Life’s busy. Hungry for Truth has you covered with quick and easy Mason jar meals perfect for students, working moms and farmers taking a break in the field. Prep on Sundays to grab and go throughout the week or layer in leftovers as you go. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your favorite flavors. Here are three options for breakfast, lunch and dinner to help get you started.
You may notice we couldn’t help but include a dash of dairy in all three recipes. Not only does it taste amazing, it’s also a homegrown part of a balanced diet. Did you know South Dakota is home to approximately 117,000 dairy cows that eat 31,000 tons of soybean meal each year? That’s right! Protein-rich soy delivers important nutrients that fuel healthy cows to produce the nutritious dairy foods we enjoy around the table and on the go.
Make your Mason jar meals using the recipes below and watch the video for step-by-step instructions. Looking for other easy to prep meals? Try these Cuban Sliders!
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.
June may be dairy month, but if you’re anything like us, cheese is a year-round obsession. In South Dakota, Dimock Dairy is known for some of the best handmade blocks, curds and spreads you’ll find anywhere.
The journey for these delicious cheeses starts seven miles northwest of Dimock on Marty Neugebauer’s farm. Marty grows corn and soybeans, and raises beef cattle in addition to operating a dairy. He started selling milk to Dimock Dairy in the 1980s as a junior in high school when he his mother Anita expanded the family farm. When his mother retired in 1998, his brother Darin joined the operation. Marty knows dairy products don’t get any better than what’s right down the road.
Today, his family business is one of four family farms selling milk exclusively to Dimock Dairy. He’s proud to support a local business and enjoys knowing their products get their start on his farm. He claims their butter is the best ever made with the aged cheddar a close second.
Marty gets going every morning at 5:15 a.m. Before bringing the cows in around 6 a.m., he sanitizes the milking equipment and pipes to make sure the milk is clean when it reaches the bulk tank. Keeping things clean is Marty’s number one priority so he can send the best quality product to town.
He brings eight cows into the barn for milking at a time. Each cow goes into the same stall on the same side of the parlor every day. According to Marty, “Cows need routine. If you change anything, they won’t give the same amount of milk. Keeping them comfortable and happy is important to milk production.” He sanitizes the cows before attaching the milkers, which suction right to the cow. The milkers are equipped with a sensor to detect the flow of milk and stop pumping when the milk stops flowing.
Marty says cows have their own unique personalities and pump different amounts of milk. They can provide anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds per session, and it only takes about five to eight minutes to milk each cow. After the milkers shut off, they detach automatically and he disinfects the cows so they’re clean. Within 15 minutes of coming inside, the cows head back outside for the day.
Next, the fresh milk flows into a receiving jar and is pumped through a plate cooler to reduce its temperature by 20 degrees within seconds. It is then collected in a bulk tank where it’s chilled to 38 degrees F until a Dimock Dairy bulk milk truck picks it up.
Marty repeats this process at 4:30 p.m. every day. It takes three hours to sanitize and milk about 90 cows each morning and afternoon. In between milkings, he takes care of his beef cattle, tends to his crops and completes other tasks on the farm. “There’s always something to do,” Marty said.
Cow Comfort and Nutrition
For many dairy farmers like Marty the key to good milk production is keeping cows comfortable, giving them plenty of access to water and feeding them a nutritious diet. While Marty’s cows eat mostly distillers grain made from corn and silage, many dairy farmers in South Dakota also feed theirs soybean meal. Did you know there are approximately 117,000 dairy cows in South Dakota that eat 31,000 tons of soybean meal each year? Good thing soybeans are the state’s second largest crop.
Dimock Dairy Delivery
Every other day, approximately 10,000 pounds of milk leaves Marty’s bulk tank to take on a whole new shape and flavor. We’ll explore how Marty’s milk becomes the delicious cheese at Dimock Dairy in part two of this blog so stay tuned.
What about the gallons of milk you find at the grocery store? Ever wonder how it gets from the farm to the shelf? Read about its journey.
Do you ever wonder how your gallon of milk got to the grocery store? Milk goes through several steps before you can find it on the shelf. It might surprise you that many dairy products start out not far from home. Dairies are in all 50 states so it makes it easier to have locally produced dairy products in your grocery. Even those without a “local” label often start within driving distance of your kitchen. For example, when you pick up a gallon of milk from your local Hy-Vee, it’s likely coming from within a 60-mile radius of Sioux Falls. Let’s take a look into the journey your gallon of milk takes to get to your local grocery.
Before your gallon of milk can be enjoyed, dairy cows must produce the milk. Most dairy cows are milked twice a day. The milk is then cooled in a large storage tank on the farm and, within 24 hours, it is taken to a local processing plant in an insulated truck that keeps it cold. For example, a dairy farm in Garretson may drive their milk 55 miles to a processing facility in Brookings.
After a short road trip, the milk arrives at the local processing plant and is tested for safety. Dairy farmers and milk processing plants want to ensure the milk they deliver and use is safe. Next, the milk goes through a process called pasteurization. Pasteurization kills pathogens with heat and is just another step to ensure the milk is safe for consumption. After pasteurization, milk is packaged and sent 60 miles to grocery stores in Sioux Falls and beyond.
Isn’t it interesting to know that the entire farm-to-shelf trip for a gallon of milk can take only two days and 115 miles? The next time you’re at the store, remember that cows right down the road likely made that milk that is in your shopping cart. Local farmers and processors work to bring that gallon of milk from the farm to your home quickly and safely every day.
Check out this great video about milk’s journey.
Across the Table is back! For this episode, we’re sharing how to make your favorite cupcake recipes even better with tips – like how to choose the perfect butter and the best way to frost your cupcake – from the one and only Melissa Johnson, our host and the owner of Oh My Cupcakes! in downtown Sioux Falls.
We’re also on location with local farmer Annelies Seffrood of NorSwiss Dairy to learn more about raising healthy dairy cattle and where we get the butter for our delicious cupcakes. Annelies says she gets a lot of questions about hormones in milk. “All foods have naturally occurring hormones in them. They’re in everything we eat,” she explained. “In fact, the head of cabbage you chop up to make coleslaw has more hormones in it than the glass of milk you drink with your meal.”
You can also watch the video HERE to learn more from Melissa and Annelies about dairy products and baking tips. Check back for the next episode when we feature a healthy alternative for summer dinners on the grill and talk to a local dietician about the best ways to prepare and handle food safely.
Thank you to Hy-Vee and Oh My Cupcakes! for their support of Across the Table and the Hungry for Truth initiative.