Crazy Moos

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy!

Ever Wonder How Cows are Milked

The course of human events can be interesting at times. Back in the days before we had the technology, cows were milked by hand 2 times per day. Then human ingenuity allowed for the development of modern day milking machines that milked cows automatically, and relieved thousands of people from milking cows.

Now technology is again revolutionizing our world. Thanks to technology you can once again milk cows by hand! So what technology once worked to eliminated, technology has now brought back. Isn’t it interesting how these things work out.. 🙂

I was pretty amazed last week to see that the number one app in the Apple app store was an simple app called “Milk the Cow.” The app claims that it is the top app in 20 different countries, and has enabled over 1 million people to milk cows in just one week. That’s a lot of milkers! **the only problem is that people are milking virtual cows… if only we could change that though**

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**Virtual Teats**

The app is actually pretty amusing. You milk the virtual teat as fast as you can. The timer clocks how long it takes you to fill the pail. So far my fastest time is 15 seconds so I challenge anyone to beat that. I’ve had some real practice though so beware.

Since there seems to be such an interest in how cows are milked, I decided to share the process in pictures and a video. The process is fairly simple –> the cows enter the barn, the milking machines are attached, then the cows wait patiently while chew their cud, when the milking is finished, they happily head back home.

**See in less than 1 minute how cows are milked**

Cow

**On their way to the milk barn**

Walking in the barn

**Walking in the milk barn**

Cows Waiting

**Patiently awaiting while being milked**

Milking by Hand

**You can still milk them by hand**

Attaching the milk machine

**Attaching the machine**

Fresh milk

**Fresh milk**

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Filed under: Dairy, Milk Quality, , , , , , ,

Milk is so Expensive… Really?

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**Which is cheaper, consider the nutrient value**

When I ask people why they don’t drink very much milk, I often get a similar response – “Milk is just too expensive.” A lot of people say they drink more soda because it’s a much cheaper beverage. Milk is just too expensive for them to be regular dairy purchasers. I am always frustrated when people tell me this because many people don’t actually do a real comparison of the beverage choices they have. You have to remember that, you get what you pay for.

Milk is one of the most nutrient dense products you can buy at the store today. Milk is really a value buy at the store full of vitamins and nutrients, with a perfect balance of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The protein in the milk alone makes it a great nutritional drink. You can get about 9 or 10 grams of protein per serving of milk. Many people forget about this though, I think because it’s just a point that the dairy industry hasn’t marketed enough. Sometimes people need to be reminded.

Do Some Fun Research

If you want to do some fun research about your beverage choices, go to the Why Milk website and compare milk to other beverage choices out there. I was pretty surprised by some of the results. They have some pretty nifty tools that you can play around with.

Milk nutrient comparison

**Milk has 9 nutrients while soda has zero! – Source: Why Milk**

 Milk vs Soda

**Milk nutrients vs. Soda nutrients – Source: Why Milk**

I went to the beverage analyzer tool and calculated the difference between milk and soda. I drink about 3 glasses of whole milk every day so I compared it to drinking a 32 oz. soda. The results were pretty interesting. The amount of calories between milk and soda was about the same. The real difference was that by drinking milk you can actually get a significant portion of the essential nutrients you need.

Drinking 3 glasses of milk per day, I got nearly half of the daily amount of protein I need! That means I don’t need to consume as much meat or other protein sources to fulfill my daily protein requirements. I also get over 80% of my daily calcium needs from milk. Milk is also low in sugar and carbohydrates because lactose is a natural low calorie sweetener.

Milk nutrients

**The nutritional value of 3 glasses of whole milk – Source: Why Milk**

Cut the Soda

If I drink a 32 oz. soda though, I consume a similar amount of calories as milk, except they are empty calories without any nutritional significance. Drinking soda, the only significant nutrition I get is a bunch sugar and carbohydrates.

One of the tools on the Why Milk web site showed the difference in the amount of nutrients in various beverages. When I compared milk to soda it showed that milk had 9 nutrients and soda had zero. So if you get 0 nutrients from soda, you have to make them up in other foods. So you have to spend money on other foods to get the same nutrition, you need more of other foods and spend more on other foods. So even though soda may seem cheaper on the shelf, it actually may be a more expensive beverage since it doesn’t contribute anything nutritionally to your diet.

Soda nutrients

**The nutritional value of a 32 oz. soda – Source: Why Milk**

Milk is a Nutrient Bargain Bin

Another tool showed that a glass of fat free milk is an extremely cheap source of nutrients costing $.25 in 2008. To get the same nutrition from other sources, you have to drink 1 glass of orange juice, 1 glass of vitamin water, a swig of an energy drink, ½ scoop of protein, and 6 glasses of soda. Adding these other sources together, you have a cost of $3.11!!

I think in earlier America, this was recognized far more than it is today. I think the proliferation of advertisements from other beverage companies have probably blocked some people from realizing this astounding truth. I found an interesting Journal article about the nutritional value of milk to society if you want to do some reading about this topic.

 Milk is a better value

**The value of nutrients in a glass of milk – Source: Why Milk**

The Challenge

I want to challenge everyone to truly consider their beverage choices and how it affects their nutrition. Call it the Crazy Moos challenge. I think a lot of people would feel much healthier if they consumed less soda, and drank more milk. Instead of chugging loads of sugar, try drinking more milk and actually drink something that can provide some nutritional value. Milk is a nutrient dense product so when you are purchasing food remember that. Once you consider the nutrient value of milk, you will see that it’s actually a much better deal!

Why Santa is Fat

**Ever wonder why Santa is fat, hint its not the milk and cookies..**

 

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am addicted.

I am addicted. Yes, they say admittance is the first step towards recovery. But not a day can go by without the urge to consume. You would think that there would be a way to suppress the craving, but there isn’t. All I can say is that I’m glad that it’s a good compulsion.

I’ve been struggling with my addiction for the past 10 years, and have never quite conquered it. Although I would have to admit that I really do enjoy the addiction. Amazingly many health professionals actually promote the source of my addiction.

The addiction that I am talking about is chocolate milk. I will admit that I am addicted to chocolate milk. Every morning around 10:30 or 11:00, I need to take a quick chocolate milk break to satisfy the craving. The cows must wait while I satisfy my craving. I never knew that you could be addicted, but it’s happened and my day is ruined if I don’t have any. Even so, I am not really struggling against the addiction to chocolate milk noting it’s probably one of the best addictions you could have.

Milk is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, and other beneficial nutrients and consists of the perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein. Milk was designed to maximize the absorption of these nutrients to the milk drinker. I find it strange that when people need to refuel they would turn to sports drinks like Gatorade and Vitamin Water. While these drinks may be a good way to refuel, why would you not use nature’s natural vitamin water, milk?

Rippled-Chocolate-Milk_413

 

Researchers are only beginning to recognize the health benefits of milk. I took this excerpt from Web MD, click here for the full article:

The combination of carbohydrates and protein in low-fat chocolate milk appears to be "just right" for refueling weary muscles, says William Lunn, PhD, an exercise scientist at the University of Connecticut. Post-exercise muscle biopsies showed increased skeletal muscle protein synthesis — a sign that muscles were better able to rebuild — after the milk drink, compared with the carb-only beverage.

Additionally, drinking fat-free chocolate milk led to a higher concentration of glycogen, or muscle fuel, in muscles 30 and 60 minutes after exercise, compared with the sports drink. Replenishing glycogen after exercise helps future performance, Lunn says.

Besides refueling after workouts, milk has many other health benefits. Do you want to know the secret to staying thin? I’m pretty skinny even though my diet is largely based on milk and other dairy products. Even though I consume a lot of dairy, I am not overweight, and I do believe that there is a connection to dairy products. The protein in the milk helps you lose fat and build muscle. Dave Zinczenko, secret president of the Manly Man Conference, editor of Men’s Health magazine, and the author of the Abs Diet books, has recently published an article on ‘The Chocolate Milk Diet.’ Dave advises consuming 3 8-ounce servings of chocolate milk daily – one after you wake up, another before you exercise, and the last right after you exercise – to ‘help you drop lots of belly flab fast. Click here for the article from Yahoo Health. Some pretty interesting stuff.

So even though it’s a strange addiction, chocolate milk may be one of the healthiest addictions you could have. There may be many people who disagree with recent studies that cite chocolate milk as being good for you, but I will continue drinking chocolate milk. I would much rather drink a beverage that nature prepared, than a drink that was formulated in a factory laboratory. Besides I am addicted to chocolate milk, so there’s no way I could possibly stop anyways.

 

got-milk

**These Chocolate Straws are Great, You Don’t Even Need to Add Chocolate Then**

 

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**Apparently Chocolate Milk is the Official Drink of Halloween. I had no idea… haha**

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

Milk Quality: Dairyman Ensured (Part 2)

Milk Lines, Milk Tank, and Cleaning: how equipment is designed to minimize contamination.

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**The Milk Tank**

The milking equipment is really designed to keep the milk clean once it leaves the cow. The milk flows from the milking machine to the milk tank in the milk barn by the means of stainless steel pipes. These pipes deliver the milk to the milk silo is a very clean way. Stainless steel is heavily used in any food manufacturing facility, and we use it on the dairy. The benefits of using stainless steel are that it doesn’t rust and it is bacteria resistant. With stainless steel pipes and tanks, there are few (if any) crevices where bacteria can grow and multiply. This is the main advantage of using stainless steel pipelines to move the milk.

The milk tank or silo is also stainless steel. The milk silo doesn’t hold the milk for long though. Milk tanker trucks come by the dairy daily to deliver the milk to where it needs to go. The milk silos or tanks have agitators inside to move the milk around. This keeps the different components in the milk from settling out. For example, milk fat is much lighter, and for this reason, the cream will float to the top naturally if there is no agitation.

When the cows are all milked, and the milk leaves the dairy, all of the equipment is cleaned and sanitized by means of our CIP system or Clean in Place system. This cleaning occurs twice a day on our dairy, and involves very little manual cleaning noting that the cleaning system is automated. The pipelines, and milk tank are flushed with water first, then flushed with soap to sanitize and kill bacteria, then flushed with acid to eliminate any type of grime or mineral deposits that may have built up in the line, and then a final rinse to make sure there is no soap or acid still in the lines. Cleaning the equipment is important to eliminate the growth of any bacteria that could grow in the milk.

 

The Chiller: slowing bacterial growth

 

**The Milk Chiller**

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**The Temperature Recorder**

One way to eliminate the rapid growth of any bacteria that may have entered the milk is to cool the milk down. When traveling through the pipelines to the milk tank, the milk is chilled with the chiller to cool the milk down to 40 degrees. The federal law makes it mandatory that we cool the milk to 40 degrees immediately after milking. In order to guarantee that we meet federal standards, we chill our milk to 38 degrees.

The chiller is really a fascinating piece of equipment. Cold water that has been chilled passes through thin stainless steel plates one way pulling heat out of the milk as the milk flows on the opposite side. This energy transfer process chills the milk.

The temperature of the milk is monitored continuously to make sure the milk stays cool, and isn’t sitting at room temperature. The electronic temperature reader is shown in the above picture. The reader displays the current temperature, and also records the temperature on the round chart.

The purpose of chilling the milk immediately after milking is to slow down the growth of bacteria. Many bacteria are mesophillic meaning that they grow and multiply very quickly in warm temperatures. When milk leaves the cow, it is at room temperature and perfect for bacterial growth. The many nutrient in the milk make it a perfect medium for the growth of nasty bacteria. This is one of the primary reasons why you don’t want to leave you milk in the car for long periods of time, your milk will turn sour very fast this way. At cooler temperatures, many bacteria are eliminated, and growth of bacteria is significantly slowed. This is one of the ways we keep our milk wholesome.

Antibiotic Test: keeping milk guaranteed antibiotic-free

Before leaving the dairy, the milk is checked for antibiotics. Federal regulations say that we cannot ship any milk that is contaminated with antibiotics. All milk that is contaminated MUST be dumped, and is banned from human consumption.

In order to ensure our milk is free of antibiotic free, we use a simple test that can detect the presence of antibiotics. This test is used frequently on our dairy, as this is a very important issue. Read my posting on antibiotics here.

Take Away

Milking doesn’t occur with a pail anymore, and there are quality control points on the dairy to make sure that the milk is kept clean and contaminate free. Cleaning the cow’s udders, sanitizing the milking equipment, chilling the milk, and testing for antibiotics are some of the major ways we ensure milk quality on the dairy farm.

I hope that these two postings help you understand the process milk goes through from the cow to the milk tank on the dairy, and the various measures that are taken to ensure milk quality. Dairymen pride themselves on producing a high quality product, but they take even more pride in producing a product that is safe, wholesome, and extremely clean.

Click Here to go back to Part 1

Filed under: Dairy, Milk Quality, , , , , , , , ,

Milk Quality: Dairyman Ensured (Part 1)

Dairy Quality at the Farm

quality

In a previous posting I noted that the U.S. dairy industry has some of the best technology in the world for ensuring that the dairy products you consume are safe and wholesome. Someone asked a very great question; what are some of the technologies and ways that dairies and creameries ensure product quality? It’s a great question, so I have decided to do the next few postings on this topic.

I will start first at the farm level, since it is most familiar to me as I have worked on the farm since I was little, and basically its where product quality starts. Then I will move on to the ways product quality is monitored at the creamery. The processes at the creamery are not as familiar to me, but I studied dairy processing in college so I got to learn procedures and technologies that are used to assure you that your milk and other dairy products are of the highest quality.

Milking doesn’t occur with a pail anymore. In fact there are quality control points on the dairy to make sure that the milk is kept clean and contaminate free. On the farm we have a variety of equipment and processes that we use to make sure the milk stays clean. We will start with the cows and follow the milk.

 

Sprinklers: an effective way to pre-clean the cow’s udder

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**The sprinkler pen**

Before the cows enter the milk barn, the cows are held in the sprinkler pen. Basically the sprinkler pen is a large pen with sprinklers running through the pen. Don’t worry, the sprinkler heads are protected to keep the cows from hurting themselves. Once the group of cows enters the pen, the sprinklers are turned on for about 5 minutes. It’s basically one large group shower, and the cows are cleaned from any dirt or mud that they may have gotten into.

Sprinklers work great to pre-clean the udders before milking. Cleaning the udder is the primary purpose of the cow’s shower even though the cows thoroughly enjoy it, especially in the summer time. Getting the mud or dirt off of the udder with sprinklers is a great way to keep these environmental elements out of the milk.

However many dairymen, California dairymen especially, are looking at ways to eliminate the sprinkler pen on the dairy to minimize the environmental impact. Even though the sprinkler pen is highly effective at its purpose, it does use a lot of water. In efforts to use less water, many dairymen are trying to find ways to eliminate this pre-cleaning method, and replace it with more rigorous cleaning techniques in the milk barn. These new techniques may in fact be more labor intensive, but saving water is a big deal in California where water is becoming a scarce commodity.

 

Milking Procedures

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**The Milk Barn during clean-up**  

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**The infamous teat dipper and cloth towel **

After the cows exit the sprinkler pen, they enter the milk barn. The cows enter the milk barn to be milked, but first they must be cleaned. Milking the cow involves a rigorous cleaning procedure to kill bacteria and eliminate the chance of any dirt from entering the milk at the time the cows are milked. All cows are treated the same, and the milking procedures must be followed accurately when milking all the cows.

To start, the cow’s teats are dipped into an antibacterial sanitizer that kills bacteria, and moisturizes the cow’s teats to keep them soft. After the teats are dipped, the teats are cleaned with clean towels. The towels are not used on different cows. One or two clean towels per cow, then they are thrown in the laundry bin. We cannot reuse towels on cows because that would increase the risk of spreading bacteria from cow to cow.

The towels are washed in our heavy duty washing machines. Before using towels, we used to use paper towels to clean the cows. The paper towels were much easier to use, you clean a cow then throw them away. However the paper towels created a lot of waste on our dairy. In efforts to make our operation more environmentally friendly, we now use reusable cloth towels. The cloth towels take a bit more labor on our operation, but we feel deep satisfaction in small efforts as these to be environmentally friendly when possible. Many dairymen now use cloth towels instead of paper towels. In fact I don’t think I know any dairymen still using paper towels.

Once the udder is clean, the milker strips the teat. Stripping basically means that the milkers milk the teat once or twice to make sure there is no infection in the cow’s udder. If the milk has a few small flakes or curds, the cow may have an infection called mastitis. These cows are sent to the hospital pen so they can receive treatment to help them fight off their infection. The infection could get very serious if not treated. Milk from mastitic cows is of very low quality; therefore it is vital that these cows are detected. Stripping the teats, helps the milkers detect any cows that may have come down with and infection that could affect milk quality, and also affect the health and well-being of the cow.

Many people think that there is puss in the milk. This is completely false, and there is absolutely no merit to this claim. Mastitis is a bacterial infection that affects the mammary glands in the cow. When the cow fights the infection, white blood cells are killed fighting the infection and end up in the milk. Mastitic cows are removed from the herd to reduce the amount of cells that get in the milk to keep the milk clean. Even so, there are still cells that get into the milk from perfectly healthy cows. These cells are not dangerous, but they can greatly affect the quality of the milk. The amount of cells in the milk can be measured, and the dairy industry commonly refers to this measurement as the Somatic Cell Count (SCC). Milk quality is measured by the amount of cells in the milk. Federal regulations state that milk cannot have a SCC over 750,000. California regulations are much more stringent with that level being a SCC or 500,000. For many dairies this is very easy to achieve, and many dairies have a SCC under 200,000. There is no puss in milk though, and where this idea came from is beyond me.

Once the teat is properly sanitized, cleaned, and stripped, the milk machines are attached, and the milking takes place. When the cow is finished milking, the machine automatically detaches. The milkers use a different teat dip on the teats. This final teat dip protects the teats from any environmental bacteria that could enter the udder after milking. This is important because after the milking the milk channel in the teat is open, and bacteria can freely enter the udder and cause infection. For this reason the dip is administered to protect the cow’s udder from future infections that could occur. It also softens and moisturizes the cow’s teats.

Milking procedures are at the very foundation of milk quality. It is important that each cow’s udder and teats are properly cleaned and sanitized to prevent environmental contaminations that could occur during milking.

 

The Backflush: stopping bacterial transmissions

After the machines are done milking the cow, they are sanitized with the backflush. The backflush is basically what you think it is; a flush of water that comes through the machines to clean them. The water has ozone in it to basically suffocate any bacteria that may have gotten in the line. The backflush also helps stop the transmission of disease from cow to cow. After the machine is used by a cow, it is reused on the next cow that comes in the barn. This would make transmitting bacteria very easy if there was no backflush to eliminate bacteria. This is a highly effective way to sanitize machines before they milk the next cows.

Click Here for Part 2

Filed under: Dairy, Milk Quality, , , , , , , ,

Calcium Supplements vs. Milk

 VS.  

Over the weekend I came across a video about Calcium supplements that is apparently “revolutionary” in the medical field. Click here for the link.

A study has shown that people who take Calcium supplements are at a 30% increased risk for heart attack. The Calcium taken by supplements builds up in the coronary arteries and creates blockages making people more susceptible to heart attacks.

Instead of calcium supplements, people should try to implement more foods that are high in Calcium. Foods high in Calcium don’t create blockages because the Calcium is absorbed more slowly.

People looking to add more calcium to their diets should drink more milk, or eat more dairy products. Dairy products are one of the best sources for Calcium, and all the nutrients in milk help your body absorb the Calcium more efficiently.

The doctor in the video suggested that only older women that are high risk for heart attacks should stop taking Calcium supplement, but it is still alright for young people to take Calcium supplements. This clearly makes no sense though; young people while not being at risk for heart attacks have longer to build up the Calcium in the coronary arteries. Therefore young people should also stop taking Calcium supplements to stop the build up that will lead to heart attacks when they are older.

Instead of wasting money on various supplements, people should look to nutrients that are readily available in foods. Natural food sources offer a greater absorption of nutrients. So stop taking Calcium supplements, and go out and drink some more milk. Your body will thank you when your old!

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Antibiotics in my Milk?

 gotmilk

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

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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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Welcome to Crazy Moos!

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy Farm

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!

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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!

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