We are a week out from Thanksgiving as I write this post. This year the holiday will not be exactly as we envisioned it months ago. Honestly, the entire fall hasn't turned out exactly as we thought it would. When I looked ahead this past summer I envisioned us getting ready for our new baby that will be coming in January. I figured I would be waddling around the kitchen making food for our family gatherings and heading out to the barn to help with holiday chores. Other than the baby doing…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on November 19, 2015 at 6:58am — No Comments
In November 2014 we put the first group of calves in our brand new automated feeding barn. You always hear about the disasters when it comes to automated calf feeders. But we rarely heard about a success story. Truth be told, this facility and management change has turned our entire calf program around from birth to post weaning.
To give you some background, our previous situation was far from ideal. We had calves coming out of our ears. They were stuck everywhere. Tied up to…Continue
We all know that dairy life is hard. It is trying physically and mentally. Especially right now with the milk price.
I have been quite sick the last week and a half. For someone busy and used to being out in the barn a lot, this has been killing me. I can only do so many dishes and loads of laundry before I start going nuts. But I have to say this is the best part of working in such a family oriented business. When we need help, everyone is there to support us, help us out…Continue
Since I was a young girl I have always been a supporter of unique and different. I have a
strong belief that everyone should be who they want and be able to express their self without
judgement from other. My style has always reflected complete individuality. For example, my
favorite hair color is purple. Up until a few weeks ago I had purple highlights in my hair and I
loved it. Go figure.
I am in my late 20s now and for some reason…Continue
As farmers we all know the old adage, "Make Hay When the Sun Shines." Our growing seasons seem to revolve around it and I feel like my daily life follows closely with it. You never know when that small rain storm is going to come through and ruin your chance for cutting hay. Or when that piece is of equipment is going to break down and ruin the entire day. …Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on August 7, 2014 at 7:59am — No Comments
Memorial Day will always have unique meaning to me after last year. This is the anniversary of when we started milking with Lely A4 robots. Let me tell you, this past year has been one wild ride! Between getting the cows used to the robots, learning how to manage a herd with robots and surviving the arctic winter we learned a lot. So here are some things we learned over the last 365 days.…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on June 4, 2014 at 12:54pm — No Comments
Last week I went to Michigan Farm Bureau’s Winter Commodity Meeting. In this meeting were representatives from each commodity from throughout the state. Various speakers and guests talked about a lot of the issues facing agriculture today and in the future. Everything from antibiotic resistant bacteria to global warming to water laws to immigrant labor and antibiotic restrictions were discussed throughout the course of the two days.
By the end of the conference I was…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on March 20, 2014 at 5:49pm — No Comments
Here on the farm there is always something going on. I think we all can attest to that fact. While I am writing this, we have just survived the four days of a winter storm that brought the coldest, snowiest weather our area of Michigan has seen in more than 15 years. Needless to say, this week has been a struggle here like it has for so many out there.
We have been slowly working our way through our first winter with robots. It has been many lessons learned…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on January 10, 2014 at 6:22pm — No Comments
There are a lot of days where I feel my life should be a reality television show. Okay, maybe that was a lie. I feel everyday of my life should be on a reality television show. You never know what the farm will throw at you and how your day will go. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy being on the farm because there is never a dull moment. But at the same time you never know what will be thrown your way.…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on September 14, 2013 at 3:43pm — No Comments
When I got asked to write this post I was thrilled to write something about our robots that was aimed to a fellow dairy producer rather than a consumer. After I started thinking about it I realized it was going to be difficult to put everything I love about our new robot setup into one small article. I will do my best to give you a picture of what I love already and how I see us evolving as we get more experience with the setup. My disclaimer is that I am no expert, we are only 2 months into…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on July 19, 2013 at 12:55pm — No Comments
In honor of Independence Day and trying to channel warm thoughts my Wordless Wednesday is featuring the beautiful Red, White and Blue! I can't lie to you, it doesn't seem like July 4th is on Monday, it was 55 degrees when I went outside this morning. But like I said, I'm trying to channel warm thoughts. So here it is!
Added by Ashley Messing on June 29, 2011 at 1:52pm — No Comments
Today, I'm going to take a different route for my blog post. I have been back home on the family farm for one and a half months now and I'm feeling in a reflective mood. It's still ironic that I'm finally here after all the years of telling people that's what I was going to do.
Added by Ashley Messing on June 29, 2011 at 1:52pm — No Comments
College was a great experience for me. I have tons of memories, friends and lessons that I'll never forget. But there are a lot of things I didn't learn in college that they should have classes for. These are the real world things that everyone should know how to do.
#1 How to move.…
Added by Ashley Messing on June 21, 2011 at 12:28pm — No Comments
I'm very excited to announce that with your help my ice cream flavor has made it to Round 2 of the Flavor Face-Off Tournament for June is Dairy Month! Thank you so much to everyone that helped me out and voted, your support is much appreciated and I hope you will continue to support me and the MSU Dairy Store.
In honor of June is Dairy Month, a dairy publication is hosting a great contest. They are playing a March Madness type tournament with ice cream flavors. The contest is called the Ice Cream Flavor Face-Off and it’s hosted by Progressive Dairyman.
Added by Ashley Messing on June 8, 2011 at 9:36am — No Comments
Through the years the dairy industry has made some dramatic changes. A lot of them are related back to advances in technology. As technology has advanced food production has too. These advancements have allowed us to make more food cheaper and safer! Dairy farming is no different in the technology department and I'm going to share one of my favorite farm toys with you.
I hope you remember my Wordless Wednesday from yesterday because we are going to revisit it. Some cows…Continue
Added by Ashley Messing on May 3, 2011 at 1:36pm — No Comments
When I started blogging I scoured the internet to find Ag bloggers that I could look to for inspiration and advice. Like thousands of now regular readers I found Ree Drummond's blog. Ree, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman, does a fabulous job of combining cooking, ranching, home schooling, and photography into a dynamic and always interesting blog. I am a regular reader of The Pioneer Woman's blogs and we actually have a lot in common including cooking.
We all have professional pictures, you know the head shots that we use for our jobs and we almost always hate them but they're the pictures we use the most. They show up in magazines and marketing material. For example, this is one of my older head shots.…
Added by Ashley Messing on February 1, 2011 at 8:20pm — No Comments
Now, I'm sure by reading the title you thought this would be some kind of a philosophical post. You will be sorely disappointed. This is the journey I'm going to be talking about.…
Many of you are probably wondering what do sand paper and slime have in common. Not much really. These aren't exactly what my latest occupational hazards are they're more descriptions for what I'm going to be discussing. For those of you that have a pet might have experience with these things.... animal tongues.…
Added by Ashley Messing on January 20, 2011 at 4:57pm — No Comments