Photo Contest: $1000 in Target Gift Cards + fairlife Products, 3 winners
Last month, my family took a trip to Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. Fair Oaks Farms is the flagship farm for the family owned co-op that produces fairlife milk. Leading up to the trip, fairlife sent us a huge supply of everything they make: their whole milk, skim milk, strawberry milk, protein shakes and most importantly— their chocolate milk.
I must say, their chocolate milk is the most fantastic chocolate milk I have ever tasted. Seriously, try it. It will not disappoint. Mike has also become a wee bit obsessed with the protein shakes. And I have to say, as someone who makes a lot of pancakes, the ones I made with fairlife came out extra fluffy.
To be honest, I hadn’t heard of fairlife before they invited my family to visit their farm, but I was intrigued by their milk stats— it is lactose-free and ultra-filtered with half the sugar and 50% more protein than is found in most standard milks. This is true for their chocolate milk too. While this sounded fishy to me, their filtration process doesn’t add anything, it just filters the milk into five components (water, butterfat, protein, vitamoins & minerals and lactose), and then recombines them in different proportions.
More concentrated protein is particularly helpful with Harlow, who hasn’t drank a glass of milk since she was one but will eat it with her cereal.
I asked around, did lots of research and talked to the owners of Fair Oak Farms (Mike and Sue McCloskey) before we agreed to go.
Sue and Mike were very transparent about what we would see at their farm. They wanted me to understand that it wasn’t a small mom and pop farm with a couple of cows and pigs hanging out in a meadow. Fair Oaks Farms is a modern dairy farm with over 30,000 cows in covered stalls. They talked about sustainability and the fact that they power everything including their trucks with energy made from cow manure. They talked about Mike’s background as a veterinarian and how he is dedicated to ethical treatment of their animals.
At first, I was a little worried about taking the girls to a modern farm. What would they think when they saw cows being milked on a large carousel instead of being milked by hand? What would I think? What would you guys think?
But everything I read and heard about Fair Oaks Farms and fairlife was positive and I realized that perhaps I was being a little sheltered and naive when I imagined my milk coming from Old MacDonald.
We flew to Chicago on a Friday night and drove out to the farm the following day. Turns out, I should not have worried about what Mazzy and Harlow would think because Fair Oaks Farms is set up like a family attraction with a big bouncy trampoline, rope climbing courses and a big bottle of milk that you can rock climb to the top.
Mazzy shocked us all by climbing it over and over again.
We were also able to go into the birthing barn where Mazzy and Harlow got to pet a newborn calf, born just an hour prior.
Then Sue took us personally on a tour of the farm, where we saw the stalls for the calves, barns holding thousands of cows and a huge area where they store all the grains they use to make their cow feed. Everything they feed their cows comes from their own farm so there is never any question about what is going into their animals. The same goes for pasteurization and their cold-filtering system which is also done in-house.
The kids were interested and asked lots of questions like, “Are the cows friends?”
Sue said that yes, the cows often hung out in cliques and there were even “mean girl” cows who bossed around members of their group.
Harlow wanted to know if the cows thought the milking carousel was fun and Sue said they get on and off the carousel voluntarily. She also said that happy cows produce the best quality milk so it is in their best interest to keep their cows healthy and comfortable.
After the tour, we went to their ice cream shop which had THE BEST butter pecan ice cream. It’s a good thing they don’t sell it in stores, because I would probably gain 1000 pounds in a week.
PHOTO CONTEST: One $500 Target gift card + fairlife products, Two $250 Target gift cards + fairlife products
Now that I’ve shown you all my photos from our visit to the farm, I’d love to see all of yours! As incentive, I am giving away one $500 Target gift card and two $250 Target gift cards along with lots of fairlife products! (Hopefully you get some of their chocolate milk in there.)
To enter, just post a photo of your family or your kids at a farm or with a farm animal (cows, goats, chickens, pigs, horses— any of them will do) on the Mommy Shorts Facebook page or on Instagram using the hashtag #photosonthefarm. If you enter on Instagram, you must tag and follow both @mommyshorts and @fairlife.
I’ll be captioning my favorite photos and selecting my top three photos to win the prizes. Those photos could be the funniest, the cutest, the weirdest— we will have to see what comes in! I know I have an AWESOME photo of my mom getting attacked by a llama that I need to dig up. But in the mean time, here’s a baby goat wondering why in the hell I would wear sandals and a skirt to a farm.
Winners will be announced on July 28, 2016 date. Good luck!
This post was sponsored by fairlife, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.