Monday, August 26, 2013

#FlatRyan Learns About Antibiotics In Milk

We caught The Farmer playing with a paper doll. I mean we saw him using crayons and scissors like a kindergartner. And then he brought the paper doll with him to the dairy farm.

#FlatRyan and the dairy cows
Then The Farmer and the paper doll he called Flat Ryan put together this video about antibiotics in milk. Make sure you watch it to the end!

There are times when antibiotics are needed on a dairy farm such as when a cow like me, or a calf, gets sick. However, The Farmer goes to great lengths to make sure no milk with antibiotics leaves the farm because that milk can never be sold. Period.

As it turn out The Farmer is participating in The Ag Proud Adventures of Flat Ryan. The purpose of taking a paper version of Ryan Goodman around is to share farm facts like the kind you can find at Agriculture Proud. Be sure and check that blog out and then download your own Flat Ryan to color, cut out, and take on an adventure! Follow the adventures with the hashtag #flatryan and learn more agriculture facts!

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side, and hoping The Farmer is finished playing with paper dolls.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Legendairy Cow

So the Australian dairymen came up with a dairy video.....

There is so much wrong with this video, like where is the cow for instance? (Farmers are always forgetting the cow!) Hmmm... Let us assume the premise of it is right. What did the girl leave out?

  • Waste Manager
  • Farm Information Technician
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Safety Patroller
  • Nutritionist
  • Engineer (not the train kind)
  • Carpenter
  • And a dairy farmer could be a she
Farmers wear many hats and if you think I'm a little too picky picky, then yes you may be right about that. But I also don't believe the premise is right about the dairy farmer being legendairy. Who is the most important part of everything? That's right!

Agent 465, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mutant Corn and The X-Cows

When I saw The Farmer's corn this year I became very excited. Maybe it was my imagination or maybe it was some kind of latent psychic powers, but I knew what was going to happen when I saw The Farmer was going to plant GMO corn.

 The reason The Farmer plants Roundup Ready corn is because it is a safe and easy way to control weeds in the corn field. After the corn was planted and began growing well the field was sprayed over the top with the herbicide Roundup. The grass and weeds that would have crowded out the corn and stolen the nutrients from the fertilizer are now gone. 
You can see how there is nothing growing on the edge of the field in the photo. This corn saved him more inputs and allowed for the same size crop.

But lets get back to the part I'm excited about: the genetically modified, aka mutant, corn. I realized that by eating it I would change, I would change fundamentally from my DNA and up. I could have fantastic powers like my heroes in the X-Men
wolvie cow cyclo cow
And I promise that I will only use my new found abilities to fight tyranny, injustice, and hunger with one glass of milk at a time!

Science Fiction Vs Science Fact

It turns out that my ideas are about as real as a Sharknado.

Is this corn safe for me and people? According to one science guy friend of the fantastic JP, in her post G is for GMO, it is anything but dangerous.
Here is an example that probably everyone can understand – the gene that gets inserted into Roundup Ready plants is a petunia gene, because they are naturally resistant to Roundup. So, they essentially are taking a desirable element from an innocuous plant (our lovely petunia plant) and insert that ‘piece’ into crops. It is like adding walnuts into brownies – brownies are great by itself, but are fabulous with the walnuts or pecans!
Petunias? Seriously?

 Then I found that Michael Eisen, a biologist at UC Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, also wrote that

...Roundup Ready crops, which produce no new proteins not found prior to genetic manipulation,  shouldn’t really be places in the same class of GMOs....

....And there is absolutely no reason to expect that there are any health risks associated with eating the altered form of EPSPS found in glyphosate resistant transgenic plants....

The take home message is I will not be turning into a mutant super hero by eating this corn. It actually looks and tastes just like any other corn I've ever had. It has no ill effects toward man or cow. Totally safe unless you're a weed in the corn field. Think of it as having the same effect as Kryptonite would on Magneto. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

Bummer, right? But wiill this stop me from becoming a super hero cow? Not on your life! Batman and Robin got by without powers. Iron Man, no powers. The Black Widow and Hawkeye also had no powers.

Lookout world, here I come! I mean as soon as I can finish making a decent costume and find a good superhero name! Suggestions are welcome, please.

Agent 279, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Secret Dairy Farm Footage (So Boring)

You might say that was a boring video about boring farms. Many people might agree with you.

National Geographic recently ran an episode called Inside Secret America and showed videos of cruelty to animals. Of course they wanted the viewers to assume that all animals are mistreated. If you are a major network and air the video above nobody is going to watch it. You need something sensational not boring. You have to show something out of the ordinary to get attention.

We have never been mistreated like this on The Farmer's farm and we believe that animals are well treated in all but very rare cases. Making sure we our healthy and well cared for is The Farmer's number one priority because his livelihood depends on me. I suspect other farmers feel the same way.

All of this is more poignant to me because I could have been the focus of one of those stories yesterday. I fell down. No, that isn't true. I was knocked down; I was bullied by another cow and I fell. I tried to get up on my own, but the wind was knocked out of me by the fall and I was more nervous than I cared to admit and simply could not get up. I looked like one of those downer cows the news media like to show. I could imagine the host asking if I had mad cow disease and how many hours I had been laying there. How shameful I would have felt if that had been said of me.

Nothing could be further than the truth.The Milkman heard me fall and immediately called for help. The Farmer arrived moments later to my aid. It is a bit of a struggle to move a more than a thousand pound animal; I'm no small calf anymore, but The Farmer and The Milkman took great care in their work. Again had a camera recorded a snapshot of this would it be contrived as abuse? I would hope not because they were helping me do what I could not on my own.

They put me on a level spot in a grassy field and The Farmer brought me some hay and grain. He watched me eat for a bit and examined me the best he could for further injury. Finding none he eventually called me to get up and patted me on the back. I hesitated, took a deep breath, and slowly climbed to my hooves. My legs were sore, my pride was wounded, and yet I could stand. The Farmer continued watching me, but I paid him no mind and polished off the feed and got a drink from the nearby water tank.

There were no cameras or reporters there to document what happened so you have only the word of a cow to take as the truth. Maybe The Farmer should have taken photos, but I was glad he had his entire focus on my at the time. Were he and The Milkman heroes? I don't know, but they sure helped me out. I imagine they would just say they were only doing their job. What a boring answer.

Boring doesn't make the headlines of the news and it doesn't get attention on television.  And if doing a good job and taking care of animals is boring then I, as a dairy cow, don't want The Farmer to change.

Agent 277, reporting from the Udder Side.