Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dairy Dream Day

When Melissa and I are together it's
usually something else!

Did you know Nebraska has 230 dairy farms in the state, making it the 5th largest agribusiness?

That’s not a very big number so that usually means that dairy is kind of overlooked, especially because we are the Cornhusker state and a beef connoisseur (which I love of course!). That was not the case this past Saturday, Melissa Keyes and myself attended one of the biggest event ag promotion events in the state; Prairieland Dairy Day. And what a great day it was.

Prairieland is located about 20 minutes south of Lincoln, and has been a leader for sustainability and new dairy practices for some time now. The dairy itself is owned by 4 different families who decided to coop together. They have grown their farm to about 1,500 cows and have started marketing their own dairy products locally and have found success! You can find 2%, 1%, skim, and chocolate milk in stores across of most Lincoln and Eastern Nebraska. They also have season milk flavors including strawberry, cotton candy, and root beer for the summer months! But that is not the only cool thing that they are doing. They recycle almost everything; the sand for bedding, the lagoon water is treated so that it can be used again, and they also make compost from the manure solid and sell it to whoever wants it. Now if that isn’t innovation I don’t know what is!
So it’s not only great that this dairy is doing all those thing for the industry and the environment but they also completely open themselves up to the public for visits, they want to be completely transparent for consumers! So every year in June they have Prairieland Dairy Day, a day people can bring their families and just enjoy a day out at the farm. The really awesome thing about it is that it’s completely free! The food, milk, ice cream and activities are all free, that is so awesome! This is the 9th year that they have hosted the event, each year better than the last! They were expected to have 6,000 people attend this year but I think they were a little under that number, but not much! This year’s activities included:
People enjoying their free lunch farmer style (dirt and straw included)
The straw castle which was a hit!
The Nebraska Dairy Princess's were even present to
take pictures with kids and cows!
Annabelle is one tricky bovine to milk, but an extra set of hands never hurt!
The corn pit was a huge success, corn was flying EVERYWHERE!
The petting zoo was popular. Kids and parents were able to pet
a calf and milking cow.
The Prairieland Gold (compost) tent. I don't know
if people realized what they were playing with but
they didn't seem to care. You could even take a
bag homewith you!
Just a few of the people that were visting Dairy Day 2012!

Prairieland is a leader in Nebraska Dairy industry for sure and are a great model for a successful business! Midwest Dairy has done a great job though with really promoting Nebraska Dairy’s. There were 2 other farms; Temme Dairy near Wayne and Wolfden Dairy near Kearney that both had open houses in the month of June! And to wrap up Dairy Month there will be a huge event at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo this Saturday called Moo at the Zoo. I’ll be attending so sure enough there will be a blog to follow!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cheater, Cheater

So I am going to be kind of a cheater here. I would love to be able to write 10 blogs a week but that's kind of a lot for me, and I'm the kind of person that would be rather out living life than living it through the computer soo I'm posting a link to another blog I just wrote! I just finished it this morning for the NCB (NE Corn Board) and am quite proud of it! I actually am more proud of the video I made featuring my dad!

Let me know if you have any questions that either him or I could answer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello Blog World!

So since June is Dairy Month I decided what a great time to start talking about my favorite thing in the world: COWS! You ask some of my friends and some people I hardly know, and they’ll tell you I have an infatuation with cows. If I could I would bring them to live with me at my college house in Lincoln, but the neighbors don’t need another reason to think I’m ridiculously crazy. So because of this passion I love to tell people about cows, especially my cows! I want people, consumers specifically, to understand where their food is coming from and put a face to that product. So that brings us here, hopefully I can share some wisdom and perspective with somebody somewhere about the dairy industry and a few other things. Now to understand what those few other things are you should probably know a little bit more about me! My name is Melisa Konecky and I’m a third generation dairy farmer from Nebraska,

(yes there are dairy farms in Nebraska, surprise!) My family raises registered Guernsey dairy cows, corn, soybeans, and hay. From the time I was old enough to put on irrigation boots I was involved in our farm and Agriculture! I didn’t realize until high school that all that 5 year old farmer stuff was going to point me towards (hopefully) a career.

So here I am, going to be a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Animal Science and Ag Leadership. Here at the university I’ve really taken advantage of some opportunities to really diversify myself in the Ag industry, I think that you should never stop giving yourself the opportunity to learn something new. It was because of this that I landed myself my dream internship, being a communication and marketing intern for the Nebraska Corn Board. What better way to learn more about Agriculture than through an industry that supplies most all of them in some way or another!

But something that I always overlook is how growing up on a farm in Nebraska has really shaped me as a person. My parents have worked hard their entire life and have tried to instill that in their children , as difficult as that was at times. It really made me appreciate everything that I have been given and had to work for in my life, I can easily say that growing up I don’t remember one minute that I was ever bored. I always found things, productive or not, to do. There were always people around, cousins, aunts, uncles, strangers that just showed up. This all lead me to realize the important things in my life; my family, faith, and farm.

If any one of those was taken away I know that the other’s would just not be the same, they have guided my decision in the short 20 years I’ve been on this earth!

So a couple other things that I may or may not mention in this blog, prepare yourself! I love music, if there is a music device somewhere around it will be on! However I do have quite a range of different kinds of music that I love; anything from Justin Bieber (love him! but not in a screaming 10 year old girl way) , George Straight, Florence and the Machine, Hot Chelle Rae, Linkin Park, Kenny Chesney, David Guetta, Josh Abbott band, Eli Young Band, etc etc ( I could literally go on all day!).
I recnetly attended the Brothers of the Sun Tour in KC where
we got to admire the great songs and good looks of
Jake Owen, Tim McGraw, and Kenny Chesney. WOOOHOO!

My Family!
 I also love to cook! I don’t do it much while at school but at home I am more than ready to try something new! And of course there’s my family, all 6 of us,

we learn what I like to call little ‘life discoveries’ all the time, for example just because the fence looks functional doesn’t mean the cows won’t be out in 2 hours (happens all too often at our house!) And there is always something ridiculously nuts going on at my house, some great new idea someone had. And lastly, if you didn’t know this was coming you seriously need to meet more Nebraska people, I love me some HUSKERS!!! Like any typical Nebraskan, my year is severely influenced by how the Huskers do(as fortunate or unfortunate as that is, depending on the year).

So here’s to family, faith, farming and the HUSKERS!