Loveable farmer explains why he and thousands of others have pledged to go carbon neutral
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Milk brings so much joy to our everyday lives. It's the sweet creaminess in our cereal. The fluff in our scrambled eggs. And, for many, the last thing they drink before going to bed.

It's easy to forget that something most of us enjoy every day is also good for us as well. Milk alone delivers 13 essential nutrients that are important for adults and a vital part of children's diets.

While the dairy industry recognizes they still have a way to go, it has made an important pledge to work towards bettering the nation's environmental health.

Countless family farmers across the U.S. have committed to a more sustainable future. They know that it's good for the animals and also better for the planet.

"I love taking care of the cows; in taking good care of cows, we take care of you and it's better for the environment," Dave Graybill, a sustainable dairy farmer, and owner of Red Sunset Farm in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, told Upworthy.

Thanks to modern and innovative dairy farming practices, producing a gallon of milk in 2017 required 30% less water and 21% less land than it did in 2007.

Taking a step back and looking at this progress on a macro level, the dairy industry has reduced its carbon footprint by 63% since 1944.

Now, the future looks even brighter because 37,500-plus dairy farm families — collectively working together under the U.S. Dairy banner — created new goals in 2020 that promise even more dramatic improvements. They pledge that by 2050 the dairy industry will achieve greenhouse gas neutrality and will have optimized water quality by promoting better utilization of manure and nutrients.

Farmers across the country have been working to meet these goals by reusing water, switching to sustainable cow feed, and repurposing manure for fertilizer.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is inspiring farmers by highlighting those who have made a serious commitment to reaching the industry's 2050 goals. Dave and his wife Marie were recently named a 2021 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award Winner alongside other innovative farmers from across the industry.

Since starting their family farm two decades ago, the couple has implemented more than 30 conservation practices designed to make it an environmental and economic asset.

"We have implemented a lot of sustainability practices whether it's conserving water, conserving nutrients, taking better care of the cows," Dave told Upworthy. "You can look at sustainability in a lot of different ways."

"Another way we work to decrease our farm's carbon footprint is through better nutrition and animal care to help our cows live longer and produce more milk through improved feeding practices," he added.

When cows are healthy, it's better for the environment, too.

The Graybill's farm has a 700,000-gallon storage tank that holds a year's worth of nutrient-rich manure produced by their cattle. The manure is then used to fertilize his crops, which are used to feed the cows.

"We're just recycling nutrients all the time," Dave said. "That's efficiency. That's sustainability."

They also practice contour farming where crops are planted in rows that follow the natural lay of the land to ease erosion across the field. This helps protect the nearby Chesapeake Bay.

Dave hopes that his award will bring more attention to the wonderful developments happening in the industry. "Lots of farms are doing it, but not getting the recognition they deserve for doing good in their communities and implementing these practices," he admits.

The incredible work the Graybills and countless dairy farmers across the nation are doing for the environment proves that there is room for sustainability in every curve in the circle of life.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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