Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 On The Udder Side

I'm glad to report that we have all survived the Mayan Apocalypse and Christmas and that the year has finally come to an end. Did all my dreams come true as the head secret agent cow on the farm? No, not this year, but that will not keep me from trying again.

The most dog-eared of our reports are as follows and they need to be retyped and reprinted if I can find a volunteer.

The Social Media Cow

As for New Year's Resolutions, I do have a few of those I hope to keep this year. I resolve to be more thorough in my reporting. I resolve to be not only the top agent, but also the top milk producing agent. And lastly, I resolve to sleep in more often and delegate more work to others. Isn't that what a good leader should do?

Agent 101, reporting from The Udder Side

Monday, December 24, 2012

Let There Be Milk On Earth

All of the cows on the farm have been getting in the Christmas spirit by watching Will Gilmer's Have a Dairy, Merry Christmas video again and again and again.

While most of the agents really enjoyed it a few have complained saying that "anything a farmer can do a cow can do better" and "those cows were lip-synching to the music." Put your milk where your mouth is, I say. I told them to make your own music video and see how well you do.

There were a couple of our young, karaoke loving heifers that decided to take me up on that offer. Keeping in the spirit of goodwill toward others and peace on earth, here's their dairy version of Let There Be Peace On Earth.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the Udder Side!

-Agent 101

Monday, December 10, 2012

Late For Supper

It was a catastrophe! We had been milked and were ready for supper, but supper was not ready for us! The Farmer feeds our corn and pearl millet silage on conveyor belts and the last one had torn apart at the stitching before he could finish feeding.

Luckily, he did have spare parts available. The Farmer loosened the belt and cut out the old metal stitching.

He then crimped the new on each end of the belt and threaded the cable through them to fasten it together.

The threading must have been the hard part because we heard The Farmer having to talk the cable through each section. By talk, I mean we heard some snarling and mumbling as it must have been some kind of ornery cable to deal with.

Eventually he got it together and there was a happy stamping of hooves as we entered the feedway. We and The Farmer were both late for supper, but supper was still waiting for both of us.

Agent 268, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dairy Cows Going Green

Dairy cows are going green! Not green in color, but green in conservation.  According to the latest statistics dairy farms have reduced their carbon footprint by 63% over the last sixty years and only account for 2% of greenhouse gases. That's progress in the right direction, I say.

We cows make milk and gas. While the milk has been used for years and years and years and years, our gas is finally being captured and people and animals are reaping the benefits. Now there are all sorts of ways to use this.

While all of this sounds very interesting The Farmer has run the numbers and has not yet seen how he could implement any of these scenarios on his farm. However, he is looking into another source of green power with trees. Let's not get our hopes up anytime soon.

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Cow Monday

It is Cyber Monday and I guess what I'm trying to tell you is not to lean too far into your monitor and get sucked into the Matrix. I know everyone is looking for a steal of a deal even better than the one they got on Black Friday.  But let me tell you the best deal you are going to find today or any other day. 

For only twenty-five cents, that's like a cheap yard sale bargain, you get nine, I say count them, nine essential nutrients in only an eight ounce serving of milk. So, drink up, it'll keep you going while you're doing all that shopping and you'll still have plenty of money left over to buy your Christmas gifts. 

And one more thing....

You drink the white milk, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You drink the chocolate milk, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. 

I've always wanted to say that!

Agent 162 (aka Trinity), reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dairy Cows Can Avert the Crisis!

The crisis is upon us! An apocalypse worse than anyone, even the Mayans, have dreamed of! The fiscal debt cliff is nothing compared to what is predicted to occur according to the Huffington Post: Arabica beans are doomed to extinction!!!! These beans influence even the domesticated supply of coffee.

Maybe some of you are still wondering what that means. Let me explain in simple words and pictures that your uncaffeinated minds and droopy eyes can understand:


Imagine people falling asleep on the way to work. Productivity comes to a halt. Colleges and the coffee shops around them will be boarded up and closed down. The world as we now know it will be over if these beans are gone.

Now, there is a solution. This is simple, easy, healthy, and delicious:

Add milk to your coffee. Crisis averted!

Adding just a little milk to your cup of joe everyday will stretch the supply of coffee out to the point that the beans will no longer be in danger and you'll be adding all the great nutrition of milk to your favorite drink. 

Don't think of this as saving the coffee, think of this as saving the world. You can be a hero every time you fill up your cup and top it off with milk.

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.

photo credit: jose.jhg via photopin cc

Monday, November 12, 2012

An App For the Udder Side

With all this campaigning for president business going on for the last month it has been hard to keep up with reports from The Farmer. The most interesting thing he has been doing is sowing winter wheat. With the odd fall harvest his empty corn fields have a solid growth of grass on them.

Normally we've seen him work the ground up a little before planting. We heard him talking the other day about how with the season getting late and the rain coming every week he would never get the fields worked up enough to kill the grass and still have time to plant. So this year he elected to have the fields sprayed to kill the grass. This enabled him to no-till plant, that is not work or till the ground up, and spend much less fuel and energy preparing the fields.

The Udder Side App
To keep the agents more aware of what's going on I authorized Agent 451, a cell phone expert, and a few others to purchase smart phones for everyone. My only constraint was that they get me the best one. Then I asked them to create one of those apps for the Udder Side like everyone is always yammering about to help us with our reports. The good news: they did exactly what I asked. The bad news: the best smart phone turns out to be an iPhone and the app was written for their Android phones. They tell me I'll have one soon and I said I wasn't spending so much of our budget so they could sit around and play Jet Pack Joyride! Get it done!

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.


I have now seen the Android App and there is room for improvement. The iPhone version better be worth it when it comes out.

Agent 101

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shirley & Norma Thank You For Your Support!

Well, the election is over and if you have not heard our campaign ended up with us coming up a few votes short. While we did not get everything we wanted, I think Norma and I can be proud of effort to reach more people and tell them the value of dairy.

The country may not agree on the election's outcome, but at least we can all sleep well knowing the president and vice president enjoy some dairy for themselves from time to time!

Perhaps Alabama dairyman Will Gilmer said it best:
Team Dairy has been around far longer than this election cycle and will continue to be a force for good regardless of who we elect as President. Team Dairy: providing you and your children with safe, delicious, nutritious food choices for a "dairy good" today and a brighter, healthier tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I do have some bad news to report. Norma has taken ill the last few days. She and I are real cows and real things do happen to us. Here is a statement from her closest adviser, Dairy Carrie: heart and mind is back home. When my plane landed I got news that Norma is very sick and may not make it. 
I wish that all the people who think that dairy farmers don't care about their cows could understand how absolutely heartbreaking this is for me, then maybe they would understand ....
If you wouldn't mind taking a moment to say a prayer or send up good thoughts I sure would appreciate it. Norma may be just a cow but she is my cow and I love her.

My thoughts are with my friend Norma, who is not just #normathebestcowever, but also #normathebestrunningmateever !

Thank you again for all your support in our campaign!


I have received news of Norma's passing to the great pasture field in the sky. Let us not mourn her leaving us, but instead celebrate her life and the love she had of producing high quality milk for everyone. The next time you eat or drink dairy products raise your glass or bowl high as a small thanks to Norma!

photo credit

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dairy Cows Campaign To Be President

The last few days have been a whirlwind of campaigning. Norma and I have been out spreading the good word about dairy and why we deserve your vote as cows for the presidency. Being on stage in front of thousands of people is kind of overwhelming.

Our great nation was made by average people with above average ideas and aspirations. They rose above their abilities, their strengths, overcame their weaknesses and made the best better. Ladies and gentleman, cows and bulls, I am an average cow, but like those that have come before me, I have above average ideas!

Speaking of the ones that have come before me, did you know how important dairy has been to U.S. Presidents? None other than the numero uno George Washington was known to love ice cream so much he spent $200 on it in one summer. Money talks and those bills are saying "love." Thomas Jefferson learned to make ice cream while he was in France. Good ole Honest Abe Lincoln had ice cream served at his second inauguration. Milk was the favorite drink of Teddy Roosevelt. Lets imagine Mount Rushmore.....

And I would also be the first dairy cow to, if I chose, graze on the White House lawn since President Taft's two dairy cows did. He loved milk. President's love dairy. Americans love dairy. Norma and I would love your vote!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Shirley and Norma For President!

A well-balanced meal includes fruits, veggies, grain, protein, and dairy as suggested by USDA's Choose My Plate. If elected I plan to use a similar approach and surround myself with great advisers so we can improve the health of our country.

I think you should lead by example. My first example of how I will do this is by choosing Norma as my running mate. Surround yourself by the best and you will be the best! Let's make America productive again!

Monday, October 29, 2012

No Trick: Shirley and Norma Are the Real Thing

It seems like it was only yesterday when I was a calf and got all dressed for our Halloween party in the calf barn. We even had pumpkin spice milk that evening!

In many ways Halloween is a lot like the people running for president. They offer you treats and instead you get tricked. This is no different than the trick some people fall for when they purchase those non-dairy drinks that are still labeled as being milk. There's no substitute that delivers all the nutrition as milk that can call itself milk. Or can taste like real American milk, just like mine.

If you want to guarantee you're getting real American milk in your real dairy products or food then look for the Real Seal on the things you buy!

I can promise you that if you vote for my new awesome running mate Norma and I then you will not be tricked. We're cows. We're dairy cows. We're Real American dairy cows and part of #TeamDairy, and we'd appreciate your vote.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Polling For Shirley

While our phone call polls are showing us with a good lead I thought it best to also do an internet poll to give everyone a chance to show their support.

Remember this is a scientific poll. In order for it to be completely accurate you have to do one thing before selecting. Imagine yourself drinking a tall cool glass of chocolate milk. Then make your decision.



Due to new additions to the ticket and technical difficulties the poll has been restarted in the upper right hand corner of the page. 

Speaking of new additions, I am humbled, honored, and just proud to have Norma, the best cow ever, as my new running mate!

(Original Flag Photo by Tim Wang)

Monday, October 22, 2012

200% Shirley Cow

You've heard the other candidates use numbers to make fun of each other and tell you who they represent. You've heard of the 1% and the 99%. All the talk about 47% of the voters etc, etc.

I will work for you!
If I become the first dairy cow president I will do what I always do and that is give 100% for 100% of the people. If you add those up I'm at 200% and that is more than what any other candidate will give!

While we're talking numbers lets talk about the economy. I think what most people want is bang for their buck; they want more for less. Most folks might not realize that milk, just like the kind I'm proud to make, is packed with nutrients at a bargain price! For twenty five cents you can get an eight ounce glass with nine essential nutrients. Try to do that with other drinks!

That's the way I think Washington should use your money. They should use a little bit and make it go a very long way toward the betterment of the citizens. When I become president that is exactly how I will run things: more for less! Early voting has begun and I would appreciate your support!

Monday, October 15, 2012

An Interview With Shirley Cow

I made the paper! Read the story from The Country Chronicle by Dairy Dave!


The Country Chronicle 

Dairy Dave's Corner

Cow Runs For President?

It wouldn't be the first time someone called me a Doubting Thomas, but seeing is believing! I'm talking about Shirley Cow, the dairy cow that is running for president with enough ideas to impress even me. I caught up with Shirley between campaign events to ask her a few questions that I knew you, dear reader, would want to know.

Me: Lay it to me straight Shirley, white milk or chocolate?

Shirley: Call me old fashioned because I love plain white milk, but chocolate has the same nutritional value.

Shirley Cow Hard at Work
Me: What makes you qualified to be president?

Shirley: What makes any American qualified? Hard work, honesty, and an uncompromising love of our great country.

Me: What will be the first thing you would do as president?

Shirley: I'll call the leaders from the House and Senate to the White House for a ice cream sundae supper to solve their differences and get us moving forward.  If you can't be happy and agreeable over ice cream then you never will!

Me: How will you address health care in your administration?

Shirley: The Farmer has always treated his "girls" well by providing good food and medical attention for both prevention and wellness. I've seen it, been a part of it, and I think I can make it work as a great example for the country.

Me: What will you do if you lose your bid for the presidency?

Shirley: I'll go back to the farm and keep on producing high quality nutritious milk for all Americans!

After speaking to her I can't think of any time I was more fired up about the election. No mudslinging from Shirley, just the dairy facts. And I think that's all we can ask from a candidate!

-Dairy Dave

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why Shirley Cow For President?

There are many candidates for president you could choose. Why not pick the only one with dairy cow know how?

(original flag photo by Tim Wang)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stronger Bones For Our Future

I Have Forward Vision
You cannot simply say one day that you would like to be president. The president of the United States is a powerful position, the leader of the free world, and to be in that position you must have vision.

Vision works in two ways: looking forward and looking back. Looking back on the last four years makes me believe our great land has lots of room for improvement. We've had hard times with many down on their luck with little faith in the future.

As a dairy cow I am proud of my milk as I know it to be nature's most perfect food. One of milk's most well-known attributes is the calcium it contains.  Calcium is critical for lifelong bone health! Bones are the foundation of our bodies. If you had brittle bones then you would have a hard time walking, climbing, and jumping. That's exactly how I see our great nation is today with an economy that can barely stand or walk.

Just like milk builds stronger bones for our bodies' foundation,  I believe that I can make a strong  foundation for our country. The downtrodden will then have the strength to lift themselves up like seeds of corn sprouting, digging through soil, and sending stalks toward the sky.

I believe America can stand proud in the sun again and I'm the only candidate with the dairy cow know how we need to get there!

(Original Flag Photo by Tim Wang)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You Can't Ignore Shirley

There are a lot things that you can try to ignore in life. The expanding deficit would be a great example of what some of our political leaders try to ignore. But some things, like the last slice of cheese pizza, just can't be ignored

You can't ignore that:
The first presidential debate is coming up and I was not invited to attend, but I think this video proves I will not be ignored.

I'm Shirley Cow, the only candidate with dairy cow know how and I'd like your vote!

(Original flag photo by Tim Wang)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dairy Cow Know How in 2012

After much thinking and soul searching I have come to the conclusion that there comes a time when you can no longer stand idle in the pasture chewing your cud. I believe in freedom more so than even in the free choice you have of choosing white or chocolate milk to drink. I believe in the honesty and integrity that each of us, whether cattle, farmer, or otherwise, are born with. And I believe there are some who would like to take these things away.

When I look at the state of the countryside and our country beyond the fences of the farm, I see the sadness, the loss, and the hunger for values of days past and the hopeful dreams of a future that remains uncertain. Currently we have two visions of the future: one from a donkey and one from an elephant. If you perceive our country in terms of a zoo then I would like to present an alternative animal plan, a bovine plan.

While I have been known as Agent 465 to those of you reading these reports my real name is Shirley and I'd like to be your next president. In the coming weeks I'll explain my vision of the future for the first dairy cow as president. 

I'm Shirley Cow, the only candidate with dairy cow know how!

(Original US Flag by Tim Wang)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Save Our Summer Pontoon

Fall officially came over the weekend with the ticking of the clock and there is no better place to see evidence of it than here. The Farmer is harvesting in full swing with the chopping of his corn and pearl millet. We've been watching the wagons go by as they fill the silos for our feed for the winter. And we absolutely cannot wait to start eating!

I look forward to the cooling weather and the beautiful changing of the leaves that comes with fall. There are some, however, who refuse to let go of summer....

The S.O.S. Pontoon

I have no idea where they got the boat named S.O.S. for Save Our Summer, but they have been blasting Pontoon by Little Big Town all weekend long out on the pond while trying in vain to stop fall from coming. Some cows never learn I suppose.

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.

(original photo:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hanging Around The Water Tank

You can find out everything going on if you know where to look. The best place I know to get the latest gossip information is by hanging around the water tank. It is no different for us than it is for the average office worker except we don't need a cup to drink from.

Who's been talking to the neighbor's bull across the fence? Who claims she gave the most milk at the morning milking? How did The Farmer's Wife let The Farmer out of the house with those clothes on? These are the important things that get discussed.

Our most recent topic of conversation started with comparing the greatest beverage of all, milk, to the... well the other beverages you could drink. I said milk beats 'em all hands down even for the money, but I needed to prove it because if you can't prove it then there ain't no use talking about it, right?

So, I did my research. Actually, I found somebody else's research on comparing milk to other breakfast drinks. What can you get for only twenty-five cents, a mere quarter? Here is a graphic from The Breakfast Project at Milk Mustache.

Go there and download a full blown copy for yourself and you'll see that milk, just like the kind that I make, is chock full of nine essential nutrients at a bargain price for all you penny pinchers out there! Now you've got something to talk about when you're standing around your water tank.

Agent 432, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dairy Cow Glide

Just because I'm a cow doesn't mean I can't shake it on a Saturday night, sister! This is National Line Dancing Week. Really, it is. I wouldn't make it up if it weren't true! And do you know where line dancing originated? It just so happens that dairy cows, like myself, enter the dairy barn to be milked in a line. One farmer was playing a radio in the barn and as the cows came in one began tapping her hoof and another followed suit and well, the next thing you know: line dancing cows. And it caught on like wildfire!

I was called down to the local dance hall to teach one of the most popular line dances, The Dairy Cow Glide.  It goes like this:

Hooves to the left
Hooves to the right
Moo in the air with all your might
Swish your tail 
From side to side
Now you're doing the dairy cow glide

Now after dancing up a storm like that you are definitely going to want some liquid refreshment. While you might reach for something different, I can assure you that nothing will get you back in the dancing groove quicker than a tall glass of chocolate milk! Chocolate milk is the new recovery drink of choice for athletes because it is just plain awesome! It rehydrates and has protein and carbohydrates that are exactly what your muscles need to get going. Just imagine what it can do for you and your dancing!

Agent 423, the dancing queen on the Udder Side.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Laboring on Labor Day

High ho high ho, it's off to work we go. Labor, labor, labor is all we ever do. Ok, that's not true at all. Yes, we are milked twice a day, but what do we do the rest of the time? I mean of course I have to do my work for Agent 101, but there is plenty of down time for all of us cows. We spend quite a bit of time hanging out in the pasture and eating. Now, if you want to know who does labor everyday I can tell you: The Farmer.

The Farmer is the one who is always on duty; even when he tries to take a day off, I might add. We've got to have someone to milk us, make sure we have fresh water, hay, and grain, and throw some general attention our way throughout the day to let us know somebody cares.

So on this Labor Day when you're enjoying a nice glass of milk for breakfast or an ice cream treat to cool yourself off in the afternoon, think of The Farmer who is taking care of us and hoping you enjoy the fruits of his and our labor.

Agent 422, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Selling Ads For The Drought

Let me start by saying I'm not some sort of "Nascar-Cow," but it sure does look like I'm at the beginning stages. This is The Farmer's response to the drought. Let me explain.

The good news for The Farmer is that in spite of a very, very dry June his July had rain. His corn was late and although the ears may be half full, I think he is counting his blessings that he has it. The other crops and grasses have been growing and I've been like a lawnmower mowing.

But The Farmer has watched the price of corn go through the roof and his feed salesman even came by to tell how it is already raising feed prices. I think that is what he most fearful of in the coming months and I'm not sure how he can stretch his milk check any farther.

The Farmer decided he might want to get pro-active about how to handle this. That's why he's selling ads on the sides of his cows like billboards on the interstate, or dare I say it again, like Nascar does to raise money. So far he has not had any takers, and while we feel his pain, no cows are complaining.

Agent 465, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cow Week Cancelled

The best way to explain it is to say that it was all probably a misunderstanding. But let me start at the beginning....

The Discovery Channel has had a huge success with Shark Week every year. When they read that you are more likely to die from a bovine than a shark, statistically speaking, they thought it would be a great opportunity to make more money with a new group of shows and call it Cow Week to show how mean and deadly cows can be.

They had begun negotiations with us a few months ago to star in one of those new reality tv shows. Dr. Temple Grandin, the famous cow handling expert, had even been approached to produce/host/be-a-part of the show. But then it all fell through.

Gentleman Farmers Treat Cows Like Ladies To Keep Them Calm

Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but that was what I heard the Discovery Channel man tell his boss on his cellphone and it pretty much ended the show right there. He found out there isn't much that can be sensationalized about dairy cows the way he wanted. He asked a lot of questions and was kind of disappointed when he found out the truth about how The Farmer works to keep us happy, not angry, and how there wasn't much "deadly force" being used anywhere.

The Farmer has mostly gotten it figured out that if he does things our way we'll do what he wants. That isn't so hard is it? There's no reason then for us to be upset and take it out on him. Most of the other farmers have that figured out, too. They do many things around here to keep us happy and comfortable.

I insist on fresh cucumber slices from the
garden for my spa treatment!
We do find it rather comfortable here on the farm. Cow comfort is a pretty big issue for dairy farmers. I'm not going to say it is exactly spa-like here, but farmers are always trying different things out to make it easier on us. Some argue that sand is the best thing for us to lay on, some lucky girls have water beds, and then there is the classic grassy pasture that others prefer.

Farmers put grooves in the concrete we walk on so that it is easier for us to get traction. Others put down rubber mats for their cows to walk on. They build gates and corrals and such so that it is easy for us to find our way on our own and no one gets mad. Some farmers have fans blowing to help us keep our cool. I've even seen a farm with a back rubbing machine! How relaxing is that?

We've got cool fresh water available just about everywhere a bovine could want. The Farmer has feed, a hay buffet, and tasty silage for us to chow down on all the time. He even plays the radio in the calf barn for the baby calves so they don't get bored. I'd say it is the little things that count.

Comfort, comfort, comfort.

These are the things that make us want to make more milk. Maybe The Farmer has picked up a thing or two from being married with kids. You know, if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy. That applies to dairy cows and I think he understands.

Would I describe The Farmer as a gentleman farmer? Hmm, I don't know, he doesn't wear a suit like I think of some ol-timey gentleman wearing. Does he try really hard to treat us like ladies? With the exception of the slip of a coarse word we've heard him mumble to himself on occasion I'd say he does a fair job.

None of this impressed the Discovery Channel people. When they saw a bunch of calm cows wondering around eating, being milked, and sleeping out on the pasture I thing they figured it out: no fussing and no fighting here! Maybe I was a little disappointed when they cancelled Cow Week, but I've heard the camera adds one hundred pounds to a cow and I don't think I could stand to see myself like that everyday!

Agent 414, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cow Karaoke

Yes, I've seen the pictures and I know how it looks. It looks like a couple of friends and I came in late out of the field and tried to sneak in with the other cows by going through the little gate.

What if I told you we had been out on a top secret mission? Would you believe that? I mean one that was so classified that I would be exiled for telling?

That wouldn't be exactly true, either.

Umm, what if I said we were out celebrating the fact that new research says that three servings of dairy a day may reduce some types of cancer? That's worth celebrating, I think. Milk, cheese, and ice cream are tasty and even better for you than you thought. It is just one more way that nature's most perfect food, milk produced by moi, is totally awesome!

So, if we got carried away in our celebration by doing some karaoke and came to work a little late nobody would call us crazy, right? Okay, here's what we sang:

Get me on a stage with a microphone and I just can't stop!

Agent 480, reporting from the Udder Side.

(Original Karaoke Photo Credit)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Gold Milk

Competing at a world class level in high jumping at the 2012 Cow Olympics has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Although I did not win a medal, just to compete at this level in the high jump has been great and I know my momma cow would be proud.

But this trip to London has not been all about me. I have been happily spreading the good news about chocolate milk to everyone that doesn't mind meeting a talking cow. I tell them that chocolate milk is the best recovery drink you can find and what better place is there to put it to the test than at the Olympics?

I finally got the attention of some reporters and they just wouldn't take me seriously. I said to them "Ya'll need to go see Jessica Hardy. She'll tell you how it has been working wonders for her." And luckily one of them did. But don't just take it from me, go read Chocolate Milk? At the Olympic Pool It's the Drink of Champions.

Agent 162, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Who's your BFF?

Visitors don't go unnoticed on the farm. Some, I might add are not welcome either.

Duck had decided to pay a visit to the farm. I'm sure he was there to stir up trouble, unionize the agents, wreck havoc on The Farmer, etc. We've seen it all recorded before in the book Giggle, Giggle, Quack. Regardless of his intentions I had a couple of my trusted agents escort him off the property. Our operation here is in tip top shape and we do not need anyone else interfering with our mission.

Interestingly enough one dairy farm is going to have several visitors. Scientists from the University of Exeter plan to visit a farm in Devon to study social interactions in dairy cows; cow friendships, if you will. They will be wearing proximity collars that will record/transmit data on their habits. In other words, they are going to use fancy equipment to find out who your BFF is. Couldn't they just ask? I know who my trusted friends are and I know which cows on the farm have such bad breath that I avoid them at any cost! Perhaps a study on cow toothbrushes and mouth washes could follow this one to see if friendly relationships improved.

If you'll excuse me I'm going to make sure Duck, who is definitely not my BFF, has really left the premises.

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Moo 101

A fool and his money are soon parted is a great way to sum up everything that happened, but let me start at the beginning...

I was in my stall this morning thinking it was about time for The Farmer to come and feed me. Sure enough he entered the calf barn same time as usual. Instead of singing bits of songs off-key or mumbling to himself, this morning he started talking gibberish to me. Are you ready for this? He was "mooing." Uh-huh, exactly.

I finally did some asking around and found out what had happened. The Farmer bought a new book:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cow Color Commentary

I'm just flabbergasted by what I read!
The Farmer has been watching the rain come down and water his crops and hay fields and has been happy. That makes us happy, too. Nothing like seeing crops growing when you thought you were going to have none.

In the meantime I had been investigating other farms when I came across this definitely opinionated editorial that was labeled the Opinionator: Got Milk? You don't need it.

Let me start by saying that the secret agents here tell nothing but the facts, ma'am. So when Mr. Bittman starts writing in his article it is his opinion.

"O.K., dairy products contain nutrients, and for those who like them, a serving or two daily is probably fine" 

This quote is really funny when you think about it. He admits milk does contain nutrients and for those who like those nutrients they can have some. Pray tell what nutrients does my milk contain? How about calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin! Amazingly, this is pretty powerful stuff in a small glass. "No thank you, I don't want any of those nutrients, I'm just drinking water all day long," as he implies you should do would keep children and adults from an easy and tasty way to get these nutrients.

The same can be said with his comparison of calorie counts of soda vs milk. Soda, or coke as we say, contains empty calories. It tastes good and that is all. Milk, on the other hand, tastes great and is packed with nutrition. Not much of a comparison is it? I would refer Mr. Bittman back to his own arguments on nutrient packed foods and calorie counts in foods on why there is simply no comparison between dairy products and soda.

Mr. Bittman then describes how he might, and I say might because we only have his anecdotal evidence, have problems digesting milk and how he feels better not consuming it. I understand there are some people with lactose intolerance like Meg Ryan in French Kiss, and for those folks there are digestive aids and lactose free dairy products available. But he basically goes on to encourage others to stop eating dairy products because, and I'll paraphrase here, "if I think it's bad for me I think it's probably bad for you, and my personal anecdotal evidence proves it." Right, sure it does.

"But the bucolic cow and family farm barely exist"

Okay, look at me. Do I look bucolic? Now onto some more facts. Did you know that over 97%, wait this is really important so I'll repeat it, over 97% of farms are family farms? Really, I'm friends with cows on lots of them and we know. Now for those of you who have not fallen asleep yet I'll report some 2011 statistics from the June 2012 issue of Eastern Dairy Business:

  • The average U.S. dairy herd was only 179 cows.
  • There were a whopping 19,400 dairy farms with 29 or less cows
  • There were almost 25,000 dairy farms with 30-100 cows.
Now my math skills are not great, but that sounds like an awful lot of little farms out there that he claims don't exist. There are small and large dairy farms out there and we have agents on both kinds. The reports I read from the cows are good regardless of size unless they are complaining about who doesn't have cable TV or good cell phone coverage.

"Most humans never tasted fresh milk from any source other than their mother for almost all of human history"

When I hear that people don't teach kids enough about history this quote must be the kind of thing they are talking about. The Dairy Farmers of Canada, who know their history well, have some great facts I'll share:

"Milk has been a part of our nutrition since time immemorial. Rich in nutrients, milk in its various forms has a long, long history...
  • Around 10 000 BC, the “agricultural revolution” occurred changing societies from nomadic tribes to those who settled in communities. With this came domesticated animals and the ingenuity for people to use by-products such as milk.
  • In ancient Egypt, milk and other dairy products were reserved for royalty, priests and the very wealthy.
  • By the 5th century AD, cows and sheep in Europe were prized for their milk.
  • By the 14th century, cow’s milk became more popular than sheep’s milk."
So I could go on about the opinions in the article and replace them with facts, but it is time for my evening milking. Got milk? I do and plenty of it for anyone who wants to enjoy it!

Agent 465, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, July 9, 2012

You're Surrounded, Farmer!

We've got you surrounded! Come out with your hands up!

Okay, while we did surround The Farmer we actually did not say that to him. My fellow agents and I only wanted to get a closer look at what he was doing. Sometimes the best spy work is done in plain sight and I honestly don't think The Farmer thought anything about it.

He was working up the ground for planting corn which I had never seen before. I wondered why he couldn't simply plant the corn in the field and save some time so I asked my boss, Agent 101. She said the particular field we were in had not had anything planted in it since last year's corn and that the ground would be very hard. If you plant in ground like that the roots will have a hard time stretching out and growing. So, while The Farmer does sometimes "no-till," that is plant crops without working ground, in this particular instance he would not.

We had been worried about the corn because it has been so hot and we had a couple of weeks with no rain. However, after some good rains this past week it is looking much better.  Maybe we'll have something good to eat this fall after all.

Agent 2432, reporting from the Udder Side.