Robot cheesemakers and bovine pickpockets: What you don't know about life on a dairy farm.
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America’s Dairy Farm Families and Importers

If you ask Warren Chamberlain, Dairylain Farms could easily be the inspiration for a pastoral landscape painting.

The dairy takes up about a quarter of the 400 sprawling acres of wide-open farmland that Warren and his son, Jason, own and operate alongside their wives, Lori and Mary.

All photos courtesy of Dairylain Farm.


"We have sunshine year-round, pretty much," Warren says. "We get very little rain. We’re actually in a desert, but it’s all irrigated, green, trees."

To the west of the farm sits a small mountain range, capped with snow that shines a brilliant white against an almost always blue sky.

"It’s just a beautiful place. You can’t beat it for raising kids and grandkids. And for livin'."

To the uninitiated, running a dairy sounds like hard, dirty, exhausting work. But according to the Chamberlains, the dairying life is worth the sacrifice of a little sweat.

Part of the joy they get from their work, says Warren, comes from the love of animals, specifically cattle, that's been passed through three generations.  "I believe anybody that's in dairy loves animals," he says. "Animals and land — you gotta love 'em both."

Dairylain Farms is home to a herd of about 450 Jersey cows that produce milk that the Chamberlains then sell to a mozzarella plant in Idaho to be made into delicious cheese. (Fun fact: The milk produced by Jersey cows is higher in butterfat than that of other cows, so it's prime milk for cheesemaking.)

Warren explains that the cows are very curious animals. "You walk out into our pen, you’re gonna get surrounded by 50 to 80 animals all wanting to smell you," he says.

And that curiosity can verge on the nefarious — farm workers have been known to have their barn radio switched off or their wallet picked by a mischievous member of the herd. "Anything you have in your pocket, you’d better hold onto it ‘cause if they see it, they’re gonna grab it and take off," Warren laughs.

The cows are so friendly that even Warren’s kids and grandkids can work with them. In fact, that’s another reason he loves the dairy so much.

"What other job can a dad or granddad have that they can have their kids or grandkids with them all day long — watch them grow up, teach them?" he asks. "Most people get their kids from five o’clock in the evening 'til bedtime. We get ‘em all day."

As enjoyable as the work is, Dairylain Farms is a business, and the Chamberlains, like many dairy farmers, have continuously needed to find ways to innovate to keep up with the times. For them, that involves ... robots.

That's right — instead of milking the cows, the Chamberlains own robots that automate the entire milking process. "The cows come to the robot whenever they want," Warren says. "It cleans her, milks her, feeds her a little bit of grain, and sends her on her way."

The cows wear collars that monitor their health and activity levels, keep track of how often they’re milked, and send all that information to the Chamberlains. Each morning, Jason reviews the data to see if anything seems out of place — if a cow isn’t milking or if it’s walked less than normal or something else that might indicate a problem — and goes to check up on the animal himself. Automating the process helps the Chamberlains keep better, more accurate track of the health of their herd.

And for Warren, the health of the farm is the most important thing.

"You want to pass this stuff on through generations," Warren says. "And if you don’t take care of your cattle, you don’t take care of your land, you can’t pass it on."  

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."