Author: Edwin Shank

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Rodrick & Jeanette's Baby News!

Good morning! There's no food news today... just a few pictures to introduce the littlest Shank. Dawn and I are delighted to welcome our newest grandson, Leo René Shank! He's the second son, fourth child in Rodrick and Jeanette's family. He arrived safely Sunday morning, April 28th.

Not this man! + New Team Hymn

On this Good Friday morning I’d like to share a true story from the year I taught school. Even though it’s been a few years, the experience impacted me so greatly that I remember it like yesterday.

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Good morning Family Cow tribe! Something was bothering me. There was a question rolling around in my head. I knew I should dedicate some time to think it through, but... life is busy, so it just kept rolling.

A Christmas Surprise Just for You!

Top of this Christmas Sunday to you! Guess what... We have a surprise! A Christmas surprise. Just close your eyes and listen... Imagine the whole Family Cow Team is on your doorstep this morning to sing a few carols for you!

The Ultimate Gift

Christmas is the unusual time of the year when it's OK to ask each other personal questions. Like, "Are you ready for Christmas?" <br><br> My great grandmother, Naomi Shank, is remembered to say that she wasn't so concerned about being ready for Christmas. Christmas is a wonderful time to remember, of course. But it is a past event. <br><br> Did you ever think about that? Christmas is all about remembering. The real event is past. <br><br> The first Christmas was when God gave us the ultimate Christmas gift...

Did you ever wonder why?

Did you ever wonder why the emotions which run closest to our hearts are difficult to say out loud? We end up being silent, not saying anything or at least very little. We'll chat about surface things but the deep things go unsaid. Maybe I'm over-analytical, but I have meditated on this phenomenon a lot.

This is Why

I guess our farm must be a bit unusual because we get this question a lot. "Why does your family grow grain? I thought The Family Cow is pasture-based." It seems many pastured chicken growers, grass-fed beef ranchers and those who manage woodland pork often specialize in only that.

The Secret Life of Farmer Edwin

"Know your farmer... Know your food." This pithy bit of wisdom has been kicked around the foodie world for the last decade or so. But what if there was a side to your farmer that you never knew? How would that affect your food?

Family Picture Night

It's been a few years since we shot 'pasture pictures', as our family affectionately calls them. I think the last was 2019. So it's time again! But first of all, just a bit of nostalgia... As I recall, Summer of 2010 was our first pasture picture. Some of you may remember that too! It was 12 years ago!

What is it about cows?

What is is about cows? It seems we were created to live in harmony with these gentle mothers... to be co-dependent. How else can we explain the historically proven phenomena that persons who live closest to the cows are often the healthiest, and strongest of their society?

In God We Trust

In these times of global wobbliness, have you noticed that one thing does seem constant? That thing is fear. It’s all around us, it’s everywhere we turn. Fear of war, fear of inflation, fear of just basic uncertainty... even some lingering fear of COVID.

Fence Rows and Gut Health

I recall with some chagrin, my days as a young farmer in the early 90’s. Dawn and I took over the farm from my parents immediately upon returning from our wedding trip in August of 1990. As a still-wet-behind-the-ears 20 yr old, I naturally looked to those older and more educated for answers.

Of Raw Milk and Swimming

Some of you have asked me to explain in more detail about the probiotic building-of-immunity-pathway to health and wellness as opposed to the antibiotic kill-all-bacteria-method.

Look Higher, Folks

I guess we all have an inborn desire to feel appreciated, to know that we are needed... that our efforts do make a difference. In this, our family is blessed. We get daily affirmation that you, who are nourished by our farm, do value our efforts and that these foods have made a difference in your life...

Nutrition Facts and the Bikini Atoll

One question we are frequently asked is, "Why do the ‘Nutrition Facts’ on raw milk, look the same as the ‘Nutrition Facts’ on pasteurized milk?” The similarity of the two ‘Nutrition Facts’ would seem to support the FDA mantra that there are no nutritional differences between pasteurized milk and raw milk.

Campfire Singing

If your Monday was as hectic as ours can be, you probably could use a little stress reliever about now. So take a break... kick back and enjoy a little fireside singing with our family. The clip below is from an overnight family camp-out near the Appalachian Trail in South Mountain. We love sitting around the campfire and talking late into the night, but the best part is campfire singing.

The Master's Code - Part 3

So after we've hashed over the dilemma of GMOs in the last two episodes, it brings us to several pressing questions. The questions take a few different forms, but they usually boil down to something along the line of these three 'what-can-I-do' questions: What can I Do to avoid feeding GMOs to my family? I want to help... What can we Do to STOP GMO corporations? What can I Do to encourage more farmers to switch to non-GMO?

The Master's Code - Part 2

GMO Weasel Words... One of the most common tactics of the GMO industry is to intentionally muddy the waters by deliberately confusing terms which are really quite scientifically distinct. For example...

The Master's Code - Part 1

Something has been bothering me for a while. Sometimes it's just a niggling in my background consciousness. Other times it comes to the forefront and gets in the road of other important stuff. But it's always there. That something is GMOs.

In Their Own Words

A while ago, I gave you all an open invitation to share raw milk healing stories. I knew you had them... and you didn't disappoint. Thank you for sharing! So here is a sample, folks. These are real people with real healing from real foods in their own words.

Raw Milk: The Heart & Soul of our Farm

Raw milk is what The Family Cow is all about. Raw milk defines us. It's who we are and why we are. It's where we've been, how we got here, and where we're going. Raw Milk is why Dawn and I chose the name "The Family Cow." The name expresses our vision most perfectly. What do we get from The Family Cow? Raw Milk!

Girls in Doubles – Twin Granddaughters!

I guess since Wesley's been hinting at more family news... I better step up to the plate, right? So here goes. :) Some of you remember the post called 'The Only Daughter's Wedding.' The subject was our daughter Gwendolyn's courtship and marriage to a fine young man named Laverne Stoltzfus. Dawn and I didn't do so well adding to the girl population in the family. Even though God richly blessed us with five wonderful boys, Gwendolyn is our only daughter.

We're Buying a Butcher Shop

Yes! We can finally tell the good news... I know some of you had already guessed, but we still couldn't officially announce it until the purchasing process was closer to settlement. The place we're buying is the small local shop that's been our primary butcher ever since we started The Family Cow in 2008....