Breakfast on the farm
By KAREN SCHWALLER
SPENCER – Patrick and Nancy Jones and family opened up their 950-head Jersey dairy operation to the public earlier this month for an event called Breakfast on the Farm.”
The menu featured breakfast burritos and doughnuts, but the big event of the morning was the chance to walk in the barns to meet the cows and see where milk and milk products originate. Jones Family Dairy also offered adults and children chances to meet and bottle feed baby farm animals, including calves, lambs and goats.
The event drew about 500, who left with a little education and a lot of memories.
“We do it to educate the consumer and bring the people closer to the product as opposed to just taking something off the shelf in the store,” said Nancy Jones, co-owner of the dairy.
Milk from their dairy goes to a processing plant in LeSueur, Minnesota to make cheese.
Jones Family Dairy had the barn scraper going on the day of thee breakfast event, to show visitors that the cows live in a clean environment. They also had family members and employees explaining to visitors that the manure produced there is recycled – the liquids are squeezed out of it and used for fertilizer, and the dry solids are then re-used to make bedding.
“We wanted to show people how green we are,” said Jones. “We only scrape in one barn, but it makes enough bedding for all the barns.”
Jones, her family and their team appreciated the turnout for Breakfast on the Farm.
“Everyone was happy and having a good time,” said Jones. “We saw multi-generational families coming out – grandparents brought grandkids and maybe the parents of the kids were there, too – and we were happy about that. And hopefully the parents will point out the products in the store and say they saw the milk here that might go toward (producing) that product, and make that connection.”
Kayla Kollasch, 13, of Milford, said she learned that milk is 87 percent water.
Wes Simpson, of Spencer, brought his two daughters, ages 7 and 5, to the dairy that day.
“We wanted our kids to see where milk comes from – that it comes from cows before it comes from the carton,” he said. “It’s fabulous. We see them at the Clay County Fair, but now we get to see them where they live out each day.”
Danielle Brockhohn, from Newton, and her two preschool-aged boys attended.
“We live in town and our kids don’t get this experience like we did when we were growing up,” she said.
Brockhohn’s mother, Traci Hintz, of Spencer, added, “They explain things from beginning to end here – it’s really a learning experience for everybody.”
Ronnie Joenks of Spencer came to see how the dairy industry has changed.
“I remember when my granddad milked a dozen cows by hand-he would shoot a little milk at the calves. It’s done all differently now,” he said.
Jersey cows have a high butterfat content of 5 percent. Jones said that compares with the butterfat content of whole milk in the store, which is typically 3.5 percent.
She said her family of eight children always drank whole milk, and that studies are finding now that people who consume full-fat dairy products tend to be leaner than those who choose the lower-fat counterparts. She said a long-term study released in 2016 featuring more than 18,000 middle-aged women showed that those who consumed full-fat dairy products reduced their chances of becoming obese over time.
“It’s because whole milk is more filling, slows the releases of sugars into the bloodstream and helps prevent overeating,” said Jones.
She said the study showed that full-fat dairy also lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes; that full-fat cheeses increase HDL cholesterol (the healthy cholesterol) for a healthier heart, reduces ‘belly bloat’ because it’s lower in lactose and easier to digest, and that full-fat ice cream contains less sugar than its low-fat counterparts.
Patrick and Nancy Jones also use whey – a by-product of milk, which she said used to be somewhat disregarded by the industry. But now she said the industry is understanding benefits and uses of it and are now promoting it.
“We use it in some bars we make and (Patrick) puts it into the milk he drinks every evening,” said Jones, adding that whey can slow muscle loss as people age, contributes to a low-calorie, high-protein diet that aids in weight loss and maintaining lean muscle, and it helps repair and build muscle tissue after strenuous workouts.
Jones Family Dairy works with the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance to do its part in promoting the dairy industry and dairy products. The dairy had a suppertime open house and tour seven or eight years ago, and also opened their the) brand new dairy facilities to the public in 1997. They also are present at the Clay County Fair in Spencer each year with a calf or two at Grandpa’s Barn, and with the dairy industry’s day of promotion there each year. They also take other opportunities throughout the year to give group tours and involve themselves in other avenues of dairy education whenever they can.
“…It’s important that we’re out here in the open,” said Jones.
The open house was also made possible via local and area sponsors who helped with the costs of the day and also visited with people to help educate them on the dairy industry.
2 cups quick oats
1 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 cup honey
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup ground flax
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
Mix all ingredients together and stir until blended. Press into 9×13 or 10×13 pan. Cover and store in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or freeze for later use.
NOTE: Can add other ingredients such as chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut chia seeds, quinoa or dried fruit such as blueberries, cranberries or apples.
1 cup black coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup fat-free half & half
1 scoop whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla)
1 pkt. low-calorie sweetener (optional)
Combine in blender and process until smooth, or mix well in a glass or shaker cup.
16-oz. container low-fat blueberry yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice
2/3 cup blueberries
3-4 ice cubes
Combine in blender; blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass.
Sage, rosemary and thyme butter
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in small bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon into airtight container and store in refrigerator.
Baked potato cupcakes
5 large russet potatoes, skins on, cut into quarters
1 cup diced Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cook potatoes (skins on) until tender (15 or 20 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add potatoes to large bowl and mash well. Mix in cheese and butter. Add eggs and seasonings. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Divide potato mixture among 15 muffin cups. Bake until golden brown on top, about 40-45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
NOTE: Fill muffin cups as high as desired when finished because potato mixture will not rise.
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