About

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This is a smile. Or I may be thinking about biting. Who really knows?

This is a smile. Or I may be thinking about biting. Who really knows?

I wanted to write up a new bio but writing something witty to describe myself is hard. So I asked my friends to give me one word that they would use to describe me. This is the list, cheese was repeated several times.

Caring, Knowledgeable, Rumchata, Cheesey (as in the food), Doer, Authentic, True to yourself, Passionate, Respected, Irreplacable, Beautiful (My hubs), Amazing, Crazy, Lively, Audacious, Dazzling, Dedicated, Determined, Multitasker, Credible, ADD, Boothound, Friend, Eclectic, Impulsive, Awesome, Badass, Cheeseaholic, CrazyCarrie, George (Inside joke), Kinetic, Ambitious, Un-ignorable, Late, Funny.

I guess all I have to add is that I love agriculture, in particular dairy cows, more than it is normal. Hubs and I are working with his parents on their 100 cow dairy farm in Southern Wisconsin. I am honest, frank and have the smallest brain to mouth filter known to mankind. I like beer. Please ask me your questions, I want to hear from you. I respect differing viewpoints but if you’re a jerk I will delete your comments, because this is my blog and I can do that.

Contact me HERE

39 thoughts on “About

  1. Congratulations on your blog, Carrie. It looks fabulous and I ADORE Norma the cow and her quip. Drinks all around. Cheers!

  2. Love the blog! And the cheese! Santa was really surprised when I asked for a cheese of the month club for Christmas…now if I could only get a wine of the month club to go with it!

  3. Natasha Lang says:

    Mmmmm, cheeeese!!! 🙂

  4. Marianne says:

    Found your blog via IG (I am “filbertsheep”) Look forward to reading it!

  5. Stephany says:

    Hard working should be on there too!!

  6. Jackie says:

    I dient know where 2 put this so it is here. Could use help advice or support. We have had 8 calves born in 4 days with single didgit temps. 6 heifers in fresh pen. God knows how many in pre fresh. I have 3 hutches with 2 babies each in them. 5 dont want to eat at all. 2 fight u one sticks her tounge out 2 dont suck at all. Boss thinks it should only take a little time 2 feed bottles. Took an hr this morning. What can i do with the calf i fed while i feed its room mate & the ones that fite or dont suck? Everyone is stressed crabby & unkind rite now. Any advice would be great. Jackie.

    • Julie says:

      I can teach you how to deal with your situation, make it easier for you and healthy for the calves. I know your post is already 3wks old, but contact me anyway. I am a dairy farmer with lots of calf raising knowhow.

  7. Shannon says:

    I LOVE your “about” section. You sound like my sister from another mister.

  8. Connie says:

    I’ve seen you on twitter adn I am glad to have run across your blog! I especially like the post about dissecting the video. Good job!

  9. Julie says:

    Dairy Carrie, I’d like to meet you at the PDPW meeting in March, or otherwise. I am a woman dairy farmer interested in telling a positive dairy story. I think you could give me some pointers on social media, if you’re willing; and I’d just like to tell you thanks for the effort and time you put into creating a really personal, active blogsite.
    May I give you a pointer on the undercover video you posted? I think we farmers “get it” but to the non-farming viewer, I think it would be more meaningful if you showed footage of farm crew members interacting with the cows…pushing up feed, walking amongst the cows (and the cows remain calm, they get an occasional pat on the back, etc)…feeding calves w bottles, writing a cow’s number down to be examined because she is lame, “talking to the cows”, etc. In the negative videos posted, it is people seen doing bad things to cows which infuriates the viewer…in a positive video it is good, yes, to show the cows doing their thing, but I think what else is called for is portrayal of the positive interaction and attention to caring for the cows, which involves people doing these positive things, that sends even a better message to the viewer.

  10. Jackie says:

    Julie thanks! My e mail does not work on this phone. I did discover that if i put the nipples in hot water they take them better. I am all beat up from trying to feed 2 calves at a time! Maybe you could be a gust writer about this stuff.

    • plljal@aol.com says:

      Jackie, (and Carrie, and all…) I’m new to this on-line exchange, so I hope these comments are helpful and in line with the Carrie’s intentions on her blog site… I have raised about 4000 dairy calves over the years on our farm.

      The calves, for the most part, have been born from healthy mama cows, so their selenium and other trace minerals are at good levels at birth; and their mamas were vaccinated at dry-off to booster antibody levels in their colostrum–in particular, those which would counteract several causative agents (bacterial and viral) of calf diarrhea. Don’t overlook this when it comes to calf participation during bottle feeding. The calves, for the most part, have not endured lengthy, lengthy calvings; nor have they been left in the calving pen to get cold in the winter. Calvings are attended by frequent observation, and help if necessary; mamas lick off their calves to clean their hair coat (for our purposes, so the hair will dry and fluff up to insulate the calf) and to stimulate their breathing and activity. Observation of the calving pen is frequent enough so the newborn is moved to a clean hutch as soon as mama has it cleaned up and sternal, but before it is standing. In all months, ample clean bedding is necessary in the hutch, and in the cooler and cold months, ample…and I mean ample deep dry bedding is important in the hutch, and in the cold months, the calf is blanketed with wool or thinsulate jacket to retard heat loss and keep it warm. Don’t overlook these steps when it comes to calf participation during bottle feeding. The calves receive heat treated colostrum, 4 liters, tubed, in a clean manner, lying sternal (not on their side), within 1-2 hours of birth. Employees who attend to this job are trained and observed several times before they are allowed to do the job solo, to make sure they do not destroy colostrum antibodies during warming the colostrum, nor contaminate it and/or the bottles and tubes while administering it, nor tube it without maintaining the calf in a sternal (upright) position. Again 🙂 Don’t overlook these steps when it comes to calf participation later during bottle feeding. Calves which are born in accord with the above principles 1,2, and 3…don’t usually have major problems nursing from a nipple—unless they are bull calves! Ask anybody with calf husbandry experience….ask my kids (who were drafted into the work, and fun, of feeding calves here on our farm…bull calves need a little more teaching than do the heifers! But really, with any calf, the first couple of feedings, one needs to straddle the calf, over it’s neck, and help it to nurse the nipple. This gives the calf some limits as to how much it may move around and upon what it should be concentrating. Insert the clean nipple in the calf’s mouth, and support it’s chin from below, holding the bottle with one hand, and supporting the chin with the other. Position the bottle low enough so the calf can swallow well–new calf feeders often hold the bottle really high, stretching the calf’s neck up high to reach the nipple….can you swallow your milk with your face positioned up to the sky?? nope, we can’t and calves can’t swallow very well like that….lower the bottle…you’ll have to bend at the waist to do so, but that way you can’t support your arms on your thighs if the bottle gets heavy. If the calf still doesn’t suckle (this is your bull calf…), then with the hand you had cupped under his chin, place your thumb over the top of his “nose” (not over his nostrils, but behind them), and your fingers under his chin, and exert gentle pressure. You’ll see, he’ll get the idea really quickly, and instead of kind of mouthing the nipple, he will actually suck it and be rewarded with sweet warm milk (or milk replacer) which he can swallow (because you have his head and neck postioned correctly). Stay with the pressure for a little bit, and he’ll figure things out for that feeding; you might have to repeat the same thing for a couple of feedings. Remember, if a calf is very big at birth, and mama has delivered him with alot of effort and time, his tongue may be a bit swollen, and it would be difficult for him to suck a nipple in that condition. The “exercise” of suckling, however, will help that swelling resolve itself. Once bull calves learn to suckle, they are regular guzzlers! You will need to help heifer calves like this, too, on occasion. Nipples…now, there are some things to be said about these. Keep them clean, and cleaner than clean! Throw them away regularly and replace them with new, because they harbor bacteria before you can even see the cracks in the rubber. If you are using the good old red ones, think twice. Having a couple of red nipples around is ok, and you can (should) extend the “X” (hole) at the tip for better milk flow, but not too much! The red nipples have their uses, but honestly, look for a supplier of black Barr nipples and use these. Ingenuity and experience are behind the design of these nipples. They are the correct diameter, and the tips regulate milk flow so the calf doesn’t practically drown when suckling from the bottle. (You see, people tend to extend the lines of the “X” on the tips of the red nipples toooo far, milk comes out toooo fast. Combine that with a calf feeder person with little experience, who’s in a hurry, and holds the calf’s head up toooo high……and you have aspiration pneumonia, and a calf which is a poor-doer, might even die :(, through no fault of her/his own.) Barr nipples are available from Nasco, Animart, and I’m not even being fair to the other un-named suppliers who carry them….just check on line. Unfortunately, you won’t probably find them at your local farm store…) Finally, we’ve had to double up calves in hutches before. It isn’t the best, but remember, we operate according to principles 1,2, and 3 written above, and we make sure bedding is clean and dry. (You can ask me about bedding, and seasonal bedding choices, and how to tell if bedding is dry, etc another time…) So, you have two calves in a hutch, and you find it difficult to feed them? Now that you have read what I have written, it’s obvious that early on, you need to be taking one calf at a time out of the hutch in order to straddle it and teach it to suckle. If part of your difficulty feeding two calves in one hutch is because the calf you’re not feeding is nudging you and bumping you and sucking on your arm and your pantsleg, and really bonking you (because that’s what he would do to get his ma to let down her milk in her udder) then you can see the advantage of taking one calf at a time out of the hutch to feed it! Putting the time in at the start, teaching each calf to suckle efficiently and look for the nipple when you present it, grab on and stay on and suckle…this will be well worth your while. When you have the calf cooperating like that at say, 3 days of age, then be sure all people on the calf feeding team teach the calves in the hutches (individual or doubled up) where their milk is going to come from. We always feed through the back door of our hutches, you may feed differently. but at any rate, teach that one location, and the calf or calves will make a beeline to find the nipple there. If your feeders don’t follow that “rule” about location, then the calf will fail to seek out the location, and instead seek out you and expect you to come to her/him, and we all know that won’t make you happy or efficient in your work. Early on, the equation to the calf is “calf feeder = milk = happy calf”; once the suckling is strong and persistent, you need to teach the calf this equation: “back door of hutch (specific location) = milk = happy calf”. Feeding calves is, I think, either an enjoyable and happy time of the day…or a miserable experience, dreaded and long and frustrating. You can apply some of my suggestions to the feeding of calves already in your hutches, but let me repeat, don’t overlook principles 1, 2, and 3. Implement them yourself, or show them to your boss. They make ALOT of difference. Each of the steps we carry out…the nutrition, the vaccinating, the calving assistance, the colostrum quality, colostrum warming, and so forth…is a link in a chain. Ample dry bedding is a link in the chain; so are clean bottles and nipples, winter calf jackets. A weak link puts the entire chain at risk of breaking. Details ARE important with newborn calves and calves all throughout. If/when there is a problem cropping up, review the details…find the weak link and reinforce it! I’ll even it off at bullet point number 10: warming up the nipples…guess I’ve never had to do so…keeping the milk or milk replacer warm at body temperature is probably more important. Maybe you can’t take all the milk outside to the hutches at once. Newborns and calves which are sick with a bout of diarrhea won’t generally tie into milk which isn’t warm. Older calves will probably nurse milk from a bottle at just about any temp…but let me tell you, for reasons we won’t go into in this entry, you’d best aim at providing milk or milk replacer to your calves at about 100 degrees F every feeding.

      I hope these points help you as a calf feeder! And I hope others with calf-feeding experience chuckle a bit at some of the pointers only a seasoned calf feeder would know! Signing off (very truly, I need to go feed our calves now before it gets any later in the day!). Julie

      plljal@aol.com

  11. Carla says:

    Carrie – You do a really good job explaining about the current issues to people! Great job. I’m also a dairy farmer – truthordairy.blogspot.com. Enjoy your Easter weekend. I’m sure you’re not working at all? : )

    Carla

  12. Coral says:

    Your blog is awesome!

  13. […] There is a lot of agriculture/farming resources to read on the internet. Manny farmers write  their own blogs. One of them is a great blog from Carrie Mess, also known as Dairy Carrie. […]

  14. Ashley Bodkins says:

    I’m a 3rd generation dairy farmer’s daughter and it’s great to see your blog! Saw this article circulating on Facebook and had to post it to my own FB page. I enjoy all your posts and thought this might be something you would be interested in! If not, please delete and dis-regard. I agree with your posts 100%. Keep up the good work and positive vibe for the American Dairy farmer!

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2012/11/07/organic-agricultures-bitter-taste-or-is-organic-agriculture-affluent-narcissism/

  15. Julie says:

    Hi, thanks for bringing this article to our attention. The author may have some valid points…I’m not sure which they are, however, as even though he is a physician, perhaps especially because he is a physician, I think he should cite his sources. His time and effort and knowledge, then, could be more credible. I also think the retailer associated with his opinion statement would indeed be in business more to make a monetary profit, without higher priority, such as making certain all Americans have access to “healthy” or “organic” or “natural” or “however you call it” food. It wouldn’t be right to confuse the retailer’s motives with those of the farmer/producer.
    He has probably over-generalized as far as the description of the farmer/producers and the consumers go…I think “organic” farmers take their production quite personally, as they consume the same milk/meat/vegetables/fruits at their family dinner table as what they sell at market…and I think that while those who buy primarily “organic” foods often do have more disposable income than many, I know there are many buyers who simply are trying to feed themselves and their families foods uncontaminated with pesticides, and they pinch pennies and waste less and eat less to do so.
    One more point…I’m not sure Dr. Wilson understands the microbiota of healthy cows or other animal herds, the typical bacteria and other life forms which are in the manure of those healthy animals, the spreading of manure, the effects of storage, sun and freezing temperatures on manure spread which is spread on the land…nor its value to practical fertility and texture of topsoil. He seems to regard manure as a horrible “pathogen-laden” waste product being used in a careless way as a fertilizer. Around here, we regard animal manure as a valuable (saleable) nutrient for soil and crops.
    That all said, I see the organic food industry, as a whole, subject to many questions from consumers and scientists, about regulation and exception, and definite assurance of protocols followed. The producers and retailers involved need to answer to those questions. Whatever their definitions and prohibitions happen to be, it will be increasingly difficult to assure they are met in this country, as water sources test positive more and more often for low level chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and as long as there is an abundance of acreage planted to GMO seed, from which plants the pollen blows in the wind.
    I think we should be commending the local organic producer, and cautioning the large chain retailers (not only WF, but WM).
    Summer smells so sweet these days, out driving up the road to fetch some hay bales from a field, or in the field in the first place, cutting the hay. Aren’t we fortunate as farmers, to have the opportunity to be refreshed by such things?! Have a great day!

  16. Gator Woman says:

    You really need to get an agent and your own sit com. You are a riot!

  17. […] this summer, I started following blogger Dairy Carrie, here, and she brought me to see some messed up marketing by Panera, and today, […]

  18. […] Last week in my PR class we had the pleasure of hearing from Darrie Carrie, who people would say is a celebrity blogger with over 700,000 viewers. Many people may recognize her from her blogs regarding Panera Bread and their EZ Chicken campaign, Ryan Gosling and his involvement with PETA blogs, or her blog over the blizzard in South Dakota. Carrie Mess is a Wisconsin dairy farmer, and has only been blogging for 2 years now. What I really enjoyed about her was that she isn’t a traditional farmer; Carrie didn’t grow up on any kind of farm. She just happened to marry into a dairy farming family and now has 100 cows, which she states is “average” for her area. I think the biggest aspect she wanted to portray is that she is just an average person who decided to write a blog, and people just really picked up on it-obviously because of her fun personality! Well a funny fact about her is that she originally started using social media because of her online lingerie business, after she realized a dairy farming and lingerie didn’t mix well, she got another job where she could work from home but also work on the farm.  She first got involved with AgChat, a foundation that empowers farmers to tell their story and be a voice for themselves.  She believes farmers have been very reactive for years, and now with legislation affecting the farmers image it’s our job to tell our story to put the real facts out there. I really enjoy her snarky side of humor and word choices in her blogs because it brings her down to earth. She laughs as she says “you know I am not very filtered.” Which is probably why people enjoy her so much, she is real! But ultimately what I took away from her presentation was that she explained how important it is to tell our stories; because people in the city are NOT stupid they just don’t know about agriculture. As a city girl all I can say is AMEN! I have always been a little defensive when agriculture students talk about how they think people in the city are uneducated… I feel it’s their obligation to share their story with us city folk! That was something Carrie said “we can’t expect them to know things about us, so we need to tell them.” I think being an advocate for the industry is very important because if people knew more about the truth it would be a lot harder for special interest groups to brain wash people from the city! That is done by not being filtered and polished but showing the truth, and personally I believe people would be very respectful and appreciative of that! Darrie Carrie was a very refreshing speaker, and brought laughter into the classroom in a fun way, I feel lucky I can say I met her! Check out her blog: http://dairycarrie.com/about/ […]

  19. […] friend of mine, Dairy Carrie, (wrong species, obviously, I know…but sometimes we have to broaden our horizons ) just wrote a […]

  20. Cindi says:

    Nice to “meet” you — I found you through the WordPress Facebook group’s invitation to share our blog addresses. I lived in Northern Illinois for years, and still have family there. Many good memories of Southern Wisconsin!

  21. Laura says:

    Maybe you could do a post about what you would have liked to know before jumping right into the dairy industry. Im marrying a dairy farmer and we are going to take over the family farm. Im a farm girl, however not a dairy girl. Anything I should know?

  22. milkmaid says:

    I’ve noticed that you have much in common with many of these folks who have messaged here & I am no different. Married my husband & the family dairy. I am in love with both, I prefer to milk my cowgals rather than trust others cause, hey, if ya want something done right ya gotta do it yourself, right?..lol! I am part of a closed group on FB that I am crazy about, a fun & fabulous group of ladies. I would like to invite you to be part of us, for that matter, anyone who might happen to read this that fits. Since this dairy thing can cause one to be & enjoy being secluded, this group has gave me an outlet to chat up, read, & tell funnies that most can understand, unlike most other ladies I’m familiar with…lol, my family to be exact..lol! Anyway, it’s Farm & Ranch Wives, Buy, Sell, Trade, & Chat. It’s not a sells group even though there are albums on the group that folks can post these things if they want. Just a fun place to gather & shoot the sh*t from time to time. I’ve enjoyed your blog, keep it up!

  23. Chan says:

    Awesome. This may sound silly, but hug a cow for me? They’re so cute and I love them but I live so far away from any at the moment. Oh, and enjoy some chocolate milk!

  24. Bill Koch says:

    Carrie, just read about you and your blog in Journal Sentinel article about the dairy industry’s new collaboration with The Onion. Think your opinion is spot on! Wondering if you might consider adding a little “flavor” to our annual Tour of America’s Dairyland 11 day bike racing series title sponsored by WMMB. Your “resume” looks perfect for some collaboration!

  25. […] Dairy Carrie was so well received as a blogger that she began to write a monthly column in Dairy Herd Management. Carrie has a great passion for cows and works on her 100-cow family dairy farm. She covers a variety of topics from cow comfort to stories about her own cows. This blog allows a place for me to dig deeper on different dairy topics. I am by no means an expert on dairy and it’s good to have places like this to consult with someone who has more experience […]

  26. Faith Steury says:

    Thanks for sharing! My grandfather and uncle were dairy farmers, and I love your perspective.

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