A Legacy of Farming

Gene Cleverly shares his love of farming.


The Dairy Industry (Part One)

I was surrounded by dairies in Kuna. There was one down the road from my house, one around the corner, and one practically in my back yard. There was even a small one across the street from my high school. It makes sense, considering Idaho is in the top five dairy states!

In my research I found that there’s so many aspects of the dairy industry that I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one post, so I’m splitting it in to three parts! Today I’m going to focus on the cows.

Most dairy cows (approximately 90%) in the United States are Holsteins. These are the typical white and black cows that most people know, though they can also be red and white. They are great dairy cows because they tend to produce more milk than other breeds. Other popular breeds include Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn.

On my Facebook feed I always see over-emotionalized videos of the “harsh” and “inhumane” treatment of dairy cows. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! In order to get quality milk the cows must be happy and healthy. It doesn’t make sense that any farmer would want to mistreat their animals. Part of keeping the cows healthy is giving them medicine when they are sick. When they are being treated with antibiotics their milk is thrown away, so there is no need to worry about antibiotics in the milk you buy at the grocery store!

Stay tuned for more dairy posts coming soon!

Benefits of Bison

Hi, guys! It has been quite the week for me. I went to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention in Kansas City, Missouri. I had a great time and learned lots. One of my favorite things was talking to some people from the National Bison Association (NBA). Growing up someone had a small bison herd down the road from me. I always liked looking at them, especially when they had their babies. I didn’t know much about them, though. The guys at the NBA booth told me that they are trying really hard to get more people to produce and consume bison. Continue reading “Benefits of Bison”

The Wonderful World of Sugar Beets

It’s that time of year where sugar beets are being harvested! I have yet to see a sugar beet field here in Utah (maybe I just need to look harder!) but they are everywhere in Idaho. My grandpa and uncle always grow them, and I have lots of memories of having to weed the fields… Fun times!

The rows of sugar beets right before they’re harvested. Photo by Bobbie Real

Continue reading “The Wonderful World of Sugar Beets”

Hash Browns For Days

When you’re from Idaho people expect you to know all about potatoes, especially different ways to cook them. While I probably do know more ways to cook potatoes than the average person, there are still many ways that I don’t know. One of those was hash browns.

My roommates have all had trouble making them. Rachel’s turned completely to mush, and Amy’s turned pink after she grated them, then turned grey after she cooked them. Then there’s me who had never tried. So, we decided to try and figure out the correct way to make hash browns. Continue reading “Hash Browns For Days”

Picking Pumpkins

It’s nearing Halloween and that means the pumpkin business is booming! There are a variety of places to get pumpkins here in Logan, and they can be bought at a variety of prices. The 2014 average national price for farm pumpkins was 12 cents a pound. The average advertised price was $4.02 per pumpkin. You can get pumpkins at the farmer’s market, or a grocery store. At Macey’s and Lee’s here in Logan the advertised price for pumpkins is 19 cents per pound, and 25 cents a pound at Smith’s. You can also get pumpkins from you-pick places such as Little Bear Bottom Corn Maze. Their website says their pumpkins range in price from $1 to $20, depending on size. Continue reading “Picking Pumpkins”

High Moisture Corn

Alright guys, here is your high moisture corn post that I didn’t do last week! A few weeks ago they were harvesting high moisture corn back in Idaho. Since I couldn’t be there myself I had my wonderful mom take a few pictures for me, and I got to do research to learn more about it!

Prior to doing some research I knew nothing about high moisture corn (also known as HMC), except for what it looked like.

The corn pre-harvest.
The corn pre-harvest.
High Moisture Corn.
High Moisture Corn post-harvest.

Continue reading “High Moisture Corn”

Being A Scale House Girl

The thing I miss most about Idaho is all the farmland everywhere. I loved seeing corn fields between subdivisions, or the dairy in the middle of town. It made me happy. It’s harvest season right now, and I’m missing it. I’m not all that experienced in agriculture, but one of my claims to experience is working at a scale house at a dairy weighing in the trucks of corn silage.

Late September and all through October of last year I spent most of my days in the scale houses at Dry Lake Dairy in Melba and Eagle Ridge Dairy in Kuna. It was 12-13 hour days all by myself with only the truck drivers to keep me company (and I never really talked to them, just waved at ‘em).

I sat in the scale house and when the trucks came full of silage they would drive onto the scale and I would weigh them.

This is the scale at Eagle Ridge Dairy.
This is the scale at Eagle Ridge Dairy.

Continue reading “Being A Scale House Girl”