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My Life on an NC Dairy Farm – Meet Karen Jordan

Karen JordanWelcome to Brush Creek Swiss Farms! We are Norman and Karen Jordan and our farm is located in Siler City, NC. Our farm is recognized as a Century Farm Family by the NC Department of Agriculture. Norman is a third generation dairy farmer and here is OUR STORY!

In the mid 1920’s the Jordan family started in the dairy business. At this time there were only a few milk cows and cows were milked by hand, the milk was put in metal cans and chilled by placing in cold water provided by the spring. In 1952 Norman’s dad, Norman Jordan Sr. graduated from NC State University and came back to the family dairy where he started making improvements and built a small parlor, called a double two walk through. In 1956 the first registered Brown Swiss cow was purchased and in 1964 the herd became all registered Brown Swiss. In 1978 Norman Jordan, Jr returned from NC STATE University. In 1980 another milking parlor was built. This time a double 6 herringbone parlor, whereby 12 cows can be milked at one time. The herd has now grown to 80 mature cows with about 70 replacement heifers.

Norman married Karen in 1986 after Karen graduated from NC State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Karen continues to work with dairy farm families in NC where she provides dairy nutrition service ( helping dairy farmers feed a balanced diet to their cows and heifers each day) and advises on vaccination protocols ( to help prevent cows and heifers from getting sick). She also advises dairy farmers on the appropriate use of antibiotics should an animal get sick. The Jordan’s work hard to provide a clean, dry, comfortable environment for our cows. Our cows spend their day laying on a bed of clean sand. We know that by keeping the cows extremely clean, helps us to produce a clean wholesome product, MILK. And by keeping the cows environment very clean and dry, means that we further decrease chances that she will get sick with mastitis ( a painful infection of the udder). We make every effort to prevent sickness, thereby, preventing the need to use antibiotics.

We also work each day to provide feed that is based on the cows needs to maintain her ideal body weight and to produce milk for us to sell so that others can enjoy the benefits of consuming nutritious milk and milk products. Each day our cows receive a diet that has been balanced to meet the calories that she will need to use that day. Currently our cows give 70 pounds of milk each day. In order to do this we must feed her a diet that gives her the energy, protein, starch, sugar, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, salt, etc so that she is able to produce 70 pounds of milk and keeps her body in “tip top” shape. The dairy cow is an amazing animal. Her strength and beauty continue to amaze me and she is a most graceful creature that we are blessed to be able to live with her and work with her each day.

Stay tuned as we continue this adventure. Next week, we will start with a baby calf named DARLA and take you through the typical adventures of a calf growing up to become a mature cow that starts producing milk for YOU to enjoy.

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