Local Resources

May Roundup

Welcome to the Monthly Roundup, a new feature on our blog. Every day we come across resources, events, links, blogs, etc. that we think you might also find interesting. Some might be relevant at the local or state level, some might just be interesting bits of information or other websites. So, all month long we’re going to save up our favorites and share them with you in one post. We think it’s a good idea for a few reasons –

It saves time and space to post all of them once rather than in bits and pieces.
It’s a good way to promote local producers, events, and organizations.
It’s fun to share things we’re excited about!
We hope to inspire others to get out and learn, do, enjoy, and connect.

This month we think we’ve put together a pretty fun Roundup. As always, we’d love to hear from you! If you have ideas for the Roundup in months to come, just post a comment on the blog.

1. The Iowa State Extension website has a LOT of great resources. We found out about two this week. Their Words on Wellness newsletter and the Spend Smart Eat Smart tool. Their website has information about all kinds of things including gardening and horticulture.

2. Green Iowa Americorps is putting together a Cedar Falls tour of Practical Backyards. Their website has additional information about events and contact information for the Cedar Falls contingent that works at the CEEE at UNI. The calendar feature is fantastic, and includes the gardening series at the Cedar Falls Community Garden on Wednesdays.

3. Community gardens are active in Cedar Falls and Waterloo. There are plots available and gardening classes are being offered as well.

4. Do you ever listen to National Public Radio? Well, they have a pretty great website, but one of my favorite sections is their blog “The Salt.” It covers all kinds of food-related stories, with the science angle as well.

5. The Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership is working on the latest Buy Fresh Buy Local guide. Plus, their website has great information about local foods and producers in the area.

6. GNB Bank is organizing another Taste Iowa to be held in Conrad on August 25. There will be a local food expo, live entertainment, a free omelet breakfast, kids’ nutrition and fitness activities, and a barbecue contest, among others. They have a facebook page, and the GNB Bank website has more information.

7. Trivia: Guess which political figure helped to invent soft serve ice cream? Hint – she’s not American.

8. The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond started out blogging about life on a ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and children. Now she has several cookbooks, a Food Network show, and a website that includes all kinds of topics from entertainment and photography to (incredibly delicious) food and notes on life.

Product info, Your questions

Your questions answered: Nutritional value of cheese curds

When we get questions from you on the blog, we will do our best to answer them ASAP. Our very first question (!) was about the nutritional value of the cheese curds we produce.

So, here’s the scoop:

Hansen’s White Cheddar Cheese Curds

Serving size: 1 oz

Per serving –

  • Calories: 110
  • Calories from fat: 80
  • Total fat: 9 g (14% daily value)
  • Saturated fat: 5 g (27% daily value)
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg (9% daily value)
  • Sodium: 180 mg (8% daily value)
  • Total carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Vitamin A: 6%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 20%
  • Iron: 0%

Ingredients: Pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes (vegetable rennet)

Here’s a photo of Brad and Michael packing cheese curds in the creamery…

Farm animals

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day on the farm isn’t just for people. Some of our cows and wallabies are moms, too! To honor our farm animal moms this weekend, we’re going to tell you a bit about them.

A mama and her newborn.

Our herd manager, Blake Hansen, answered a few questions about the cows…

How long is the gestation period for cows? How long are they usually in labor?

Cows have a 9 month gestation period, just like humans. They are usually in labor for anywhere from 3 to 10 hours.

How long do calves stay with their mamas?

Calves stay with their moms for about an hour and a half. If a calf is born in the middle of the night, it may be a little longer. The reason we separate them is because the mom needs to begin milking with a machine, and we don’t want the calf to get used to nursing instead of drinking out of a bottle.

How many calves do most cows have in their lifetime?

Cows have their first calf at the age of 2 and the goal is to get them pregnant once a year every year after that. So a 9-year-old cow has had 7 calves in her lifetime. Giving birth rejuvenates a cow’s milk supply. We’ll keep a cow around as long as she keeps getting pregnant.

This Holstein cow had twins – one red and one black. It’s really rare for twins to be different colors.

How many calves have been born on the farm this spring?

We haven’t had as many calves lately as we normally do. This is because about 9 months ago, the cows had a hard time getting pregnant in the summer heat. Generally we average about one calf born every other day. Our cows calve throughout the year so we have a consistent milk supply.

What about the wallabies?
The gestation for wallabies is 30 days. Then the joey is birthed and crawls up into the pouch on its own. The wallaby will stay inside the pouch and nurse for about a year. Right now we don’t have any female wallabies on the farm, so there won’t be any babies for awhile. We just have 1 fixed male and 2 breeding males. Their names are Pockets, Satchel and Aussie.
A joey peeks out of its pouch.

A little thing called…facebook!

We’ve linked the Hansen’s Dairy blog to our facebook page! Our blog posts should appear on our facebook wall when they are posted. Like us on facebook to get regular updates about our blog posts. We’ll cover recipes, nutrition, farm life, local foods, and topics that you all think are important and interesting. Let us know via facebook or blog comments what you’d like us to include in our blog posts – we’d love to hear from you!

Product info

It’s about the milk…

It all started with the milk. We sell many different products in our stores, but the most fundamental product is our milk.

What’s so special about our milk?

It’s locally produced and processed. When our milk and cream get to your table, they may be only a few hours old. We grow the feed that our cows eat, we have a contained herd of happy cows that produce delicious milk, we process the milk in our on-farm creamery, and we deliver it ourselves to local stores, restaurants, and establishments.

It’s non-homogenized. Most of the milk sold in stores is homogenized. This means that the fat particles are broken down into tiny pieces. In natural milk, the cream rises to the top. Homogenization distributes the fat throughout the milk. In our non-homogenized milk, the fat particles are in their natural state. Some people with lactose intolerance are able to drink Hansen’s milk, and it could be because we leave our milk alone! Since the cream rises to the top, remember to shake well. (Note: All of our milk is pasteurized.)

No added growth hormones. Our cows are never treated with rBST/rBGH. It’s all natural. And, our cows eat, drink, sleep, and roam around as they please. They just do their “cow” thing and make great milk.

It’s produced on an Iowa Century Farm that’s a family operation. The Jay and Jeanne Hansen farm has been in the family since Jay’s ancestors immigrated from Germany in 1861. The dairy herd originated in 1953. Today, we own 175 cows and nearly 200 heifers, all purebred registered Holsteins. We operate a closed herd and sell our surplus cows.

We own and work on the farm. When all four sons were interested in returning to work on their home farm, we began processing milk as a way to add value to our product so several families could be supported on the farm. The first gallon of non-homogenized milk was produced in February 2004.

So, it’s about the milk because it is the reason we got started. We work to keep our cows content so that the milk, ice cream, and other products that we make for you are as high-quality, delicious, and healthy as possible. Our milk is farm fresh every day from our family to yours.