Category Archives: Farm

Our Governor likes what we’ve done with Water Quality

Farm­ing is an inde­pen­dent job. We get to choose how we man­age our land, our ani­mals, our time, and our money to a great extent. But, many peo­ple do not real­ize the rela­tion­ship we have work­ing both with and under gov­ern­ment regulations.

One such exam­ple is the Min­nesota Agri­cul­tural Water Qual­ity Con­trol Pro­gram (MAWQCP). This new ini­tia­tive came from Min­nesota Gov­er­nor Mark Day­ton in an effort to con­tinue improv­ing Minnesota’s water qual­ity. In just the first year, over 100 farms signed up with­out much effort, mean­ing that they were already using the best prac­tices as directed by the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments. We believe hun­dreds more can qual­ify if they take the time to sign up, and we hope they do.

One agency we work with very closely, as we have for decades, is the USDA’s Nat­ural Resource Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice. They work with farm­ers to main­tain, plan, and exceed best stan­dards in farm­ing. Of course, like many gov­ern­ment pro­grams some­times there are unique quirks that farm­ers don’t like as we try to place these national reg­u­la­tions on indi­vid­ual farms, but for us it has been a very pos­i­tive experience.

Last year, our local NRCS office approached us about join­ing the MAWQCP. Weeks later, we found out our prac­tices qual­i­fied us for the pro­gram. We got a nice $500 check, some assur­ance that we would be cov­ered under any small changes over the next decade, and signs des­ig­nat­ing our farm as using the industry’s lat­est and great­est prac­tices for water quality.

We will admit, that dairy farm­ers have a big advan­tage in this cat­e­gory. As farm­ers who uti­lize alfalfa – a per­ma­nent crop that can last for three to five years – we use less tillage and build bet­ter soil struc­ture over time. Our crop-only farm­ing neigh­bors can also meet the high stan­dards set by the MAWQCP, but we’ll hap­pily admit that alfalfa is a big boost, and right­fully so! We use our cows’ own manure to fer­til­ize a crop that we don’t need to till, which in turn comes to make feed for our cows. We do the same with our corn, in rota­tion with the alfalfa ground.

Our row crop farm­ing neigh­bors are not being incon­sid­er­ate. Rather, hay is just a spe­cial­ized crop with spe­cial­ized equip­ment. If you do not have a mar­ket it for it, it is dif­fi­cult to com­mit a field for three or more years when you already have the equip­ment you need for corn, soy­beans, and small grains (wheat, bar­ley, oats, canola, etc.) – they all share the same or sim­i­lar planters, tillage equip­ment, com­bines, and grain haul­ing wag­ons. Hay needs mower-conditioners, rakes, balers, and hayracks or other flat wag­ons to haul the bales in.

Last Decem­ber, Minnesota’s Com­mis­sioner of Agri­cul­ture, Dave Fred­er­ick­son, came to per­son­ally present us with the award (and taste some cheese). We’re proud to dis­play it both on our barn and in our cheese plant, as it’s great water that makes healthy cows, and healthy cows that makes great cheese!

Not Your Average Book Fair

2nd Annual Not Your Average Book Fair

It’s amaz­ing that we’re already host­ing some­thing for the sec­ond time. Time flies when you’re hav­ing a good time.

June Dairy Month is just around the cor­ner and we’ve put together another fun book fair with Jody from Usborne Books, for you and your chil­dren. So what hap­pens dur­ing a ‘Not Your Aver­age Book Fair’? We will be have a read­ing cor­ner every hour, on the hour in the cheese shop and chil­dren will have the oppor­tu­nity to go out­side and pet the ani­mals they were just learn­ing about. We plan to have a baby calf, goats, a sheep and some piglets. In the mean time, par­ents can look through and pur­chase books as well as sam­ple and pur­chase cheese. The event is free to attend and runs from 1:00pm — 4:00pm on June 16th at Red­head Cream­ery.

So put away the iPad and bring your chil­dren to see the ani­mals first hand!

Ques­tions? Just com­ment on this post below and we’ll get back to you right away. We can’t wait to get read­ing with you this summer!

–Alise

Jer-Lindy Farms Seeking Herdsperson

Jer-Lindy Farms is look­ing for a full time herdsper­son. Please see below for full job description:

Dairy Herd Man­ager position

Jer-Lindy Farms, Jerry and Linda Jen­nis­sen, Brooten, Minn.

POSITION: Jer-Lindy Farms invites appli­ca­tions for a full-time Dairy Herd Manager.

Jer-Lindy Farms is a pro­gres­sive, award-winning 200-cow dairy rais­ing mainly Reg­is­tered Hol­stein with a few Reg­is­tered Brown Swiss cat­tle. The farm also cares for their young stock and dry cows, total­ing approx­i­mately 350 head on-site. 250 acres of adja­cent crop­land is uti­lized for forages.

The farm is the home of Red­head Cream­ery, a new ven­ture that will uti­lize the farms milk to cre­ate arti­san cheeses and serve as an agri-tourism destination.

Jer-Lindy Farms was the 2002 recip­i­ent of Stearns County Farm Fam­ily of the Year, 2003 Min­nesota Milk Pro­ducer of the Year, and 2005 MN Depart­ment of Ag. Good Neigh­bor Award.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Dairy Herd Man­ager will pri­mar­ily be expected to aid in dairy oper­a­tions from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., includ­ing milk­ing, clean­ing, feed­ing, breed­ing, bed­ding, calv­ing assis­tance, and all other herd health issues. The posi­tion may also include occa­sional field work and minor equipment

Part– or full-time oppor­tu­ni­ties may exist for the candidate’s fam­ily mem­bers with Jer-Lindy Farms or Red­head Cream­ery depend­ing on qualifications.

Poten­tial for advance­ment within the com­pany exists, through both finan­cial and pro­fes­sional oppor­tu­ni­ties, but will be tai­lored to the individual.

Note: This job descrip­tion is not intended to be all-inclusive. Can­di­date may per­form other related duties as nego­ti­ated to meet the ongo­ing needs of the farm and the inter­ests of the candidate.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

• Associate’s degree in Dairy or Ani­mal Sci­ence or equiv­a­lent expe­ri­ence
• Demon­strated expe­ri­ence work­ing with cat­tle at the pro­duc­tion level
• Evi­dence of effec­tive oral and writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills
• Will­ing­ness to learn and take on new tasks
• Detail-oriented per­son
• Abil­ity to work alone and with a team to carry out the stan­dard pro­to­cols of the farm
• Abil­ity to lift and carry 50 pounds
• Expe­ri­ence admin­is­ter­ing health treat­ments to cattle

APPLICATION: Can­di­dates should send a cover let­ter (include a detailed descrip­tion of inter­ests, skills, and expe­ri­ences), résumé, and the names, addresses, and phone num­bers of two references.

Ref­er­ences will be con­tacted only for those appli­cants judged most appro­pri­ate. Please sub­mit to: Jerry and Linda Jen­nis­sen: jerry@redheadcreamery.com

CLOSING DATE: Review of appli­ca­tions will begin imme­di­ately and the posi­tion will remain open until filled. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Jerry Jen­nis­sen at (320) 290‑8520 (cell) or jerry@redheadcreamery.com

True Type Cow — A Bit of History

True Type Holstein Cow

The pic­ture above is of a true type model Hol­stein cow devel­oped by the Hol­stein Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica — prob­a­bly some­time in the 60s.

The cow was donated to the St. Anthony of Padua church by Jerry’s grand­fa­ther, Math Jen­nis­sen, to be used in the nativ­ity dis­play. Appro­pri­ate, since nearly all of the parish­ioners at that time were dairy farmers.

It was res­cued from the trash this past year by Clara Rooney of the Padua Pub. She pre­sented it to us at the Pub’s Christ­mas party a few weeks ago — and it is now on dis­play at the Creamery.

Thanks Clara! This means a lot to us!

Now to get some Padua Cream­ery artifacts…

JuneDairyMonth

Not Your Average Book Fair

I don’t think it’s a sur­prise at this point that Lucas and I have a tod­dler. For­tu­nately, we’ve man­aged to keep her inter­ested in books more than an iPad. She must have a lit­tle bit of me in her — want­ing to hold some­thing tan­gi­ble and not glow­ing in her face.

For the past few months, I’ve had many requests for events that could involve chil­dren at Red­head Cream­ery. How silly of me to not think of that sooner. Since then, I ran into Jody, a rep from Usborne Books and brain­stormed the idea of hav­ing a June Dairy Month book fair at the Cream­ery. I’m not push­ing books from one com­pany or another, Usborne sim­ply has really good books about agri­cul­ture and animals.

So what hap­pens dur­ing a ‘Not Your Aver­age Book Fair’? We will be have a read­ing cor­ner every hour, on the hour in the cheese shop and chil­dren will have the oppor­tu­nity to go out­side and pet the ani­mals they were just learn­ing about. We plan to have a baby calf, goats, a sheep and some piglets. In the mean time, par­ents can look through and pur­chase books as well as sam­ple and pur­chase cheese. The event is free to attend and runs from 1:00pm — 4:00pm on June 16th at Red­head Cream­ery.

So put away the iPad and bring your chil­dren to see the ani­mals first hand!

Ques­tions? Just com­ment on this post below and we’ll get back to you right away. We can’t wait to get read­ing with you this summer!

–Alise

Click here for our Book Fair Ad: Not Your Aver­age Book Fair Info