Today I feel lucky that I am informed of all of the actions that farmers take to ensure that production is at its peak and they are able to feed the world population. In one of my classes a teacher felt the need to show us a few videos of a certain food chain (I prefer not to give them any extra interest, therefore I will not name them). In these videos, as well as the app with a game for children to play, it is portrayed that all agriculture today is “science” and just stabbing animals with syringes to make them double in size. They also showing dairy cattle in cubes with milkers hooked up to them 24/7, this image horrified me the most.
As a dairy farmer, it is a challenge to help show consumers in the public that visuals like these are incorrect. I do NOT hook my cow up to a milker all day for all of her life. Each cow is milked twice a day for 12-15 minutes per milking. This is to help the animal with her own comfort, not just for my own profit and benefit. Also, on our farm the animals are able to walk around all day if they please. We have free choice hay and silage available to them at all times and they always have fresh water. I give them antibiotics when they are sick, just as others take their children to the doctor and give them medicine when they are sick. Our Veterinarian even knows most of our cows by name, we care about our cows just like they are family.
When we have treated a milk cow with antibiotics, we do NOT add her milk in with the other milk that will be distributed. Her milk goes straight into a bucket and then disposed of, the milker and all other equipment is then cleaned.
I feel blessed that I have grown up around livestock and farming. I am lucky to know all of the facts and that farmers have the people’s best interest in mind. I feel that now it is my job to help educate others, that haven’t had the same childhood and upbringing that I have, how the food gets from the farm to their dinner table, and that the processes which farmers do are to help bring the best product possible to the market.