Monday, November 29, 2010

The Key To Information

Due to some technical difficulties, news traveled slow on the farm today.  We had to resort to the archaic method of just "moo-ing," due to some wireless glitch that was affecting our equipment.  The good news was that I did receive the message that The Farmer had gone to town and would be away for a while.

I used the opportunity to approach the locked door.  I had studied the lock on Thanksgiving and brought the tools needed to open it.  I used a special spy skeleton key that would open almost any door, including this one.  What was inside suprised even me.

The room was filled with records of all kinds.  For each cow and calf there were documents about their births, vaccination history, and other details.  There was milking data for each cow for each lactaction.  This data included records on volume of milk produced, butter fat and protein content, and more.  The amount of information I found was staggering.  The Farmer was documenting everything about the herd.  He also used a system called Dairy Herd Information to gather the data and use it to improve his operation.

The Farmer had a lot of information on the cows, but none on the C.A.L.F. agents on the farm.  Our secrecy was still intact and the room had been infiltrated.

Agent 462, reporting from the Udder Side.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanksgiving is something everyone celebrates.  We at C.A.L.F. are no different about this.  We look at all creation around us, pause, and give wonder to it all.  Definitely we give thanks to the turkey, the designated animal of Thanksgiving.  Make no mistake about the gobbler, he was chosen.  In life there are no coincidences.

The Farmer will no doubt spend time with family and friends to celebrate over the holidays.  This presents the perfect opportunity to do more work undetected.  There are certain areas of the farm we have yet to investigate and this will be a great time to do it. In particular, the door labeled "Employees Only" seems like a good place to start.  Everyone has something to be thankful for.

Agent 57, reporting from the Udder Side.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mystery Solved

Well, I would like to say that all the spy training that I had helped me to figure out what I was hearing, but it didn't.  I got lucky one day and saw it.  It being the cat heading upstairs to the loft.  This is where my C.A.L.F. spy training did kick in.  Was the cat friend or foe?  Can you trust a four legged feline, or not, and what knowledge might it have?

The first thing to overcome would be the language barrier, and I discovered one thing very quickly.  If you call the Rosetta Stone people and ask for French or Russian they take your money and send you the product.  However, if you ask for Feline, all you get is a dial tone.  So, I checked the spy manual I keep in a fake block of straw in my stall.  It turns out that cats can speak the common animal dialect.  Who knew?

I watched and waited for the cat to return.  I planned my strategy as time passed.  I could use this animal as my eyes and ears outside of the calf barn.  Then the cat appeared, walking slowly down the steps to the loft.  As I was beginning to speak to it, the door of the calf barn opened and the The Farmer walked in.

The Farmer began looking at each calf in each stall very deliberately.  My training kicked in immediately and I became calm, cool, and collected as I munched on some hay.  He moved down the line.  Was he looking for me, I wondered as he approached my stall?  The Farmer finished and went up the stairs to the loft.  Then everything became clear.

Blocks of straw fell in the stalls, with each getting just the amount they needed.  The Farmer went to the stalls and spread the straw out so that every calf would have a warm, comfortable, clean stall to stay in.  As he left my thoughts returned to the cat.

Agent 4330, reporting from the Udder Side.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who's Watching Who

As the top security agent here I've told my crew never to be intimidated.  Be vigilant.  Eyes on the target.  And that is why I was the first one to spot the visitor we had on the farm.  This visitor turned out to be a friend of the farm, The Milk Co-op Man.  He came to perform some kind of survey of the farm to make sure the animals and the land were being well treated.  A gold star program, he called it.

This program is probably similar to the FARM program, which C.A.L.F. had sown the seeds to get started.  Consumers are watching all types of production agriculture.  They want their food to be made under acceptable practices. These programs look at animal well-being, environmental stewardship, and milk safety and quality. These programs can validate with third party auditing that the results are accurate.

The good news is the farm passed the survey without any problem.  My experience with C.A.L.F. is that most farmers are good stewards because that is what it takes to run a profitable operation, big or small.

Who's watching who?  As I tell those bovines working beneath me, I'm watching you and that's all you need to know.

Agent 459, reporting from the Udder Side.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Keep Your Ears Open

I did not think anything could be more exciting.  I had been chosen to join the illustrious spy group, C.A.L.F.  I could imagine the thrill, the intrigue, and the danger of being a spy.  I might go in disguise like a longhorn calf with dyed hair and fake horns with a camera and microphone. I could be a body double for a famous show calf at a state fair.  But where did they send me for my first mission?  A calf barn on a dairy farm.  How exciting......

My orders were to keep my ears open.  Got it. Done it. Done.  Isn't there anything else I could be doing?  Shouldn't I be saving the world or bagging the bad guys?  Sure, I get nice warm milk twice a day, cool fresh water, leafy hay, grain, and comfy straw bedding, which are all nice perks.  The Farmer is good to me.

Ahh, but there is something I've noticed.  There's a noise in the hay loft above me that I hear sometimes. Noise, or words maybe?  It is something or someone I'm not familiar with.   My orders were to keep my ears open and maybe that's what they were talking about!  Perhaps I should investigate this mystery.

Agent 4330, reporting from the Udder Side.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Naked Truth

Today began as a normal day.  I came in from the field, ate some hay, and was milked.  Then, I was sorted away from the main group of cows by The Farmer.  My bovine mind was racing!  Was he on to us?  Did he realize we walked among them and were reporting back?  I was motioned into a comfortable wooden chute for questioning, I assumed.  

Out of the blue, I was stuck with a tiny syringe.  My first thoughts were of poisons, or perhaps a truth serum to make me talk and expose the rest of C.A.L.F.  Name, rank, and serial number.  Name, rank, and serial number was all he was going to get.  Then I stretched my tongue and prepared to knock the cap off my fake tooth that held a suicide pill for times like these. 

And from the corner of my eye, I noticed something.  The solution I was injected with was not poison, or even a truth serum.  It was an animal vaccine.  I was being protected from infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhea, bovine respiratory diseases, and many more.  The Farmer had been fooled, and was treating me as he did all his other animals.  I was quickly turned out of the chute and feasted on corn silage.

Agent 207, reporting from the Udder Side.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Operation Milk Can

I am proud to announce that phase one of Operation Milk Can has been successful.  As a member of the Cow Alliance Legion Federation, aka C.A.L.F., my fellow bovines and I have infiltrated  another farm.  We were able to smuggle in a camera and laptop to assist us in getting the word out.  Hacking into the farmer's wi-fi was no trouble with our extensive training.

So far we have blended in with the other cows very well.  We are milked twice daily, have access to plenty of  hay, silage and water, and spend most of our day on pasture.

We plan weekly messages to the world on what really goes on at dairy farms.

Agent 459, reporting from the Udder Side.