[[Disclaimer…. Longest post ever!]]

Hello all!

Holy smokes, have we been busy in Farmer Outreach and Events! I am so sorry that I haven’t been able to post, but I will catch you up on some of the happenings!

Just in case you didn’t know already, a few weeks ago I was able to go to three different regional meetings in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The way that it worked out was truly awesome. I was able to see three different farms which all had different milking styles. But before we get into the meetings, I have a lot to say about the adventure!

Everything began with Holly Parr and I running down to CROPP II to get supplies that we had ordered for the event. Unfortunately, we weren’t really planning on running down there when we did so we did not have on close toed, steel toe shoes  which is a part of the new CROPP II policy… :/ So sorry about that Chuck! Next time we will be prepared! 🙂 Note to self: Get steel toed shoes and leave them in the warehouse. That way there will be no mess ups again! Thank again, Holly! It was super helpful of you to take me down there. You rock my socks! Side story–> I actually had the biggest blonde moment of my life in CROPP II.. It was my first day and I was getting a tour.  I wasn’t really prepared that day either (yikes!) and had to wear some of the steel toe coverings that are provided by the warehouse. Well, they didn’t fit the best and were pretty hard to walk in! So as I tried to shuffle around the floor and up the stairs, I looked down and saw that the shoes said L and R on either foot. Welllll! My genius mind said, “oh that must be why they fit so weird; Large and Regular!” …. Not a shining moment in my life. **Slap hand to forehead**

Anywho, back to the story! After we had that all loaded up and ready to go we ran back up to HQ. There we met up with Michele Trussoni (my awesome supervisor) and decided that we would leave after lunch. During this small gap in the day I was able to attend one of our “Learn the Coop” events that have been created especially for interns. It was an especially awesome meeting for me to attend because it was allll about Pools and the departments/people within! Michelle Pedretti did an excellent job of simplifying a pretty complicated area of the coop and I felt like I learned a lot from our time together. After my meeting it was time to load up our catered food from the Milky Way Cafe. We got everything all settled in and made our way to Cashton to pick up our farmer food orders.

Reppin' OV in the reefer truck!

Reppin’ OV in the reefer truck!

 

For those of you who do not know what a food order is… it is a neat little thing that OV provides to farmers that are planning on attending our events. Farmers place an order for food, normally in bulk, and then we drive their order to them instead of having them pay for shipping. It helps to save a little money here and there because shipping costs can be high on large orders! So, Michele and I were making our way over when we stopped at the Viroqua Food Coop- it was my first time! Yes, I was super excited to be in there. We got free samples even! 🙂 At the coop we grabbed a few snacks for the road, coffee for the events and some desert for the events as well. I was pretty stoked when I saw this on the shelf…

Look familiar?! :)

Look familiar?! 🙂

Yes! I totally bought one, and it was delicious. Truth be told I probably drank 5 of those bad boys over the course of our travels, haha! But they are just so good, I couldn’t help it! I especially like the vanilla flavors. Mmmm, mmm goodness. I also found this on the shelf…

ORGANIC RAMEN?!

ORGANIC RAMEN?!

This could be the greatest discovery ever made by a health conscious  yet starving college student… ORGANIC RAMEN!! I had NO idea this existed and I shall now purchase it by the truck load because it is SO good, to me anyway! I don’t know what it is about the salty, chicken flavored goodness but I just can’t get enough of it. Normally I don’t have it too often because… what is it even made out of? :/ eeek! But now I could eat it guilt free!! … Wow, I get off topic easily. One last bonus picture!

Picking out the morning blend!

Picking out the morning blend!

Yay! It’s my favorite supervisor, Michele! I would like to just take a second to recognize how hard she worked to make these events a success. She thinks of every last detail, keeps her calm under pressure AND can drive a big scary reefer truck!! Thanks for everything Michele! I have learned so much from you already!

Speaking of keeping calm under pressure… Our next stop on the list was the Cashton Distribution Center to grab our food orders. Long story short… we had a lot of full pallets and one small truck. Thankfully, after a lot of readjusting.. and reorganizing… and then some more of both… we got the pallets to fit. Wooh! I was nervous but it all worked out in the end. The new pallets though meant that we had to stack things in interesting ways to make it all fit. But, the doors closed and off we went to Chippewa Falls, WI to spend the night and hit up our first meeting in Gilman the next morning. Fun fact… As you know, I am from Gilmanton, which is very commonly confused with Gilman, so I was excited to go to the small town and see what it actually was like! It’s the little things, hehe.

That night, Michele and I had a great dinner and then headed back to the hotel. What happened next might shock you…. we decided to wake up at 5:00 AM to go and workout before the meeting… I KNOW. We are crazy. But looking back I am glad we did! Working out always helps a person feel better and is a great stress relief. I am pretty lucky too, because Michele is a Nia instructor and so I had my own personal trainer for a few days! It was pretty cool (and hard!) to work out with her in a “real” workout studio. I say that because normally we are in the Chaseburg gym, but this hotel had a pass to use the Highland Fitness down the street. It was awesome!

….. Now to the main events….. the meetings!

The first meeting was held at Kevin Mahalkos beautiful farm. Michele and I served dinner during the meeting and farm tour, but the Mahalkos were nice enough to show us around after the event had finished. Kevin milks around 30 cows with pipeline milkers. It felt like home to me because it was the same size as my dads farm! By the time we were able to make it over to the barn my phone had died so I couldn’t snap any pictures… but I did take some of the delicious food! Take a look!

Yummy desserts  mostly provided by farmers!

Yummy desserts mostly provided by farmers!

Ok, ok… so I took a picture of all of the delicious desserts.. can ya blame me?! They looked so good, I wanted one of everything! The main course was very good, too. It was beef brisket, carrots and one other thing that I can’t remember haha! But trust me, it was good! I think it was mashed potatoes? — Something pretty funny happened at this meeting… remember how I said that we had to stack things kind of funny in the truck? Welll that may or may not have been the cause of some serious gravy spillage in the back of the truck… it made a big mess! :/ So, not only was the truck floor slippery, but the gravy was now almost all gone and was supposed to be used for the last meetings dinner… whoops! Thankfully Michele has a quick thinking mind and, with the help of some of the farmers, came up with great meal for the final meeting. But! I will talk more about that later. One funny quote came from the gravy incident though. I had to ask Michele if it was appropriate to dump the gravy in the grass… ahhh some things you think you’d never say! 🙂

Overall, this meeting had a great turnout and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Doran Holm was the RPM for this area and he also did an excellent job of speaking! It was a good start to our string of events and it made me excited for the next two. Read about them in my next blog!! I feel like I should add them in another post so you don’t get too bored on me! Stay tuned! 🙂 I have pictures of the next farms, you wont want to miss them!

Thanks for reading!

Molly