More than 100 women of all ages took part in the Vita Plus Chick Day, Aug. 16 and 17. For the first time ever, this event was held in Minnesota and such a move required adding an extra day of tours. Previously Chick Day had always taken place on a single day in Wisconsin.
Two busloads of women from Wisconsin and one from Minnesota made their first stop at Udder Tech, Inc. in Lakeville, Minnesota. Founded by Cheryl Mohn in 1994, the company specializes in waterproof and water resistant farm clothing and accessories.
It is headquartered at the Mohn’s family farm. There, the women were treated to lunch and a style show of products.
One special highlight was the reveal of a hot pink line of clothing products that will be on the market in 2013.
The next stop was the Bonnie Mohr Studio in Glencoe, Minnesota. Bonnie greeted everyone just outside her on-farm studio and shared how she balanced learning to paint and working with her husband on their 80-cow registered Holstein dairy. She taught herself by painting on evenings and weekends.
Mohr spent 15 years painting cows.
“That’s what I know and that’s what I love,” she said.
However, to keep her business growing she has added rural America and inspirational art to her repertoire. After an hour to shop in Mohr’s gallery, the women boarded the buses with paintings, prints and note cards in tow.
Story continues below after photo slideshow.
The day ended with dinner at the hotel and guest speakers from the Minnesota FFA. Former state FFA officers Christian and Gena Lilienthal (Christian from Minnesota and Gena from Wisconsin) shared what an impact the FFA can have and encouraged the audience to be active in ag education in their communities. Christian now works for University of Minnesota Extension and Gena is an ag education teacher.
Val Aarsvold, executive director of the Minnesota FFA Foundation talked about the FFA Legacy Club campaign to raise funds to support the development of new and existing chapters in the state.
Mohr, a former FFA member, created a special painting called “We Live to Share” The first 200 Legacy Club members will receive a signed and numbered, limited edition giclee print of this painting.
One of the 200 “We Live to Share” prints was available as the grand prize item in a special Chick Day raffle. More than $1,600 was raised for the Legacy Club. One lucky winner walked away with the print, while five others received various gift baskets.
The destination for the second day was Enchanted Dairy, LLP in Little Falls, Minnesota. Expanding from their traditional tie-stall operation in 2000, the Miller family constructed a state-of-the-art 40-stall internal rotary parlor.
Today, they own 1,700 dairy cows and 1,500 heifers, and raise 2,200 acres of corn and alfalfa. The Millers consist of brothers Marvin and Ron, and Ron’s wife Jeannie and their daughter Brooke.
Together with their 24 employees they carry out their mission to produce safe, high-quality, wholesome milk using environmentally friendly methods and by focusing on the comfort and well being of their cows.
In addition to a farm tour, participants took part in a workshop on calves led by Ann Hoskins with Vita Plus and the farm’s veterinarian Matt Boyle. Click here to learn more about Boyle's tips for treating a dehydrated calf.
A second workshop led by Jon Wilcox with Vita Plus focused on creating and changing culture in a family business.
The day concluded with a presentation from Trent Loos. Known for his Loos Tales and Rural Route radio programming, Loos travels the country sharing the importance of food as a matter of national security and the value of involvement in today's food production system. PD
TOP: Participants of the Vita Plus Chick Day get together for a group photo.
MIDDLE: Pink is the new blue as a new color is introduced to Udder Tech’s product line for 2013. This announcement garnered lots of cheers during a style show held at the company’s on-farm office.
BOTTOM: Jeannie Miller, left, leads a tour of her family’s dairy. She stops in the parlor office to discuss how messages are shared between owners and the 24 farm employees.
Photos by PD Editor Karen Lee.
Progressive Dairyman magazine