March 2020 - Nutrition on the Dairy Farm
1. What does the term "TMR" mean? Total Mixed Ration - The complete diet of the cow according to their nutritional requirements.
2. What is an example of a protein in a cow's diet? - Soybean Meal, Alfalfa, DDG.
3. Do cows need fat in their diet? - Yes! Cows are fed dry or liquid fat. Cows need fat in their diet just like humans do.
4. How does a feed mixer work and is technology important to mix feed? - We use a computer with all the information for each pen uploaded. This includes how many cows are fed with that mixture of TMR and what their requirements are for nutrition to be sure we get them the calories they require in their stage of milking (days in milk). We put all the ingredients in the bowl of the mixer truck, turn on the mixer inside and then go and deliver it to the feed bunk!
5. What do we use for bedding and where does it come from? - The solids from the manure are squeezed out and dried and used as bedding! It looks a lot like peat moss and doesn't have an odor!
6. What is manure used for on the farm? How is it stored? - It is stored in a basin so it doesn't leak into the soil or water nearby and then used as fertilizer on the soil in the fall after harvest to give plants the nutrients they need to grow!
February 2020 - Calving on the Ranch
1. What does the term "spring cows" mean? The cows will have their calves in the spring.
2. What is a heifer? A female calf. They are called heifers until they are around 2 years of age and after they have had their first calf. Once they have given birth they are called cows.
3. How does an EID tag work? What information does it hold? EID's work similarly to the technology in the supermarket check-out line when products are scanned. At birth, the cow receives an EID tag in her ear. That tag stays with her through-out her entire life. All of her health records and information is entered into the computer. When her tag is scanned with a special reader we are able to access all her health records and information. We keep track of her birthday, how much she weighed at birth, all vaccinations given, etc. It is very similar to going to the Doctor's office, the Doctor can also look at all of your medical history.
4. What is the process called using a camera to see if the cow is pregnant? Ultra-sound.
5. What does a pen rider do? A pen rider checks cattle using horses. They ride each pen every day looking for any animal that may be injured or sick. If a sick or injured animal is found, they bring the animal to the barn where they can treat and care for it.
6. How does a cattle auction operate? Buyers (other farmers) gather at an auction barn or via telephone. The animal being sold will enter the ring (at the ranch we have video on screens). Buyers then bid on that animal. The auctioneer announces what the current bid is at, while the ring assistance help him keep track of who is bidding. The auction is done when the bidders decide they do not want to pay any more for the animal. Then the buyer willing to pay the most wins.
February 2020 - Farm to Cart
1. What products do we get from milk and dairy cows? Dairy products including yogurt, ice-cream, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.
2. What is your favorite dairy product? Kids should name their favorite dairy product.
3. Where does the milk go after it leaves the cow? Milk goes into the tanker. Then it is delivered to the processor where it is made into a dairy product, packaged, and shipped to stores. All Riverview milk goes to make cheese.
4. What is pasteurization? Why is it important? Pasteurization is the quick heating and cooling of milk in a short period of time. Pasteurization kills any bacteria and ensures dairy products are safe.
1. What allows us to double crop in Arizona? The mild winter climate
2. When was the wheat planted? NOVEMBER
3. What are the two major parts of the pivot that help us reduce evaporation and conserve water? Low drop nozzles and special nozzle package (bubbler nozzles)
4. When do we harvest the wheat and how do we know when it is ready to harvest? April- May, when the moisture is correct and the seedheads are at the correct maturity
5. What does a forage do for the cow? Allows the rumen to function correctly
6. What process do we use to preserve the feed for the year? Fermentation
7. How many days a year do the calves have to be fed? Every day- Even Christmas!
November 2019 Answers
1. On our farm manure is used for fertilizer and bedding.
2. The machine that removes the manure from the cow pens is called the Mensch or a manure vacuum.
3. Solids are separated from the manure and they are loaded into a wagon to be put into the free-stall pens of the cows.
4. The remaining dry manure is spread onto crop fields to add fertilizer and organic matter to the soil for next years crop.
5. The liquid manure stored on the farm is inside of basin in the ground and we make sure they never have a leak.
6. Pumps make the manure move through the hoses to the fields.
7. We inject the liquid manure under the soil surface to make it available to the plants.
October 2019 Answers
1. The ___(equipment)___ chops the corn in the field to create silage. Chopper
2. When do cows have access to eat? All day
3. What are the responsibilities of the scale house? Weigh the trucks and take samples to dry to find out field moisture
4. Which driver forms the shape of the silage pile? The dozer driver
5. After fieldwork is done, what does the farm do to the silage pile? Cover the pile in silage with tires
6. How does the farm protect the silage from weather such as rain, snow and wind? Put plastic on the pile to prevent spoilage and preserve quality.