So if you’ve followed me for some time, you may remember how I recently found how much I love broccoli. I hated it as a child and never gave it a try again. Anyway, this week I am featuring a lovely dairy woman so I figured, what’s better than a soup that contain THREE kinds of dairy and my beloved broccoli!?
DAIRY: MARY MACKINSON FABER
- When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?
I am a 5th generation dairy and grain farmer from Central Illinois. While I don’t work on the farm, I am still actively involved with it. My husband, Jesse and I are proud parents of two young kids. I work as the controller of a local cooperative that provides farmers in our area with feed, crop inputs and is a grain storage facility. Jesse is from a beef and grain farm and one of the Agriculture teachers and FFA Advisors at Pontiac High School.
- What chores did you have growing up on the farm?
Growing up on a dairy farm, my responsibilities began with feeding calves and expanded through the years to milking, registering the cows or baling hay.
- Who farms with you and what are their roles?
The primary team of Donald (my Dad), Roy (my Uncle), Matt (my Brother), and Dan (our employee) begin their days long before sunrise before calling it a day after the stars come out. Matt’s main responsibilities are the cows and Dad oversees the crop. I manage our farm’s social media presence through our blog and Facebook page.
- What crops (or animals) do you grow and why?
We milk around 150 head of dairy cattle two times a day. Our milk is picked up every other day and goes to the fluid milk bottling plant in Peoria, IL. We are proud members of the Prairie Farms Dairy cooperative. Our crop rotation is corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. We do grow a majority of the crops we feed our cows, the only exception would be the soybean meal and additional vitamins and minerals which we purchase. The excess grain is sold to grain storage facilities and is transported via rail, barge or turned into ethanol.
Future of Farming
- What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?
Everyone at Mackinson Dairy is committed to providing the consumer with a safe, high-quality product. This commitment to quality means investing in how to best care for not only the cows but also the land.
Honestly… I don’t think I could make it through life without our dairy farmers! Thank you to Mary for allowing me to feature your family and your story! And here’s the recipe for this fantastic soup loaded with products from farmers just like Mackinson Dairy!
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 heads of broccoli, cut into florets and chopped
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion and thyme, and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and gradually whisk in the milk, chicken broth, and heavy cream until fully incorporated. Stir in the broccoli.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes.
- If you did not chop your broccoli is small enough pieces (like I did), use your immersion blender to pulse the broccoli into finer pieces.
- Gradually stir in the cheddar until completely melted.
- Serve and enjoy!