Crazy Moos

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy!

Everyone loves Pizza, is Pizza the New Chinese Food?

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**Shopping district in Shanghai, China**

Ask anyone what their favorite food, and no doubt pizza will top their list as one of their favorite foods. According to ChaCha (a great source for information by the way), over 1 billion pizzas are delivered every year, and there are over 11.5 million pizzas sold every day.

Why do people like pizza though? When asked, one person replied this simple formula: cheap+easy+cheese= One happy pizza lover. Cheese seems to be a key element in any good pizza.

To put this to the test, one of the nation’s largest pizza chains recently made some interesting changes. In 2009, Domino’s Pizza actually reformulated their pizzas to improve their pizza recipe. The new Domino’s pizzas use higher quality ingredients with 40% more cheese. In addition, they added a few different types of cheese to their pizza cheese to increase the flavor of the pizzas.

The results were pretty amazing. By the end of the year their annual profits were up over 32% due to the large increase in sales. Keep in mind that this was at a time when consumers were holding back their spending due to the financial downturn.

Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones who like pizza though. Bloomberg recently published an article about the growing demand for cheese overseas. Even though Asia has not been a traditional cheese consumer, people there have a growing a taste for cheese. Pizza Hut and McDonalds, no doubt, have help introduce cheese to these markets through pizza, and cheeseburgers.

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**A universal language, show the logo to any taxi driver without needing to speak Chinese**

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**Deep dish Pizza hut pizza, with silverware – not chopsticks!**

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**In China, your soda comes with no ice, a lemon, and an awesome flexi straw**

If you visit Pizza Hut in China, it’s pretty different than the chain here in the U.S. In China, the Pizza Hut restaurants are full on sit down restaurants packed with people. From my experience, the restaurants attract the younger Chinese demographic who absolutely love pizza.

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**Trendy Interior of a Pizza Hut in China**

According to the Bloomberg article, Pizza Hut sales in China are “on fire” with store sales jumping 22% in the second quarter of this year. With the middle class becoming wealthier, there are more people spending more on a Western-style diet. This has definitely helped propel an increase of U.S. dairy exports abroad.

Exports of cheese to Asia, have risen significantly over a year ago. In the 4 months ending in April 30, cheese exports from the U.S. increased 68% from a year earlier and exports in 2010 were a record 173,531 tons according to the Bloomberg article.

There is a lot of opportunity in the world as a dairy producer. We have been very blessed here in the U.S. for a developed industry that can provide us with the cheesy goodness on our pizza. Perhaps though, we can be a key player in future helping to provide others that same goodness.

Filed under: Cheese, Dairy, Dairy Issues, , , , , , ,

Dairymen have Mercy for Animals!

California Calf

**Happy cows really do come from California. This little girl was out basking in the sunshine the other day just working on her tan**

Dairymen give Animals the Best Care Possible

Sometimes as a dairy farmer I am very distraught by the things people say about the dairy industry. We treat animals with respect and give them the best care possible. We depend on them for our livelihood, just as our animals depend on us. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s why it’s hard to listen to people bash us and our industry by saying negative things; condemning us for inhumane treatment of animals while the complete opposite is true.

Recently Mercy for Animals, an animal rights activist group, released some “undercover” video footage of a ranch not treating baby calves right. As a dairyman, I was completely appalled by the footage. I found it extremely disturbing, and it really motivated me to write about this.

I think that the “undercover” video footage that Mercy for Animals puts together is meant to disturb you. They stage these events in order to provoke you, to motivate you to take action. I will admit it is very motivating, because I was extremely disgusted with the video, and cannot bear to let this happen to other animals.

They stage these incidents of animal cruelty themselves in order to promote and push their agenda. Their agenda being that everyone should stop eating products produced by animals. They hate people involved in animal agriculture, and want to erase the industry from society altogether. Since they are a minority opinion though, they need to convince you that people on farms hate their animals and abuse them on a daily basis in order to convince you to take action and join their cause.

I think anyone who knows a local farmer, though, will know that animals are treated very humanely on the farm. I for one can confidently say though that no dairy farmers treat animals the way that Mercy for Animals would have you to believe. There is no motive, or reason for a dairy farmer to treat the animals on their farm inhumanely unless they are truly depraved people.

Dairymen are motivated to treat the baby calves on the dairy humanely because they are the next generation for the farm. Just like you want the best for your children, we want the best for our calves. We treat them well because happy cows really do produce the best milk.

On Our Farm

Let me tell you how we treat the baby calves. When the baby calves are born we put them in hutches so they can have a clean, safe, stress free environment. The reason we separate them from the mother is that the mothers can be very careless at times. The hutches are a safe place where they won’t get stepped on or pushed around by the older cows. If you want to think about it this way, the calf pens are basically big play pens, like a play pen you would keep your toddler in to keep them out of trouble.

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**The Playpens**

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The calves stay in the hutches for about 2 months, and then move into a much larger group pen where they can play with all their friends. During those first few weeks though it’s critical that they remain separated because their immune systems are still developing. Any illness at this point of their life will severely affect their growth so we try to keep them as healthy as possible. We use some basic antibiotics if they get sick, which helps them overcome any illness they might get.

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**My brother and sister out making sure everyone is healthy in the group pen the babies go to after they leave their playpens**

Calves are fed two times every day, morning and afternoon. They get a nice bucket full of milk so they can grow healthy and strong. In addition we have grain bins available in their pens so they have free access to grain whenever they want. Grain is high in protein so the baby calves can grow more quickly. In the summer time when it’s very hot, we also make sure to keep water available to them in addition to the milk they get. Sometimes on the extremely hot days, we give them electrolytes (Gatorade for calves) to keep them properly hydrated. So nutritionally they have a very healthy and sound diet and are always kept fed and well nourished.

The Plain, Simple Truth

It’s important to keep them healthy with a stress free environment and that’s really our primary goal in raising the babies. They are our farms next generation so we make sure to treat them well on our farm! I know for a fact that all other dairy farmers have this same motivation to treat their cows and calves humanely and keep them comfortable.

Mercy for Animals and other animal rights activists definitely have an agenda, which they will enact using any means possible. All I can say is that dairymen have no motivation to treat animals badly. In fact only the opposite is true, we have full motivation to treat animals well. The better care we give to the animals the better they will be at taking care of us, and that’s just the plain simple truth.

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Filed under: Calves, Cow Comfort, Dairy, Dairy Issues, , , , , ,

Lets eat only natural wholesome food products!

Fresh Foods like Milk

1263409299-milkThere is a food movement in the United States today that has been growing, and really beginning to influencing many people’s food purchasing choices. The trend is towards choosing foods that have been naturally produced, and locally grown. This trend makes sense to me as a food producer because I understand that food just taste better in its natural state. I think every food purchaser wants to buy fresh good tasting food!

Dairy is one of natures most natural and healthy food products. Think about it, milk is a combination of protein, fat, calcium, and a low calorie sweetener called lactose. Protein for building strong muscles, calcium for building strong bones, and fat to help with nutrient absorption.

It’s strange to me why so many people get hung up on the fact that milk has fat in it. Natural milk (not reduced fat or skim milk) is only composed of 3.5% fat. Let me put it this way, milk is 96.5% fat free!

So if milk is truly a natural food product, then why is fluid consumption still declining? Since fluid milk is such a healthy beneficial product, why aren’t people buying more milk?

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**Data from future.aae.wisc.edu**

Dairy Substitutes Labeling = Misleading and Fraudulent

One thing that annoys me as a dairy producer is the fact that most the dairy substitute products ride off of milks healthy reputation. In the United States today, there have been many labeling deceptions by food manufacturing companies, and they are marketing their products fraudulently.

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States regulates food labeling practices and makes sure that businesses in the United States follow regulatory guidelines regarding labeling practices. Because food is such an important area of people’s lives, the FDA has strict guidelines in the Code of Federal Regulations to monitor food labeling and make sure the product is what the manufacturer is producing. In fact, every dairy product has its own standard or identity. The easiest way to explain this is to just show you what I’m talking about.

41uLDyFKE3L__SL500_AA300_The Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 section 131.200 notes what yogurt is:

Yogurt is the food produced by culturing one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (c) of this section with a characterizing bacterial culture that contains the lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus…

…All ingredients used are safe and suitable. Yogurt, before the addition of bulky flavors, contains not less than 3.25 percent milkfat and not less than 8.25 percent milk solids not fat, and has a titratable acidity of not less than 0.9 percent, expressed as lactic acid.

In other words, yogurt is a dairy product that must use the specified bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, and have 3.25% milkfat and not less than 8.25% milk solids not fat (like protein and lactose). So a food manufacture, to label their product yogurt, would have to make sure there was the right amount of fat and solids in their product. If they cannot meet these guidelines specified by the FDA, they cannot call their product yogurt. This is why you see products called smoothies or yogurt beverage, because they didn’t meet the standards to be called yogurt.

So if all food products have a standard of identity specified by federal law, then why do we still have food mislabeling going on? According to the FDA, “milk is the lacteal secretion obtained by milking one or more healthy cows.” My question is why haven’t the FDA gone after the mislabeling of food products hinging off of the health reputation that milk has.

A Puzzling Trend

Like I mentioned before, the modern food movement puzzles me in the fact that milk and dairy haven’t gotten any significant boost in consumption from the new food trend. If milk is a healthy natural food source, why isn’t milk consumption exploding with a renewed vigor.

In stores that promote natural foods, there are an array of dairy substitutes on the selves. I have had the experience of trying a wide range of “milk” products. I have tried hemp milk, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy yogurt, coconut yogurt, almond milk, and many more. Every time I try these products though, I come to the same conclusion – How do people eat these products! They really just don’t taste that great..

Why Proper Labeling is Important

All these products have fraudulent labels using the words milk, yogurt, and ice cream. Many people shrug it off and think it isn’t a big deal, but it really is! The false labeling of these products is misleading and illegal. Some people do believe that these substitute products, with milk or yogurt in the name, really have the same nutritional components of milk or yogurt. I’ve talked with people who substituted real milk with soy milk. The sad part is that these people think they are getting the same nutrition.

These alternative products don’t provide the same nutrition at all! A prime example is the coconut yogurt I tried. On the label it claims you’re getting the same amount of calcium that you would get with real dairy yogurt. When I finished eating the yogurt, you could see the calcium granules at the bottom of the container. Even though the manufacture added the calcium to make it equivalent to the calcium in real yogurt, you actually didn’t consume nearly the same amount. Furthermore your body probably didn’t absorb any of the calcium, and passed right through your system because it didn’t have any natural way to help absorb the calcium like real dairy products do.

Soy – Made in a Factory

Another example is with soy milk. When you substitute soy milk with real milk, you’re sacrificing the protein, essential amino acids, beneficial fatty acid, calcium, and other nutritional components that real milk and dairy products provide.

Many people don’t realize that soy beans in their natural unprocessed state are poisonous. In order to get rid of the toxic components of soy, you need extensive processing to make an acceptable food product. Even some of the components that are used in the soy manufacturing process are full of carcinogenic components. It’s a process that takes a poisonous product, and fabricates a food product that people can consume with relative safety. Soy is really an unnatural food, but is a product being touted as a “healthy alternative superior to real milk.” You can read more here about the negative effects of soy on human health.

The Bottom Line

Milk is the most nutritious beverage in the world today, and food manufacturers know this fact. That’s why they food processors want to use the name of dairy products on their products because it puts a positive connotative health reference on their product. Soy juice doesn’t have the same ring and connotative positivity as soy milk. I hope that the good people at the FDA in charge of labeling oversight begin noticing the plague of false labeling that is in our marketplace today and begin to take action. It’s important because of consumer perceptions. People need to be able to make healthy food purchases, and not be mislead by false labeling claims that can misinform.

I hope people participating in the changing food trend notice the importance of milk. Milk is naturally produced by the “foster mother of the human race” (dairy cows), and full of vitamins, and nutrients. So as a dairy producer providing milk, I hope people really do recognize that milk is a quality food product. Let’s eat only natural products like milk, yogurt, and cheese instead of these factory produced alternative “dairy” products. Hopefully with the new food trend, people will continue to find the quality in the product that milk is, drink more milk, and have a renewed widespread enthusiasm for milk and other dairy products.

Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, Dairy Products, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Modern Dairy and Animal Agriculture Sustainable?

Dairy Cares

**What Sustainability Means**

Sustainability

When people think about sustainability, dairy and animal agriculture is usually not their first thought. In fact, many people think that dairy and animal agriculture are one of the largest sources for environmental pollution, but it’s not true. The dairy industry has made some major changes with new knowledge and science. On our family farm, we use these advancements to improve our farms and lessen our impact on the environment, but as an industry we have done little to show what we are doing on our farms.

Fewer Cows More Milk

**Fewer Cows with More Milk. 9.3 million cows produce 59% more milk than 25.6 million cows that were around in 1944**

 

Greenhouse gases in California

**Dairy emissions are less than 3% of the total emissions in California. This includes all the emissions from all stages of production including processing, transportation of dairy products, and wholesale retail impact** 

In 1944, there were 25.6 million cows in the U.S. compared to 9.3 million cows today that produce more milk than all the cows combined in 1944. So with 16.3 million less cows in the U.S. dairy farms are producing more milk than ever before. In fact, milk production has increased 59% since 1944 despite the number of cows decreasing.

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**Cows today are more efficient at converting feed to milk so less feed needs to be used**

Making more milk with fewer cows has made a significant impact on our environment. Fewer cows’ means there are less cows eating and making emissions.

But how can you make more milk with fewer cows. At first glance the numbers don’t seem to make any sense, and seems impossible. But dairies have accomplished the task by the simple implementation of using new technologies on farms to improve efficiencies.

On Our Family Dairy…

feeding cows

**Our Feed Mixer. The feed wagon mixes the various feeds that are specified by our dairy nutritionist to make different feeds for cows at different stages**

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**We feed cows corn silage which is fermented cut-up corn. Corn is a great feed source for cows because the cows can digest the entire corn plant. Compared to grazing, corn silage is more friendly to the environment noting there is much more feed produced per acre of land**

On our dairy, we use a nutritionist to make the different feed rations on our farm. Cows at different stages of milk production have different energy requirements. Cows producing a lot of milk need to eat high energy food in order to stay fit. Likewise, cows that aren’t producing milk need feed that is lower in energy otherwise they will get fat very quickly. It’s all about balancing the cow’s diet to make sure she stays healthy.

Specially formulated feed for our cows not only helps keep our cows healthy, but it also improves the amount of milk a cow can give. Basically by taking care of our cows and ensuring that they get a balanced diet, our cows can do they best job they can do.

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**This is one of our balanced dairy cows with great genetics. She combines strength and a tight udder with great milk production and butterfat**

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**My sister showing one of our cows with great genetics**

In addition to feeding cows better, there has been tremendous improvement in genetics. Some cows have better traits, so we breed our cows to the best bulls with these traits in the industry. Cows can even be genomically tested to determine her genetic potential and what the best mating is for that cow. On our dairy we like to breed for a very balanced cow. We like to breed for cows that are very efficient at producing milk using less feed. We breed them to produce milk with higher protein and butterfat, but we also breed for a cow with good strength, tight mammaries, and a long life expectancy. Better genetics have made our cows master milk producers, that stay healthier, and live longer.

We have made many improvements on our dairy and monitor our impact on the environment. We do a lot of environmental testing on crops and waste water to make sure our impact is minimal. Many dairies are putting methane digesters on their dairies to turn waste into electricity or natural gas. The future of dairy is looking quite bright, especially as technology improves and helps us reduce the impact of our cows and farms.

The Problem with Organic Agriculture

When people think about sustainability, People often associate organic agriculture with sustainability. It may be because people confuse the words “green” and “organic” as meaning the same thing, but they don’t.

I am not anti-organic by any means, but want people to understand the difference between organic and modern ways of farming.

The problem with organic agriculture is that organic farming often means eliminating all the technologies (other than genetics) that have developed to make our cows more efficient. An organic dairy farm means that cows must be on pasture and cannot be fed a specially designed feed ration. So organic dairies produce less milk and use more land and other inputs. Organic farming is simply going back to the old ways of farming when my grandpa started our family farm in the 1950s.

If you want to see the impact that organic farming has on the environment, all you need to do is look at the impact that the industry used to have on the industry. Organic farming while seeming “green” is not really sustainable.

Organic farming is not sustainable in the fact that the global population will grow an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050. All these people need to eat, and the world will need more food. The current increases in food production are growing much more slowly than the pace of population growth. Organic farming is going back to a time with reduced production. Looking back at the past, it’s using 16.3 million cows to produce 59% less milk. It’s unsustainable, so hopefully people take notice of these fundamental facts.

Building a Brighter Future

With our family farm, we are hoping to build a brighter future for everyone, and really to make our contribution to society by being responsible dairy people. We work hard on our dairy to reduce our impact on the environment around us, and we do this without much news coverage or attention. I hope that people do start to notice what we are doing on our farm to reduce our impact. I will hopefully be sharing more about what we do on our farm to help make people more aware.

The following is a video that one of our industry organizations put together. You can also download a sweet PDF brochure about what the dairy industry is doing to reduce its environmental impact on the environment

Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, Family Farms, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The U.S. Dairy Industry: On a Mission to Feed the World!

Capture3 Global demand for dairy products is booming. There is a tremendous amount of demand for dairy products globally, and U.S. export markets have been experiencing large amounts of growth overseas. Dairy continues to be a great asset to the U.S. economy noting that U.S. dairies create many direct and indirect jobs, and produces product for a rapidly growing global marketplace.

Like many other industries throughout the United States, the U.S. dairy industry got caught in the downturn at the end of 2008 and early 2009 as global trade slowed down due to the financial crisis that brought global trade to a screeching halt. The financial crisis did impact the dairy industry significantly early on in 2009, but it recovered far more vigorously than many other industries throughout the U.S. The second half of 2009 seen a dramatic rebound in both dairy exports and domestic demand. 2010 is proving that there is a rapidly growing demand globally for dairy products.

According to the United States Dairy Export Counsel (USDEC), dairy exports of dry ingredients (milk powders, whey proteins, and lactose) cheese, and butter were up 35% in volume from a year ago, and up 66% in volume the first 6 months of 2010 to just over $2 billion. Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council noted that “All products have experienced robust trade. Cheese, in particular, has come back strongly.” According to USDEC, cheese exports were up 66% driven by strong demand in Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. For the full report from USDEC click here.

Even more impressive than the size of export growth is the magnitude of U.S. gains in relation to other major dairy exporters and the total change in each product category. For example, total global cheese exports were up 14 percent in the first half of 2010; New Zealand was down 7 percent, but the U.S. was up 61 percent. Total global butterfat exports were down 10 percent; New Zealand and Australia were down 15 percent and 38 percent, respectively, but the U.S. was up 150 percent.

Continuing decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, which increases buying power for foreign customers, is just one reason for the increases. USDEC leaders point out that strong customer relationships, consistently high product quality, and reliable delivery make the U.S. an increasingly preferred supplier for many buyers. Click here for another article on a report from the International Dairy Foods Association

Milk is one of nature’s most nutritious food products, composed of protein, vitamins, calcium, and many more beneficial nutrients. In the world today, consumers are demanding quality food products specifically milk and other dairy products. Emerging markets are rapidly growing and expanding, demanding the nutrition that dairy products can provide.

The United States is one of the most efficient dairy producers of quality dairy products in the world, and is quickly becoming a leading exporter to nations around the world. California particularly has been the key U.S. state leading exports primarily due to its location on the Pacific Ocean. California has been a leader in the United States for dairy with the highest milk production than any other state, and has some of the most efficient dairy operations in the world. The California dairy industry is proud for the opportunity to be on the forefront to essentially helping to feed the world.

The global population is rapidly growing, and markets are emerging consequently giving rise to wealthier individuals who can afford to spend more on quality food products. One of the first food products wealthier people are demanding are dairy products. China in particular has a great hunger for dairy products due to the high quality nutrition dairy can provide.

With over 1.5 billion people to feed, China will need to source food products from all over the world in order to feed their populace. In the dairy industry, the Chinese have been one of the largest driving forces of global demand for dairy products. Rabobank, a large international agriculture bank, has recently cited milk demand growth to quickly outpace supply over the next decade leaving tremendous opportunity for the dairy industry in the United States to help China quench its thirst for dairy products.

And with the worldwide economic crisis, food related health scares, food contamination issues, terrorist attacks, and disease epidemics regularly headlining the world news, consumers are beginning to become more aware of the foods they consume, and are demanding consistent, high-quality food products. A report put out by Tetra Pak called “Tetra Pak Dairy Index” in June 2009 cites that 59% of consumers in developing countries, such as China and India, say they are worried about the safety of the food they buy, compared to 49% of consumers in developed countries. The great news is that U.S. dairy has some of the best technology in the world to produce safe, wholesome products along with intricate quality control systems to ensure product quality. The global market is beginning to notice that the U.S. is a leader in product quality, and is one of the reasons why demand for U.S. dairy is exploding.

The dairy industry really does have a tremendous amount of potential due to expanding global dairy demand, and people should take note of these facts. Global demand for dairy has not soured, but the future is really looking quite bright.

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Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, , , , , , ,

The State Fair Incident: Ignorance or Insanity

Earlier this week, we received an industry update on an outrageous incident that happened at the California State fair in Sacramento. An escaped cow was shot 11 times and killed.

Here is a link to the full story. Click Here

The cow was supposed to be part of the UC Davis birthing exhibit which was planning to show the cow give birth to a calf. The cow apparently broke free early in the morning before the fair started, and the fair officials couldn’t catch her.

Allegedly the officers said the cow was a danger to the public, and had no choice but to kill the cow. An officer had to shoot the cow 11 times to kill it.

I am writing this to offer a dairymen’s perspective into this atrocious incident. Our entire family was outraged by this incident as were many other fellow dairymen that I have talked to since this took place. This is definitely not how you treat cows.

Watching the video of the footage from news 10, the officers are chasing the cow down in vehicles, driving fast, and clearly not demonstrating great herdsmanship skills. Anyone who knows cows knows that the officers were clearly making the situation worse.

The area at the fair where the cow got loose was fully enclosed, and the cow would’ve tired eventually. The fair officials should have clearly followed the advice of the fair vendor who told them to try catching her with a rope.

I don’t think people should have felt any fear of their safety. Cows aren’t violent animals, and don’t attack people. The fact of the matter is that she could have been caught. It may have not been easy, but the officers cannot say they had no other choice. If we shot our cows every time they escaped, we would have very few cows left on the dairy.

It’s simply outrageous that the officers didn’t know what to do. I just can’t believe that people are so far removed from basic animal handling practices that they felt there were no other options. So were the Cal Expo police really that ignorant of basic animal handling principles? I just don’t know why they thought it was their only choice to shoot a cow 11 times…

Keep reading my blog so you know how to handle animals so you don’t have to shoot your animal when they get away…

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Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, , , ,

Antibiotics in my Milk?

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Many people are worried that there are antibiotics in their milk. It’s an important issue, and I can understand peoples fear. If you continually take antibiotics, you can build immunity, and the antibiotic’s effectiveness goes down significantly. That’s why it is imperative that there cannot be antibiotics in our milk, so we can use antibiotics when we need them! 

I decided to write this to help people understand the measures we take on our dairy to ensure a high quality product. I can say confidently that there are no antibiotics in any milk because it’s illegal for antibiotics to be in the milk.

  

It’s Illegal

In fact, it is illegal to have antibiotics in the milk! Every milk truck that leaves our dairy is tested to ensure there are no antibiotics in the milk. Then when the milk gets to the milk processing plant, the milk is checked again to ensure there are no antibiotics in the milk. If milk is contaminated with antibiotics, the entire load must be thrown away.

Dairies that send milk to their creamery with antibiotics are penalized, and if milk is sent with antibiotics more than 3 times, the dairy can lose their license to produce milk. This ensures that dairies make it a priority to make sure no milk they are sending has antibiotics.

  

On our Dairy

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  The Hospital Pen

Besides losing our license to produce milk, we also suffer financially if antibiotics get in the milk. Milk with antibiotics MUST be dumped, and that’s milk that we don’t get paid for. Because of all the negative consequences of having antibiotics in the milk, we have set up strict quality control measures to make sure our milk remains antibiotic free.

We use antibiotics on our farm to help our animals recover when they get sick. When the cows and calves get sick, we have a few different antibiotics on hand that can be administered to help them feel better.

When a cow is diagnosed with an illness, she is moved to the hospital pen, and separated from the rest of the herd. Yes, there is a hospital at our dairy! The cow is then given the appropriate medicine. Our veterinarian also comes once a week to diagnose certain animals, and prescribe treatment.

All of the sick cows receiving treatment are separated from the rest of their herd mates and milked in a different milk barn.

On our dairy, we have 2 milk barns; the old barn my grandpa started with, and our newer barn we built later. So all of the sick cows get milked in the old barn, and all of the milk from the sick cows gets thrown away. It’s a great way for us to keep these two groups separate. All of the milking equipment and milk pipelines are separate from the barn where we milk all of our healthy cows.

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My Sister Entering Health Records Into the Computer

When cows are treated, we document the treatment in our computer records. When the cows are better and ready to move back with the rest of their friends, we hold them a bit longer in the hospital pen. Some antibiotics when given to the cow can be transmitted into the milk, so each antibiotic has a withholding period. The withholding time is the amount of time needed before there is no drug residue in the milk.

After the cows is better, and they have been in the hospital long enough to have no drug residue in the milk, we move them out. But when we move them out, we use an antibiotic test that checks the milk for antibiotics. If the test is positive for drug residue, the cows must stay in the hospital pen. Only when we get a negative test for antibiotics do we move them out of the hospital.

Good record keeping can keep antibiotics from getting into the milk, but we use the antibiotic test as well to make sure we didn’t make a mistake! It’s basic quality control.

   

At the Creamery

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All milk when it arrives at the creamery MUST be tested for antibiotics. It is mandated by law that each truckload must be tested for antibiotics. If antibiotics are detected in any truckload of milk, the milk must be dumped.

Besides antibiotics in the milk being illegal, processors have motivation to have antibiotic free milk. When making cheese, yogurt, and other cultured dairy products, the bacteria culture that makes the products can be inhibited from growing. If the bacteria don’t grow, you can’t make cheese, yogurt, or other dairy products! Because of this fact, cheese makers and other dairy processors are vigilant in keeping antibiotics out of the milk.

  

Organic vs. Conventional

When people talk about the differences between organic and conventional dairy farming, many people feel that organic is a “healthier choice” because no antibiotics are used on the organic dairy. But conventional dairies do produce milk without antibiotics too; it’s just a difference of management practices.

Organic dairy farms are prohibited from using antibiotics on their farms. I feel that organic dairies are very cruel towards the animals in this way as there is medicine to help ease their suffering and help them recover faster. Withholding antibiotics from the sick animals only prolongs suffering and can even result in death if they are not treated.

Put it this way, you get sick and the doctor tells you he has the cure, and you could be better in a few days if he gives it to you. But the doctor notes that you’re at a different hospital that believes everyone else in the world would be better off if you didn’t take the antibiotics, so they won’t let you take the medicine.

Not administering any antibiotics is a way to prevent any antibiotics from getting into your milk, but you can use antibiotics responsibly on dairy cows and not have any antibiotics in the milk as well.  

I am not against organic dairies; in fact I have many friends who have organic dairies. But people must remember that organic milk is not necessarily better for you; it’s just a difference of management practices that are being used on the dairies.

  

Bottom Line

milk

Three take facts to take away: antibiotics are used to keep cows healthy, antibiotics can be used responsibly, and they are kept out of the milk we drink. Consumers can rest assured knowing that dairies take pride in producing high quality milk that is free of antibiotics.

It is illegal for dairies to have antibiotics in the milk, and this coupled with the potential financial loss of having antibiotics in the milk makes it a priority for dairymen to keep contaminates such as antibiotics out of the milk.

On our dairy, we have put into place a various quality control measures to make sure we do not have any antibiotics in our milk (i.e. separate pen, computer records, and antibiotics test), and many other dairies have the exact same controls in place.

It’s important that antibiotics don’t get in the milk, and we all can agree on this. But it’s also important that people understand the management practices we have put into place to keep antibiotics out of the milk at the dairy. I hope that this posting gives milk drinkers everywhere more insight to what we do at the dairy, and the pride we take in producing milk that is guaranteed antibiotic-free!

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Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, Dairy Products, , , , ,

If Cows Could Vote…

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If cows voted the world would be a better place.. at least for the family dairy farmer, and dairy aficionados it would be. The Family Farm Estate Tax Relief Act (H.R. 5475) would definitely help out family farms.

Contrary to popular belief that dairy farms are factory farms run by greedy corporations, 99% of family farms in California are family owned and operated. Dairy farms are typically family owned, and the whole family (or most of the family excluding the slothful family members) work on the dairy to help take care of the cows.

One of the downsides to the family business is transferring the business on to the next generation. In some cases, there is little planning for the transfer of the business to the next generation and the next generation gets stuck with a huge estate tax on the operation. In some cases there is no way to survive the tax, and the family business collapses and are forced to exit the industry.

The Family Farm Estate Tax Relief Act would exempt family farms and ranches from the estate tax as long as the estate keeps farming. National Cattleman’s Beef Association President Steve Foglesong  says “Preserving the legacy of American agriculture for future generations should not be political issue; it’s the right thing to do.” Allowing family farms and ranches to be taxed out of business will put our national food security and global competitiveness at serious risk.”

If cows could vote they would definitely vote for this bill. It allows a brighter future for the families dairies that take care of the cows, and secures dairy consumers a high quality nutritious product that they can depend on for years to come!

Read more about this issue at TheDairySite.com in the article titled “Protecting Family Farms And Ranches”


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Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Issues, Family Farms, , , ,

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Crazy Moos

About Crazy Moos

Welcome to the Crazy Moos blog! Crazy Moos is a play on words, basically trying to create a fun environment (crazy) for dairy news (moos). The overall goal of this blog is to communicate “moosworthy information” (newsworthy information) about the dairy industry and important happening on the dairy farm. Hopefully this blog will help people learn about various aspects of the dairy industry and what happens on the dairy farm. Visit regularly for new blog postings!

About Me

I am a 3rd generation dairyman in California, and our dairy farm really is a reflection of the American dream. My grandfather came to America from Europe after World War II in search of greater opportunities, and a safer place to raise a family. He came to America with hardly anything except his exceptional appreciation for hard work. My grandpa after a few years was able to start his own dairy farm and start producing high quality, nutritious milk. In the 70’s, he moved the operation to a more remote area (our current location), and started growing the herd.

Today, I am actively taking part in the farms daily responsibilities. I’m well qualified to be in the dairy industry, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the dairy industry having just graduating college with a degrees in dairy science, and dairy processing.

Many people today believe that the dairy industry has been taken over by large corporate farms, but a recent study done shows that most dairies are family owned. In fact, 99% of dairy farms in California are family owned and operated. My whole family is involved on the dairy. My sisters are caretakers of the baby calves, and we guys take care of the cows. There are eight kids in our family, so the dairy is definitely a family affair!

Milk is one of the world’s most nutritious natural products. So many people today are forgetting that milk is filled with many different nutrients, all combined to work in synergy together to maximize the body’s absorption of these nutrients. It’s the perfect blend of nutrients, in nature’s most natural product.

Milk, it’s a natural product, that’s naturally good for you!

**All Pictures, unless specified otherwise, Copyright © 2011 Crazy Moos. All Rights Reserved**