Monday, September 30, 2013

Don't Be Short! Drink More Milk!

Great News by FarmerBright1 on GoAnimate

Directly related to how much milk their mothers drank; well, what about that!

I did more research and found this is awesome news because nobody likes short people. I based my information on this fact-filled documentary I found on YouTube.

The only benefit the height challenged have is being the last to get rained on! Go ask a Jersey if you don't believe me. Holsteins rule and Jerseys drool.

The bottom line is that my milk has been once again been scientifically proven to be totally awesome! There is no excuse to not do dairy daily no matter who you are, how old you are, or how tall you are!

Agent 285, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Must Be A Factory Farm

Honestly, I never knew I lived on a factory farm. In 1920 there were an estimated nine dairy cows on a farm.  I mean literally a person who had lost a finger could still count the number of dairy cows per farm with two hands. I guess this is just the way the Scarecrow in the Chipotle video would have started. I mean, of course, if he actually had dairy cows.

There were many comments on my letter to Chipotle decrying so-called "factory farms." Obviously someone who hates farmers in general came up with that phrase, but lets think about it for a moment.

Why Do Farms Grow?

There are many reasons for a farm to grow. "Dad (or Mom, Uncle, etc), I'd like to farm with you" is the beginning of some farm's expansion. If a new family member joins the farm how will the farm pay them? These farms expand with more animals in order to be able to add that new member. Imagine this happening over multiple generations. I think this helps explain why over 97% of farms are family farms.

Decreasing margins have also caused many farms to grow. The biggest expenses for farms are feed, fuel, and fertilizer. The prices of these items have increased exponentially in the last twenty years. The price of milk paid to The Farmer, for example, has remained fairly constant over the same time period, especially when compared to the growth of the others. Adding more animals to the operations is a solution to keep the farm going.


Greed was often cited in the comments of my Letter To Chipotle. I pointed out in the previous post about how the Scarecrow was a capitalist, a businessman. He can work hard, sell his product, and expand. At what point of building his business, opening more stores, and selling to more people does he become greedy? Is success evil? If you are good at something, if you are a productive member of society, when should you stop being productive at the risk of being called greedy? As a cow watching this video about a scarecrow being saddened about big business and starting his own, I can't help but wonder if he thinks that a national chain like Chipotle is greedy and bad, too.

Factories Are Bad

Here's another thing I have yet to figure out and that is why are factories bad? I'm not sure The Farmer could manage one of those jobs solely based on the fact that he doesn't like to tuck in his shirt. Two actual factories in The Farmer's area closed down in the last year and they were a great loss for the communities.
Factories provide honest jobs for honest people.

What about farms? The economic impact of one cow is more than $15,000, which is even more so in some areas. Farms provide jobs on site as well create a demand for local jobs. Farm suppliers, feed sources, building material, trucking, and many others benefit from farms of all sizes.

Regardless of all of this, I am a cow that is not on the farm of your grandparents or great grandparents. I live on a farm in the 21st century. The current average herd size of a dairy farm is 115 cows and the overwhelming majority have less than a hundred cows. That's still ten times larger than a farm from one hundred years ago. Am I a factory cow? I still don't know what that means. I do know that I am well cared for and I believe the same can be said at other farms no matter the size.

I'll let you ruminate on that because I've got to go. I'm next in line to be milked!

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Letter From The Cows To Chipotle

Dear Chipotle,

I was deeply disappointed after watching your Scarecrow video that misrepresented modern agriculture practices. Pandering a 1984-esque post dystopian nightmare of farming to the ill informed is not how food should be marketed. Of all the gross misconceptions shown in the video the ones of dairy cows offended me, a cow, the most. I have never been in a metal box and unable to move. Honey, if you even think you could get me in one I'd like to see you try! 

As far as cows riding on conveyor belts that is not a nightmare that is a dream.  I can imagine The Farmer having conveyors we could take from the barn to the pasture or even a green field for us to graze on. I also don't think you thought out the conclusion to your scifi story. The scarecrow, being the good capitalist that he is, starts a small business. As it grows, perhaps as Chipotle itself has grown, he will use new methods that maintain sustainability in order to meet his demand. Others might view these as industrial practices and vilify him as only replacing those he sought to stop in the first place. Welcome to my world! 

Some might view me, even as only one of a hundred cows, as being on a "factory farm" as described in the video. The truth is that we cows need the same amount of care no matter the scale of the farming operation. If I am well cared for then I will be productive. This is the first truth every farmer must learn. Cows, and animals in general, that are treated the way those in the video proposes could not exist on a real farm. That must be why you made a cartoon!

What is disturbing is how you are marketing your food by putting down modern agriculture and making it look evil. Farmers have innovated with new ideas like many other businesses. You don't expect a banker to continue using a paper ledger to compute figures, do you? Then neither should you expect farmers to remain stagnant. Research by companies, universities, and extension have not only allowed farmers to be more productive, they have also allowed farmers to provide better care of their animals (very important to me!), and be more environmentally friendly so they can continue to pass their farm to the next generation. That's sustainability!

The market is actually big enough for farms of all sizes and production practices. There is no reason to denigrate one over the other. Our milk is marketed as wholesome and nutritious and it just tastes delicious, even if i do say so myself. That's how you do it! If you have a better product then tell it and sell it, but please don't misrepresent everyone else in order to make a profit.


Agent 101 from the Udder Side.

P.S. I think more dairy in your menu is a great way to improve sales. Cheese is always a winner!

P.P.S. I had to continue my thoughts on Chipotle and factory farms here.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

iPhone 5C Is For Cows

Despite what fandroids might say about how the geniuses at Cupertino have lost touch without Steve Jobs, I'm here to tell you how Apple is going to revolutionize the smartphone market. Again.

The C in in the forthcoming iPhone 5C stands for Cows! Not color, cheap, or crap, but COWS! That's right, Apple will be the first smartphone maker to market their phone directly to cows, which is a huge untapped market. When even more than half of farmers have smartphones, going after the bovine market only makes sense.

Our first clue to Apple's new plan was iOS 7. Apple made it flat. "Who cares," said many tech journalists, but to a cow this is a really big deal. The previous iterations made it hard for us to see because cows have very poor depth perception. Farmers have to build their facilities around that fact so that we can make our way our easier. The new flat design of iOS was designed just for cows.

We then found out that Siri was getting new languages. Yes, that's right, Siri has been demonstrated to speak French, and we also believe that Siri will be able to hear and speak Moo. Obviously it is hard to manipulate a smartphone with hooves like ours, and that is why voice recognition is so important.

Last, and most important, I would like to present you with the newest leaked iPhone 5C photo as evidence the 5C is for cows.

iPhone 5C The iPhone for Cows

What practical things can we do with our new iPhone? Too bad The Farmer's milk co-op doesn't have an app yet, but we can log on to the website often now and check our milk quality. One thing we're really looking forward to is having the weather radar map at our hooftips. Looks like it might rain, girls, so lets walk on into the barn before it gets here. We're also thinking we could use one of those cool trackable Tiles to put on The Farmer so we know where he is at all times. And I totally promise I will not abuse it and become a complete social media cow and post every time I chew my cud.

dairy cow iphone line
Dairy Cow In Line For The iPhone
If you see any cows standing in line outside the Apple Store in the mall you'll know why we're there. I'm also pretty sure The Farmer is looking forward to getting his hands on an iPhone, too. 

Agent 467, reporting from the Udder Side.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

National Read A Book Day on September 6

September 6 is National Read a Book Day. Now don't get all excited and start complaining about how you can't read an entire book in one day! Listen, it is okay to cheat a little. Go ahead and get started today so you can finish on the sixth and then you can brag to your friends how you read and finished a book on National Read a Book Day!

What to read? Truly, this is not a problem for you because we came prepared.

Not bad. Fast reading. ***

Free, 42 pages long, pretty well edited. Interesting. ***

This was a good story and was worth reading. Plus it was it was free. Who can beat that? ****

Those are some of the reviews for The Farmer's book, No Signal, from readers at Barnes and Noble. We thought it was okay, and you can read our review, too.

You can also find it available at Amazon, Smashwords, and about anywhere you can get an e-book. We think he finally has a title for the sequel. He has it labeled as "Lucky Spaces."

Of course, if you're looking for something shorter, you could always get The Farmer's Counting Cows picture book. Learn your numbers from one to five while looking at pictures of cows and calves. Hmmm... maybe I need a refresher on that. Practice makes perfect.

Agent 101, reporting from the Udder Side, and turning on my Kindle.