Crazy Moos

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy!

May 2011 on the Dairy

DSC01486

Well it was starting to feel like summer here on the dairy not to long ago. Ironically enough, the weather has changed and we are now getting a bit of rain. Luckily we finished harvesting the entire winter crop just in time.

The sunshine was pretty nice when I was out taking these pictures around the dairy. So enjoy the following pictures:

DSC01475

**All the ladies gathering around to see what’s happening**

DSC01491

DSC01476

**Very Nosey…haha**

DSC01488

Filed under: Dairy, Pictures, , , ,

The Foster Mother of the Human Race

Hoards Dairyman

**Taken from Hoards Dairyman**

125 years ago, W.D. Hoard, founder of one of the oldest and well known dairy magazines, penned a tribute to the dairy cow and recognized the dairy cow as being the foster mother of the human race when he wrote:

“The cow is the foster mother of the human race. From the time of the ancient Hindoo to this time have the thoughts of men turned to this kindly and beneficent creature as one of the chief sustaining forces of the human race”W.D. Hoard

As a dairyman, I think it would be appropriate to also recognize the contributions that these foster mothers have made to human society in this time when we are celebrating Mothers Day

Filed under: Dairy, , , , , ,

Growing Food for Cows

DSC01443

Its harvest time here on the dairy. We’ve been busy cutting the oats and rye grass that we grow during the winter months here in California. I guess that’s one of the great advantages of being in California. The growing season is long enough so we can grow 2 or even 3 crops per year instead of just one. Back east many farmers can only grow one crop before the winter snow covers the ground. Here in California, the sunshine state, we can really make the most of the land that we have.

I think that’s one of the many goals dairymen have: to maximize the resources we have. Many people wonder why all cows are not on pasture, and housed in barns. It’s probably for the simple reason that grazing cows requires a lot of land for pasture. If all our cows needed to be grazed, it would take thousands of acres of pasture land to grow enough food for the cows. Cows eat a lot!

The modern way of dairying is probably more environmentally friendly too because we are producing more food with less land. Instead of growing pasture grass, we grow feeds that grow thicker and grow much taller. For example, in the summer we will be growing corn which grows upwards of 6 feet, here in California. The entire cornstalk can be eaten by the cows so you can produce a lot of food with very little land.

I think everyone would graze cows on pasture if they could, but there just isn’t enough land to do it. By maximizing our land to grow as much food as possible, we are conserving land so it can be used to grow other crops for other food we need.

I took some pictures around the dairy where we grow the food for the cows. From the pictures, you should be able to see the process of how we make the food for the cows

DSC01441

** The Field, about to be cut**

From the picture above, you can get a better idea of how much food can be grown. The oats provide much more food than a pasture can provide. Once the oats are grown, they are cut and piled into very neat rows. Also surprisingly there is still a great deal of wildlife around the dairy noting the picture below. Jack the Jack Rabbit seemed to be following us.

DSC01437

**Jack the Jack rabbit was following us**

DSC01450

** The Field after its been cut**

DSC01444

** Cutting the field **

DSC01445

** The machine cuts the oats and puts it into rows**

When the oats are ready to be cut, we use the machine shown in the picture above to cut them. After its been cut and piled into rows, another machine process the oats further cutting it into smaller pieces, and then shoots it into the trucks. Cutting the feed into small pieces really helps make the feed more digestible for the cows. Basically this means that more food is actually digested and used by the cow to make milk, instead of simply passing through the cow’s digestive system unused. 

DSC01429

** The chopper then cuts it further into smaller pieces **

DSC01432

** and loads it into the trucks**

DSC01455

** The not-so-bright camera person**

DSC01457

** This tractor packs the pile to eliminate oxygen that could cause spoilage**

The feed is then piled into a large pile and packed tightly by a tractor that pushes the cut feed into the pile. The packing tractor is essential because it eliminates oxygen from the pile. If the oxygen remains in the pile, spoilage will occur. So the oxygen is eliminated, and bacteria are added to start the fermentation process which then preserves the food for years. The silage pile shown below will be all gone by next year though. As I mentioned before, cows eat a lot!

DSC01462

** The truck unloading**

After we finish cutting the oats, we will be planting the corn so stay tuned.

Filed under: Farm, , , , , , , ,

Easter, and the California State Show

208224_1961885045097_1181940682_2357121_5681602_n

**Cottonball our new bunny rabbit**

Easter has arrived at last, another reminder that spring has arrived! Cottonball was a friendly addition and helped us celebrate the holiday.

This past week, my family has been busy showing some of our animals at the California State Dairy Show. The show was very intense, but our animals did pretty well in the contest. One of our Red and White Holsteins won her class!

215805_1979013033286_1181940682_2376125_320013_n

**Cali chillaxing at the show**

All the cows arrive to the fairgrounds early in the week so they can recover from their journey to the show and get familiar with their new surroundings. By allowing arriving early and resting from the journey, the cows look their best by show time! The California State dairy show is the largest dairy show in California where the best of the best come and compete.

Cali, our red and white heifer, was just one of the heifers we showed at the show. She is a pretty calm heifer and was quite happy to be attending the show. She is just a natural beauty queen! 

**Cali entertaining herself**

Cali was pretty calm the entire show, and loved all the attention. Life at the show was easy for her. Clean bedding, a cool barn, and food delivered straight to her. Definitely a life of luxury.

**My brother showing Cali**

My brother got to show a few of the heifers in the show ring. The above picture shows Cali in the ring competing against other Holstein cows from all around California. Cali is pretty serious in the show ring.

**My sister showing Cali**

My sister also got to show Cali off in the show ring. Look how alert Cali is in the ring. She puts on a pretty exciting show.

**Picture time after winning her class**

Cali ended up winning her class at the show. The winners got to take their pictures which is a special honor! In the picture above the photographers are setting Cali up so she can look her best in the picture.

photo

**The prize**

After all the hard work of showing, this is a pretty satisfying reward! Cali is officially one of the top Red and White Holsteins in California

Filed under: County Fair, Dairy, Dairy Pets, , , , , , , , ,

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?

image

**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, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What do Cows Eat: Oats

Summer is here!

It’s the beginning of April, and summer is here! Somehow it seems that we skipped spring this year. It went from rainy and cold to sunny and hot in a matter of days. We’ve been enjoying some great weather here in the California valley so far this month. The temperature swing however has had some detrimental effects on the baby calves though. Unfortunately they don’t like dramatics changes in the weather. The upside is the oats are growing now finally. After a cold winter, they finally have some great sunshine to grow in.

IMG_0726

**Summer is Here @ 91 degrees**

I think I will start a new series of blogs called “what do cows eat.” It may surprise some people what cows actually eat because on the farm, we use a variety of feeds for the cows. California also has a lot of different crops growing, and many of these crops have by-products that we can feed our cows. As a result, our cows get a mix of many different foods.

During the winter months, we grow winter forages like oats and rye grass. These crops grow well during the winter, and give us another feed source when were not growing corn. I guess one difference between organic dairy farming, and modern dairy farming is that instead of grazing the grass, we grow the grass, cut it, and store it all year long for the cows. The oats get pretty tall too. I took some pictures of the oats

IMG_0731

**One of our Oats Fields**

IMG_0733

**If you were really short walking through the field**

IMG_0736

IMG_0743

**Watch the sunset…**

IMG_0742

IMG_0740

**Now its Dark**

Filed under: Dairy, Farm, , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

productivity3

**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**

DSC00612

**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.

IMG_0234

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

 DSC09139

**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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Little Moo

On our dairy, we have a lot of little baby calves. My sisters love to play with them. They captured this little Jersey calf playing around. It’s pretty awesome! She jumps around, and lets out a little moo

 

Baby Jersey Lets out a Little Moo

Filed under: Dairy, Dairy Pets, , , , , , ,

Robots Take Over the World… Well Maybe Just Milking Cows

World Ag Expo 2011

agshow1

**The World Ag Expo**

I attended the World Ag Expo this year in Tulare, California. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, the World Ag Expo is the largest agricultural exposition in the world. Every year, anyone selling anything to farmers and dairymen exhibit their product lines and anything new they have developed for the New Year. People come from all over the world to attend the event. I seen an interesting statistic that said over 100,000 people attend each day.

2275789718_07d44d272b

**Awesome Loader Tractor**

Our family attends every year. This is our chance to talk with vendors, and find new ideas that could help benefit our dairy operation. Its fun to see all the new technology that’s available been developed noting that technology has progressed pretty rapidly in the dairy industry.

My dad is not one to be left behind of technological changes or even new ideas. He makes it mandatory for us to discover a few new things, and figure out if they would be useful on our operation. So what was the most exciting new thing I found at the World Ag Expo this year?

The Robotic Milking System

One of the main challenges dairies around the world are facing today, is finding employees to milk the cows. Milking cows is a job that is very labor intensive. DeLaval has developed the first robotic milking system that can work in today’s modern milk barn. The system is completely automated using new technology to attach each milking unit to the cows. The system even cleans the cows prior to attaching the machine.

While many of my dairy friends think that robots will never replace humans in the milk barn, I know that robotic technology will get fast enough. This technology is very new so it will still require continuous improvement before it will be economical enough to replace people in the milk barn, but it’s pretty cool to see this new technology actually working.

**The Robots Milking Cows**

Filed under: Dairy, Tech, , ,

Happy California Cows Au Naturel

I spent some time this week taking some pictures with my Iphone of the dairy while working. Most of the pictures were taken right before sundown so they look pretty cool. These are real happy California cows au naturel just soaking in the rays of sunshine. Enjoy

IMG_0597

**Amazing Picture**

IMG_0603

**Hiding the sunset**

 IMG_0595

**These fine heifers were stalking me as I was taking pictures. They just love slobbering all over you**

IMG_0613

**Enjoying their afternoon snack. Obviously they find it quite tasty**

IMG_0617

**Wondering what is going on**

IMG_0623

**They love the mid-day snack**

IMG_0618

**Ace somehow got in the cow pictures**

IMG_0620

**Rusty also somehow got in the cow pictures**

Filed under: Dairy, Pictures, , ,

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers

Moo Entries

March 2017
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

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**