Scientific Name: Bos taurus
Common Varieties: Holstein-Friesian, Red and White Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Guernsey
There are six common breeds of dairy cows that you can find on farms across our country, including the most popular (and most recognizable) Holstein. Most dairy cows originally came from Europe – including the British Isles.
Dairy farmers work with professional nutritionists to make sure their cows get the nutrients they need. Usually that includes eating a combination of grass, grain and a mixture of other ingredients like citrus pulp, almond hulls and cottonseeds – items that may otherwise be thrown away. We like to think of cows as the ultimate recyclers: They can take ingredients that we can't eat – but are nutritious for them – and turn those ingredients into nutritious milk!
Growers consider soil and water conditions, fertility, and pest pressures to decide economically viable growing practices.
Some dairy cows wear ear tags, which allow farmers to know who is who. Some ear tags are also hi-tech, so they can record a cow’s body temperature, health and medication history and even the quality the milk each cow gives. Ear tags are one example of how dairy farmers focus on cow care.
Thanks to their thick skin, hair and natural insulation, cows actually prefer temperatures between 40 and 65 degrees. As a result, farmers in colder climates have several ways to take care of their cows in the winter. During the summer, farmers keep their cows cool by turning on their barns’ fans and water misters -- as you can see above.
Milk Production: 23,520,000
Gross Total Value: $439,824,000
Data Source: San Joaquin County Crop Report, 2020. https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea//DownloadAsset.aspx?id=33165
Added Value: Essential Food Production, Essential Worker Employment, Education, Research
Summer Berry Cobbler
4 cups mixed berries
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup milk
1⁄2 cup butter, melted
1 1⁄2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place berries in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest. Stir until well combined. Set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place milk and butter in a microwave-safe container and cook on HIGH just until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Stir until well combined. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually pour in milk and butter mixture, whisking until smooth.
Pour batter into a 13-x 9-inch baking dish, then spoon berries evenly on top. If desired, sprinkle top with about 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. While cobbler is baking, pour the heavy cream into a non-reactive metal or glass bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar and whip on medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in cardamom and whip again until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cobbler warm or at room temperature with the spiced whipped cream.