Organic Dairyman- Part 1: A Family Tradition (video)

There is an unique rhythm to life in being a dairy farmer. Jon Bansen, a third generation farmer, owes his way of life to his grandfather who began the family tradition.

Check out recipes from the show: Danish Soup; Gourmet Mac & Cheese

This one was so much fun to do. I mean, who doesn’t love cows? Okay, maybe somebody out there. But I think you’ll like Jon Bansen’s cows. They’re jersey cows. The brown ones. No black and white ones here. You see, he’s a 3rd generation dairyman and his dad and grandfather always had jerseys. I found them to be very sweet and curious.

I found out a lot about cows and raising them on an organic farm. Jon feeds them primarily grass. Cows are ruminants. They are one of only a handful of animals whose digestive system is built around eating grass. And the time of year also affects the type of milk they produce. In the Spring the grass has a higher natural sugar content, resulting in a sweeter tasting milk.

Did you know if you crouched down low as a cow approached you, it will make them stop and begin fidgeting in a nervous way? That’s what happened when I was getting a low shot of them coming up the path to the milking parlor. Shortly after I stood up, they would begin their ritual again. But as soon as I dropped low, they stopped. Jon said it’s because they thought I might be a wolf. Wow, cow psychology.

There was so much to learn about Jon Bansen and his Double J Jerseys, that I decided to break it down into 2 parts (a first!). Part 1 is about The Family Tradition, and Part 2 goes into his philosophy and practice as an Organic Farmer.

Being around all those cows and milk, I thought it would be fun to share a favorite comfy food: mac ‘n cheese. Ever make it from scratch? Ever think about adding other yummy stuff to it? Well, Chef Jacques does both in How2 make Gourmet Mac ‘n Cheese. And, be sure and try the Bansen tried and true recipe: Danish Soup. It’s one of their favorites.

—Rebecca

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