and I didn’t want to disappoint the ladies that suggested me for the job.

I was happy to share my life. I believe they realized, like I did, that even though we might run our dairies differently. We might have more or less cows to take care of. We share to same goals and struggles in our lives. At the end of the day our lives are consumed with the care and well-being of not only our families but our animals.

Sitting on the blogging panel was fun. It is always fun to share the rewards and challenges of blogging. I got to sit on the panel with Raechel Sattazahn. She did a great job sharing her blog, Go Beyond the Barn Blog please check it out. Her husband is a guest writer and they do a wonderful job sharing our agricultural story.  Lisa Perrin from Mid Atlantic Dairy Association did a great job as the panel facilitator.

I got to enjoy the rest of the day mingling, eating good food, and taking in the other breakout sessions. I met too many wonderful people to name individually. I  hope they know how much I appreciated my time with all of them.

During the day I had the opportunity to meet Jessica Armacost. She is the director of the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Program and Promotion Service . They have a very impressive program. The girls are very active in promoting dairy in their state. She had with her two of her princesses, Callie and Heather. These two lovely princesses gave a beautiful “milk toast” at lunch. They attended the whole conference and were staying on for other appearances.  They were staying the night and asked if I would like to join them for dinner.

What a great evening. She drove us into the town of Harrisburg and indulged me in some picture-taking of this beautiful town. We ate at a local restaurant Appalachian Brewing Company. It was an evening of good food and good company.  I so appreciate their invitation. This was a perfect ending to a wonderful experience.

I want to thank Dr. Lisa Holden, associate professor, Penn State Dairy and Animal Science and Laurie Porter for their efforts in arranging this conference. They make it seem easy. Congratulations to you both and everyone who made this day the success that is was.

I made it back home without delay. I was comforted to know that my cheese/milk and dairy business ran just fine without me. Tara and Tony do a great job and did it all themselves without complaint. It is I, that do not know what I would do without them. Thank you both for “holding down the fort”. I love you both.

Again, Pennsylvania Women in Dairy and Penn State Extension, my deepest gratitude for this opportunity. Until we meet again….

California Dairy Rallies Are Like Praying…Not Always Answered Right Away, But It Feels Good!

Hello everyone, I am sorry for my delay in posting from our rally on Oct 18 2012. It had been my hope that some miracle would have happened and we would be onto some concrete level ground and would have a solution. The “Polly Anna” in me was hoping for a “Kumbaya” moment and we would have quick resolve.

On October 18, 2012 we again left from Goshen at about 630 am on a beautiful bus provided by Western Milling and Novus International (allied industry helping us in our plight). I am very grateful for there support and financial aid to provide this transportation. It was a great way to travel, communicate, laugh, share our angst. It was fun. It was nice to not have to fight the traffic and high fuel prices it was also very comfortable and spacious with a wonderful driver. We were in good hands.

We had a wonderful turnout at the rally. About the same numbers as the first rally but this time was many, many different faces.

There were some great speakers that represented dairy families in California. (Click on the link to see)

 Great speakers shared their stories 

Two of my favorite people spoke too, Mary Cameron and Mario Simoes Sr.

They had and open forum in which I went up to share with the group that Secretary Ross had called me the night before. (She wanted to let me and others know that they were getting our phone messages, emails, and faxes). She had mentioned that the task force was meeting and she was hoping to get some immediate relief for dairy producers.  (My words to the rally folks click here)

I felt hopeful that this rally would impact not only the Secretary and the CDFA but also be heard by the processors who have been fighting any change we have requested to be made. They are feeling the impact of less milk, yet they continue to dig in their heels and expect for us to go back to our old ways.

I even sent a letter to one of the task force members, Sue Taylor, from Leprino Foods. You can view this letter on the website Rally For California Families

She did not even have the graciousness to email me back a response. Frustrating to be so ignored while my quality milk arrives to them daily and makes them millions of dollars. I was reaching out and hoping for some unity….yeah right….”Polly Anna” disappointed again.

The task force did meet on Oct 23 and 24th. Below is Western United Dairymen’s well written account of the two days. I could not help but feel that possibly Secretary Karen Ross was, like I, feeling a little “Polly Anna” in thinking that they might be able to agree on something. I am glad she witnessed for herself how stubborn and uncaring the processors are. Like spoiled children, they have been used to getting their way. She saw the dairymen in that meeting standing together, standing as one. She witnessed the line in the sand. She witnessed that the processors do not care about the producers. Their only care is their profits because of cheap milk and it doesn’t matter that it is at the demise of generations of California dairy families.

The processors feathers are so ruffled they have actually lashed out at Milk Producers Council (Letter from DIC to MPC).

They have the nerve to tell us that they are protecting us from ourselves. They act as if we purposely oversupply the milk. They say it’s all our fault. I say to them….take care of yourselves. Buy only the milk you need and pay us a fair price. If we oversupply it then our co-ops with their base limits will handle it with those that are overproduction. How dare they be so arrogant and treat us like naughty children who do not know how to play nice. Shame on them.

The bright spot of these two days was the fact that Secretary Karen Ross stated that she is expecting a petition for a hearing (as she states in the below letter). She promises to handle it expeditiously. As I am writing this I have not had confirmation of that filing but I did receive a phone call from our DFA Western Area Chairman George Mertens, stating that a petition was being drafted (by DFA, CDI, and LOL) adjusting the 4b price to be in alignment with the Federal 3 price. The petition will be filed by Dairy Farmers of America, California Dairies, Inc, and Land O’Lakes. These are our three major co-ops in California and they are joining together.

I am happy to say that I believe this is moving in a positive direction and uniting is what we need as dairy men and cooperatives. This has been our trouble and has been a determent in our industry for too long. Let us just hope that she does handle this quickly and we dairy farmers can be in “sound economic relationship” with the rest of the nation.

Also Western United’s board members directed staff to craft language to make the change and organize bipartisan support in Sacramento for the legislation for our 4b price to be in alignment. So basically if CDFA can’t do it then let legislation step in. Read more here

Time though, is money…so hopefully the quickest solution for us would be when she receives the petition she will act as quick as the law allows and we can see some relief soon…so many of us depend on it.

Group meets to address immediate and long-term challenges facing the state’s dairy industry. State ag secretary is “impressed by the progress made.”

Source: Western United Dairymen Weekly Update

California’s newly formed 28-member Dairy Future Task Force — composed of dairy producers, processors and cooperatives — held its first meeting this week to address immediate and long-term challenges facing the state’s dairy industry.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross announced the panel’s creation earlier this summer, after hearing a petition by producer groups to adjust the state’s whey factor in Class 4b minimum milk pricing formula. The action came in the face of skyrocketing drought-related feed costs, forcing many producers into bankruptcy.


California Dairy Future Task Force members
David Ahlem, Hilmar
Joey Airoso, Tipton
Joe Augusto, Visalia
Tom Barcellos, Tipton
Marcus Benedetti, Petaluma
Ben Curti, Tulare
Rochelle De Groot, Hanford
Joe DeHoog, Ontario
Lucas Deniz, Petaluma
Eric Erba, Visalia
Frank Fereira, Red Bluff
Mike Gallo, Atwater
Dino Giacomazzi, Hanford
Dominic Grossi, Novato
Scott Hofferber, San Bernardino
Dennis Leonardi, Ferndale
Steve Maddox, Riverdale
J.T. Maldonado, Hanford
Tony Mendes, Riverdale
George Mertens, Sonoma
Rick Michel, Waterford
John Oostdam, San Jacinto
Brian Pacheco, Kerman
Ray Souza, Turlock
Sue Taylor, Denver
Arlan Van Leeuwen, Oakdale
Sybrand Vander Dussen, Chino
Simon Vander Woude, Merced


Secretary Ross issued a statement following the task force’s meeting: “The Dairy Future Task Force is made up of dairy producers, processors and cooperatives asked to come together to find common ground upon which they can build a new, more stable and contemporary path for the dairy industry. The first session, held October 23-24, provided an opportunity to agree on a common fact base and develop a sense of what the group wants to accomplish in the coming months. The task force achieved alignment around a shared vision for the future of the California dairy industry, which is a significant accomplishment and a key step toward long-term success. The initial session was designed to set the stage for the group to identify and build strategic pillars that will result in a robust, profitable, demand-driven dairy industry. I was impressed by the progress made and look forward to continuing this important work. I commend the group’s members for embracing their task and the difficult but critical discussions it entails.

“Based on the discussion of concepts for potential short-term solutions, CDFA anticipates receiving a petition shortly and will evaluate it on an expedited basis. I very much look forward to working with the talented and passionate producers and processors who are willing to provide leadership to this very important sector of the agricultural community.”

In a background statement issued by CDFA, the department said the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) will have administrative oversight of the task force. Meetings will not be open to the public to “eliminate public posturing, hyperbole, and positioning for political gain.”

According to the background information, task force members were invited as individuals–not as representatives of associations or other organizations. There will be “significant public vetting of various stages of the task force’s work, which will strive to create consensus around short- and long-term solutions.”

The CDFA noted that several years ago CMAB commissioned a study which provided concepts for long-term sustainability and industry growth for the California dairy industry. That report, by global management consultant McKinsey and Company, is serving as a foundation for discussions on long-term solutions.